THE Anglican diocese based in Bathurst has appointed its first assistant bishop in almost 50 years.
Bishop Richard Hurford has appointed the former diocesan Archdeacon Peter Danaher to the position.
Assistant bishop elect Danaher came to the diocese in 1997 as the priest of Dubbo's Holy Trinity but was promoted quickly within the diocese, culminating in the announcement last week by Bishop Hurford.
Rev Danaher will continue to work from Dubbo.
The decision was finalised late last month when the diocesan bishops of NSW approved the choice, originally made by the regional executive body of the Anglican Church, Bishop-in-Council.
"I have concluded that one way of achieving greater effectiveness would be to share my duties with an episcopal college," Bishop Hurford said in the latest edition of Anglican News.
Bishop Hurford said the decision was not a result of a health scare which left him in hospital last year.
"I had actually been thinking about the position since February of last year ... the diocese has had assistant bishops before," he said.
Bishop Hurford said the 215,000 square kilometres of the Bathurst diocese was too much for one person.
"I live in the south-east corner of the diocese and that's part of the reason why I opened an office in Dubbo. I've spent a lot of time there and now Peter will work from there to help assist me with the work of a bishop," Bishop Hurford said.
Anglican News reported the appointment will have "very little financial impact on the diocese".