Just over eight months after Ian Palmer's retirement, the Right Reverend Mark Calder was recently appointed as the new bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst and he has a big hope for the region.
Rev Calder was installed as bishop on Saturday, November 23, at the All Saints Cathedral, following his consecration at Sydney's St Andrew's Cathedral on Thursday, November 21, by Archbishop of Sydney, Glen Davies.
And just a week into his new rule, he's made his number one goal as new bishop clear for all.
"My number one goal is that the good news of Jesus is shared across the diocese," he said.
"A part of my new role is to inspire and equip clergy to do that well [sharing Jesus] in their own area. I want to inspire them to make that their passion."
Rev Calder arrived in Bathurst after a decade as Rector of the Anglican Church of Noosa in Queensland.
"It was huge [moving interstate] but I was up for a new challenge," he said.
"I think I needed a fresh chapter and I really enjoy the challenges and differences in something new.
"Coming to Bathurst, I'm really enjoying the challenges and freshness and opportunities that a new position throws at you."
And the 60-year-old is well aware of some of the challenges that he'll face in the coming years, but he's still keen for what lies ahead.
"I think the challenges will be getting to everybody, given the vast distance [of the diocese]. It goes right up to the Queensland border, as far west as Cobar and as far south as West Wyalong. It's huge," he said.
"Challenges will be a lack of resources, because the diocese has been through some hard times in recent years.
"There's also been challenges thrown up by the drought, which means people have left little towns and villages, which means churches are struggling.
"And there's challenges because of the whole sadness of the clergy abuse, which we're still addressing."
Despite these challenges, Rev Calder said there are some fantastic opportunities.
"To be able to share the best news there is of Jesus with people in a time of need is a joy and privilege," he said.
"Our churches have to be welcoming, open, friendly and the services have to be accessible. The best way to bring about change is to be better communicators of the gospel and teachers of the Bible."
Rev Calder was born in Broken Hill and grew up in Sydney, before attending theological college from 1984 to 1987.
He then served as an assistant minister at Lalor Park and North Sydney prior to his appointment as rector of St Andrew's at Roseville in 1991.
He would hold that position at Roseville for the next 18 years before he made the move north to Queensland.
He's married to Susan and the two celebrated 30 years of marriage in July, earlier this year.
They have three children - Philip (married to Sidney), Emily (married to Anthony) and Michael - as well as being grandparents to Emily and Anthony's children three-year-old Mackenzie and one-year-old Charlie.
Rev Calder explained that his new position as bishop was a role that he was approached for.
"The diocese approached me, asking whether I'd like my name to go into the mix and my wife and I thought we should be open to what God thought he'd be calling us to do," he said.
And he's already describing his new city as a "beautiful place".
"I love that you can see such beautiful views and hills," he said.
"The fact that it's a city but not clogged and full of traffic or super busy, is great."
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