About the Church
Our principal source of governance is provided by Synod,
and we conform to policies, canons and statutes.
Our parishes and churches are governed by bylaws, which conform to the policies, canons and statutes of the Anglican Diocese of Perth; our diocese stays within the constitutions of the Anglican Province of Western Australia and the Anglican Church of Australia and we are guided by the tradition, principles and diversity of the global Anglican Communion.
The Anglican Diocese of Perth comprises of 104 parishes and one Cathedral, covering from Perth to Esperance and Eucla. Parishes are led by a Council of elected and appointed members, who with the ordained leaders, shape the mission of the local church community.
Each parish covers a defined geographical territory, and usually has one or more church buildings in which worship is conducted.
As part of our Anglican heritage, a parish has a spiritual responsibility towards everyone who lives or works within its neighbourhood, although people often travel across parish boundaries to the place where they find their sense of belonging.
In the Diocese of Perth, some parishes are the size of a few inner-city blocks, while others, in remote and rural areas, are the size of small European countries. Responding to new circumstances, a parish or ‘worshipping community’ may have a non-geographical identity, such as the Sudanese Worshipping Community which gathers at Holy Trinity Malaga. Close ecumenical ties make cooperating parishes possible, such as St Peter and Emmaus, Mt Hawthorn, a combined Anglican-Uniting Church parish.
Together, our diocese is Episcopally led by a Bishop and Synodically governed under national and provincial Constitutions. Our diocese includes the Metropolitical See (Perth) which supports and guides the Anglican Province of Western Australia, which includes the dioceses of Bunbury and North West Australia. The Province of Western Australia has its own Constitution, which allows inter alia for the establishment of a Provincial Council and outlines the process for appointing the Metropolitan See. Provincial Council generally meets twice per year in March and September.
As a Metropolitical diocese, Perth’s diocesan Bishop is referred to as the Archbishop, The Most Reverend Kay Goldsworthy AO, who is currently assisted in episcopal leadership by an Assistant Bishop, The Right Reverend Kate Wilmot. The Archbishop is responsible for:
- ordination of priests and deacons
- consecration and investment of assistant bishops
- consecration of churches
- induction and licensing of clergy
- oversight of the clergy and
- appointment of officers in the Diocese.
The Archbishop is elected by a committee appointed by Synod, the parliament of the diocese. Synod meets annually to pass legislation and transact other business related to the governance of the Diocese of Perth.
The Diocesan Council has carriage of the business of Synod between sessions; as well as providing advice and assistance to the Archbishop on a range of matters including the temporal or business affairs of the Diocese.
The Perth Diocesan Trustees has responsibility for property and assets within the Diocese. The Trustees ensure that diocesan and parish properties are properly maintained and used in an optimum way, develop investment policy, and provide oversight of the management of trust funds. The governance of the Diocese is supported by the staff of the Diocesan Office, including the Diocesan Secretary, Chief Financial Officer, Operations Manager and Property Manager.
Other committees, commissions and boards take responsibility for ministries or tasks, as delegated by the Synod, Diocesan Council, Trustees or the Archbishop.
Nationally, the Diocese of the Perth is one of twenty-three dioceses of the Anglican Church of Australia. Elected representatives gather at the General Synod (national parliament) under the support and guidance of The Primate. One of the functions of the General Synod is to make canons and rules relating to the order and good government of this Church in respect of ritual, ceremonial and discipline. We also come together as Australians of faith with the opportunity to consider how we relate to each other as a fellow Christians in one national community. We have the chance to chart how we might be faithful in this society, in terms of its spiritual, moral and social welfare, for the time ahead.