Anglican Diocese of Perth

The Anglican Diocese of Perth is one of the 23 dioceses of the Anglican Church of Australia. The constitution of the Diocese of Perth was passed and adopted in 1872 at the first synod held in Western Australia. In 1914, the Province of Western Australia was created and the diocesan bishop of Perth became ex officio metropolitan bishop of the new province and therefore also an archbishop.

Diocese of Perth
Coat of arms of the Diocese
Coat of arms
Ecclesiastical provinceWestern Australia
MetropolitanArchbishop of Perth
  • Church House
  • Level 5
  • 3 Pier Street
  • Perth WA 6000
Established11 January 1856 (1856-01-11)
CathedralSt George's Cathedral, Perth
Current leadership
Parent churchAnglican Church of Australia
Diocese of Perth

The diocese incorporates the southern part of the state of Western Australia and includes the Christmas and Cocos Islands. The other dioceses in the Anglican Province of Western Australia are the Diocese of Bunbury and the Diocese of North West Australia.


Diocesan logo

The diocese has traditionally had a variety of churchmanship and in recent years has largely moved toward a more liberal and moderate Catholic style. There are, however, parishes and clergy representative of all the main Anglican traditions.

On 10 February 2018, Kay Goldsworthy became the first female archbishop in the Anglican Communion on her installation to the archdiocese.

Administrative historyEdit

The Perth diocese, like all Australian dioceses, has had administrative procedures dealt with by the diocesan trustees. A range of other sub-committees of the diocese handle broader issues. The trustees were known in earlier times as the Trustees of Church Property.[1]

The relationship of the church and government is not just from the proximity of the cathedral to government house. The land ownership and provision of favourable conditions for the diocese has occurred since establishment of the colony.[2] The Diocesan Trustees and Diocesan Council are regularly observed to deal with significant land and building projects in the history of Perth.[3]

In 1866, there were two archdeaconries: James Brown was Archdeacon of Perth and H. B. Thornhill of Geraldton.[4]


In the early 2000s the diocese had a large group of Anglo-Catholics from the parish of St Patricks Mt Lawley under the leadership of the then parish priest and high-ranking member of the diocesan clergy, Harry Entwistle, leave to join with another community of the Traditional Anglican Communion which later entered into the Catholic Church as a community of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross,[5] St Ninians and St Chads based in Mt Lawley. The Personal Ordinariates were created for Anglicans to enter into the Catholic Church and retain many elements of Anglican worship and spirituality, while accepting all doctrines of the Catholic Church. The group cited persecution and on going doctrinal issues for their leaving.

As a more liberal diocese, the region voted to recognise same-gender relationships in 2013.[6] While Archbishop Roger Herft vetoed the motion, he did say that "what we have in the Diocese of course is a number of people in same-sex relationships amongst the clergy and amongst the laity and we have always said that people of all forms of sexuality and orientation are welcome."[7] In a statement on human sexuality, Archbishop Herft confirmed that "there are gay and lesbian clergy serving in the priesthood. They are licensed by me and are honoured and respected as priests..."[8] In April 2016, St Andrew's Church within the diocese blessed a same-sex couple's relationship.[9] In 2019, the Diocese voted to no longer prohibit clergy form sexual relationships outside of marriage.[10]

The cathedral church of the diocese is St George's Cathedral, Perth.

Bishops and archbishops of PerthEdit

Bishops of Perth
From Until Incumbent Notes
1857 1875 Mathew Hale Transferred to Brisbane.
1876 1893 Henry Parry Died in office.
1894 1914 Charles Riley Became Archbishop of Perth.
Archbishops of Perth
1914 1929 Charles Riley Previously Bishop of Perth; died in office.
1929 1946 Henry Le Fanu Previously coadjutor bishop in Brisbane; elected Primate of Australia in 1935; died in office.
1947 1962 Robert Moline
1963 1969 George Appleton Transferred to Jerusalem.
1969 1980 Geoffrey Sambell Previously coadjutor bishop in Melbourne; died in office.
1981 2004 Peter Carnley Elected Primate of Australia in 1999.
2005 2017 Roger Herft Previously Bishop of Waikato and then of Newcastle.
2018 present Kay Goldsworthy Previously Assistant Bishop of Perth and then Bishop of Gippsland

