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On a mercifully mild and golden summer day, Saturday 17th February, former Assistant Bishop of this Diocese, Matt Brain, was installed as the 10th Bishop of Bendigo, in a service held in the recently refurbished St Paul’s Cathedral.

The Vicar General of Bendigo, The Very Reverend John Roundhill, welcomed those gathered, acknowledging that Bendigo’s joy comes as a loss to Canberra and Goulburn, before beginning:

‘We offer God our thanksgiving, we turn to God in repentance, we seek Christ’s grace and blessing and the guidance of the Holy Spirit for all that lies ahead.

With the arrival of Bishop Matt Brain we begin a new era in the life of the Church in this Diocese. Pray that it will be a time of flourishing and grace as we continue to grow together in Christ into the fullness of human life and invite others to go with us on the journey.’

Bishop Stuart Robinson and Trevor Ament, Registrar, as representatives of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, presented Bishop Matt to the Diocese of Bendigo, with the words ‘We thank God for Matthew’s ministry among us, and pray that he will be welcomed and loved here’.

In his inaugural sermon on the lectionary texts Matthew 2:13-18 and 1 John 1:5-2:2, Bishop Matt preached that it was from the terrible story in Matthew 2 and the paired Epistle that we find God’s call for our future: to be people both of humility and hope.

He concluded by exhorting those gathered:

‘Friends, just as the call to take seriously, to participate in God’s light is a high call, the joyful reality of the way being made for us to do so is an expansive call …

… We live in an exciting time to be God’s people, to be God’s church. The demands upon us that bring us low are also a grace for us so that we may be a people of humility, desperate to experience provision through Jesus … and in doing so holding out hope to a world in despairing need.’

Bishop Matt came to the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn in 2010 from the Diocese of North West Australia. In 2013 he became Director of Parish Support, Chaplaincy and Mission and was consecrated as Assistant Bishop in 2015, taking up the further responsibility for Ministry Training and Development. He and his family will be greatly missed by Canberra and Goulburn.

Dear Colleagues in Christ,

I’ve just returned from Bendigo diocese where – along with Mr Trevor Ament, I had the privilege of ‘presenting’ +Matt to his new diocese. It was a packed and jubilant cathedral!

Below is a photograph of the beautiful Huon pine music stand that is the gift for +Matt from us all. It has pride of place in his new office along with the cards signed by various groups in the Diocese.

Warmly and gratefully,

by Alison Payne