Ivan Lee (bishop)

Ivan Yin Lee (1955/1956 – 4 March 2020)[1][2] was an Australian Anglican bishop. He was an assistant bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney,[3][4] serving from 2003 to 2019 as the Bishop of the Western Region.[5] and then until early 2020, as bishop undertaking a role working on strengthening church growth within the Diocese.[6]

Ivan Yin Lee
Assistant Bishop of the Western Region,
Anglican Diocese of Sydney
ChurchAnglican Church of Australia
DioceseAnglican Diocese of Sydney
PredecessorBrian King
Consecration20 December 2002
by Peter Jensen
Personal details
Died4 March 2020 (aged 63–64)
Alma materMoore Theological College

Lee was appointed in 2002 to replace Bishop Brian King.[1] He was the first Anglican bishop in Australia to have a Chinese ethnic background.[1][7]

Early life and educationEdit

Lee's parents immigrated to Australia from Guangzhou province, China, in the 1950s.[8] Lee describes his family as having been culturally Buddhist; he was excused from mandatory Christian religious instruction at James Cook Boys high school along with other non-Christian students.[8] Lee converted to Christianity at a church-run summer camp and later "horrified" his immigrant parents by taking a year off from medical school at the University of New South Wales to study at Moore Theological College.[8] He completed a theology degree instead of returning to medical school.[8]

Parish ministryEdit

Lee served as a presbyter in Manly, Beverly Hills and Merrylands.[8] He worked for eight years as an assistant minister at St Jude's, Carlton, in Melbourne,[9] then became rector of St Aidan's Church in Hurstville Grove.[8]

Episcopal ministryEdit

Lee was elected as bishop of the Western Region in December 2002 by the Diocese of Sydney's standing committee,[1] and was consecrated as bishop on 20 December 2002.[2]

As bishop, Lee took a traditionalist position on the question of women preaching,[8] and on same-sex marriages, stating that, "We don't hold this position as a matter of mere tradition but as the scriptures dictate."[10][11] Lee was part of the leadership of GAFCON.[12][13]

Lee also took public positions opposing racism and, in particular, criticising the anti-immigration positions taken by Drew Fraser, citing the Bible as his authority that "there is equality between all people".[14]

Lee died on 4 March 2020 after having pancreatic cancer for the previous four years.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Burke, Kelly (19 November 2002). "I'm no nepotist". Sydney Morning Herald. ProQuest 363850132.
  2. ^ a b c Powell, Russell (5 March 2020). ""We have lost a great champion for the gospel"". Sydney Anglicans. Anglican Diocese of Sydney. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  3. ^ "RHAC". Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  4. ^ Sydney Anglican
  5. ^ Western Region Minutes
  6. ^ Powell, Russell (25 October 2019). "New role for Bishop Lee in church growth". Sydney Anglicans. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Chinese-Australian appointed next Anglican Bishop of Western Sydney". Sydney Anglicans. 19 November 2002. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Burke, Kelly (3 January 2003). "Newest bishop prefers saving souls to saving bodies". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  9. ^ Robson, Geoff (6 December 2002). "'I haven't been promoted' says new bishop with eye on front-line". Sydney Anglicans. Anglican Diocese of Sydney. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  10. ^ Shadbolt, Peter (8 October 2004). "Anglican conservatives win gay marriage battle". The Australian. ProQuest 357480300.
  11. ^ "Australian Anglicans oppose pro-gay reforms". Changing Attitude. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  12. ^ Muriel Porter (29 August 2011). "Sydney Anglicans and the threat to world Anglicanism". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  13. ^ Porter, Muriel (2011). Sydney Anglicans and the Threat to World Anglicanism: The Sydney Experiment. Ashgate. p. 160. ISBN 978-1409420279.
  14. ^ Halcrow, Jeremy (1 August 2005). "Next stop - bloodshed?". Sydney Anglicans. Retrieved 2 February 2017.