Moderator’s Conversation with Riverina Presbytery re Assembly Same Gender Marriage Proposals.

Rev. Simon Hansford – Moderator NSW ACT Synod

On Friday 15th June, Pilgrim Uniting Church in Wagga Wagga hosted the NSW/ACT Moderator, Rev. Simon Hansford. He came for the day to hold a conversation on the subject of Same Gender Marriage – in particular the proposals that will be an Agenda item at Assembly next month. This was the Moderator’s 8th contact with Presbyteries throughout the Synod and he is hoping to meet with the remaining six before Assembly gathers in Melbourne in the second week of July.

On a rather bleak winter’s day, it was encouraging to see more than 50 people attend the gathering and 8 congregations of the Presbytery were represented. The Moderator adopted a worship model in his conversation, encouraging a spirit of good will and Christian kinship among those at the meeting in dealing with what he himself said is a very hard matter to discuss. However his open and friendly manner was warmly appreciated by all those in attendance.

The Moderator introduced the four Assembly Proposals and spoke briefly to each of them. [Details of these proposals can be found in the May Pastoral Letter emailed at the end of last month]These proposals will be discussed at Assembly and it is possible that there may be other proposals put to the July meeting. The Rev. Hansford also mentioned that Assembly may move to adopt a policy of “concurrence”, where any decision made by Assembly is circulated among the wider church for their responses within a certain time frame.

The Moderator will be visiting the Riverina in August, to attend the Presbytery meeting (18th August at Leeton) and then to spend a week travelling widely throughout the Presbytery. This will give people another opportunity to meet Rev Simon Hansford and, if they wish, ask further questions about the Assembly decisions, which incidentally not only relate to Same Gender Marriage but also to equally important issues such as Domestic Violence and Sovereignty for our First Peoples.

Between now and Assembly, the Moderator welcomes people communicating with him on any issue that is to be raised at Assembly.
He can be contacted via his email address:

Andrew Thornley – Presbytery Chairperson, 16 June 2018.