From the Archbishop
Assistant Bishops of Perth
The Most Revd Kay Goldsworthy AO, Archbishop
Since January this year the Diocese has been prayerfully supporting the Episcopal Office, especially Bishop Kate and myself, in the life and ministry of the Diocese of Perth as we have been considering our mission and ministry needs moving forward.
Your prayers have been appreciated and I have been deeply aware of being held through some long hours and complex situations over these past eight months. The great and exciting news of the appointment of two new Assistant Bishops of Perth was announced on 10 August 2023.
The Venerable David Bassett from the Diocese of Adelaide. David is the Assistant to the Primate and Archdeacon of Adelaide and the Port. David is married to Susan, and they have two adult children, a daughter and a son. David was ordained in the Diocese of North West Australia. He has served in schools and parishes there and in Melbourne and Adelaide.
The Reverend Hans Christiansen is the Senior Chaplain at Melbourne Grammar School, a role he has had for 10 years. Hans is married to Ruth, and they have two adult sons. Hans was ordained in the Diocese of Melbourne after moving to Australia from Denmark. His ministry has been in both parishes and schools, with a greater emphasis on Anglican schooling and chaplaincy.
As part of the re-structuring and in response to the needs that have been discerned for our life together the bishops will, in addition to a geographic area of immediate pastoral oversight, hold a portfolio. This will allow for the Episcopal Team to not only respond to matters of pastoral concern and mission planning, but also enable each to give good time to areas of growth and forward ministry planning. Bishop Kate will hold the portfolio for rural and regional mission.
The Venerable David Bassett will focus on parish mission and growth particularly in the first instance in relation to those parishes which are seeking new direction, looking to partner with neighbouring parishes or other entities to strengthen their capacity for ministry.
The Reverend Hans Christensen will take on a particular role alongside schools, supporting them, especially chaplains, in whatever way is possible for the ongoing strengthening of their Anglican Identity, in the school-parish relationships, and alongside their mission. We often hear of the lack of young people in our parishes but realise that we have close to 20,000 children and young people in our schools, which all welcome our prayerful and practical support of their life.
David and Hans are two very different people who will bring different and diverse gifts to the life of the Diocese and for our ministry. The exhortation in the ordinal begins, “A bishop is called to maintain the Church’s witness to the resurrection of Christ from the dead, to protect the purity of the gospel, and to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord”.
In the Diocese of Perth this part of Episcopal ministry and life is exercised on both the fringes of the Church, in gatherings of those who sometimes or never encounter us on Sunday mornings, as well as in the heart of those communities which make up the Diocese of Perth. Bishops are often the public evangelistic voice of Jesus, speaking in churches, schools, agencies of care and social service and community gatherings in the public square.
In order to reach out and shepherd the diverse, broad and comprehensive body which is the Diocese of Perth I believe that these two appointments will assist us all as we continue growing, taking our place in Christ’s resurrection community, running together with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking together to our Lord Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Learn a little more about The Venerable David Bassett and The Reverend Hans Christiansen from this series of short videos over the next few weeks, as we anticipate their ministry among us.