Assistant bishopsEdit

Assistant bishops of Perth
From Until Incumbent Notes
1957 1963 Robert Freeth, Assistant Bishop of Perth [11]
1964 aft. 1977 Brian Macdonald, bishop coadjutor [12] Thomas Brian Macdonald; previously Dean of Perth (1959–1961)[13] and Archdeacon of Perth, 1961 to 1967[14]
1972 1978 Alfred Holland, Assistant Bishop of Perth Translated to Newcastle
1974 1975 Denis Bryant, Assistant Bishop of Perth Archdeacon of Northam;[15] former Bishop of Kalgoorlie
1978 1999 Michael Challen, Assistant Bishop of Perth [16] Previously archdeacon.
1979 1981/2 Vernon Cornish, Assistant Bishop of Perth see Bishop of Tasmania § Vernon Cornish
1982 1993 Brian Kyme, Assistant Bishop of Perth [17]
1988 1992 Ben Wright, Assistant Bishop of Perth, Goldfields Country Region [18] Subsequently, Bishop of Bendigo 1992-1993
1995 1998 Philip Huggins, regional bishop Became Bishop of Grafton
1998[19] 2005[20] Brian Farran, Assistant Bishop of Perth, Goldfields Country Region Became Bishop of the Northern Region;[21] translated to Newcastle.
1991 2006 David Murray, Bishop of the Southern Region[22]
1998 2003 Gerald Beaumont, Assistant Bishop of Perth, Goldfields Country Region Subsequently, Vicar of St John's, Camberwell, VIC[23]
2004 2006 Tom Wilmot, Assistant Bishop of Perth, Goldfields Country Region Translated between regions.
2007 2016[24] Tom Wilmot, Assistant Bishop of Perth, Eastern and Rural Region
2006 2008 Mark Burton, Bishop of the Northern Region [25] Became Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne
2008 2015 Kay Goldsworthy, Assistant Bishop of Perth Became Bishop of Gippsland 2015–2017; elected Archbishop of Perth, August 2017.[26]
2014 current Jeremy James, Assistant Bishop of Perth
2015 current Kate Wilmot, Assistant Bishop of Perth

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Perth Diocesan Synod". The Daily News. III (287). Perth, Western Australia. 18 September 1884. p. 3. Retrieved 18 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ "Diocesan Trustees Land Bill". Western Argus. 23 (5066). Western Australia. 10 December 1918. p. 13. Retrieved 18 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ Melville, William Ian; University of Western Australia. Graduate School of Education (2006), An historical analysis of the structures established for the provision of Anglican schools in the diocese of Perth, Western Australia between 1917 and 1992, retrieved 18 March 2017
  4. ^ The Clergy List for 1866 (London: George Cox, 1866) p. 465
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Perth Anglicans vote to recognise same-sex relationships". ABC News. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Archbishop rejects formal recognition of same-sex relationships". ABC News. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  8. ^ Herft, Roger (8 October 2010). "Synod Motion - Human Sexuality" (PDF). Anglican Diocese of Perth. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Anglican priest running LGBTI parish service in Perth". ABC News. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  10. ^ Ould, David (15 October 2019). "Diocese of Perth approves extra-marital sex for clergy and church workers". Anglican Ink © 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  11. ^ Freeth Family – Robert Evelyn Freeth
  12. ^ Presidential Address to the Second General Synod, 1966 Archived September 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Library of West Australian History – Perth Cathedral
  14. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory 1980-82 p 636 London: Oxford University Press, 1983 ISBN 0-19-200010-1
  15. ^ "deaths: Bryant". Church Times (#7431). 12 August 2005. p. 24. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 29 August 2019 – via UK Press Online archives.
  16. ^ "Michael Challen biography" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  17. ^ Anglican Diocese of Bunbury – John Ramsdon Archived August 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (contemporary of ++Peter Perth, +Michael Challen and +Gerald NW Australia)
  18. ^ Bidding farewell to Bishop Ben Archived March 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Northern Region – Bishop Archived March 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Newcastle Anglican – Bishop Brian Archived October 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Letter from Australia – Yesterday's Men
  22. ^ Anglican Religious Communities – Organisations
  23. ^ The Australian Anglican Directory
  24. ^ Wilmot, Kate (29 October 2016). "The President's Address: Second Session of the Forty-Ninth Synod of the Diocese of Perth" (PDF). Anglican Diocese of Perth. Anglican Diocese of Perth. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  25. ^ Bishop to lead Melbourne Cathedral
  26. ^

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 31°57′20.51″S 115°51′40.31″E / 31.9556972°S 115.8611972°E / -31.9556972; 115.8611972