Melbourne’s Archbishop Philip Freier is to resign in March as Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia after almost six years in the role. Dr Freier is to remain Archbishop of Melbourne, a post he took up in December 2006.
The shock announcement from the Primate’s office on 25 November said Dr Freier would step down on 31 March 2020, before his term was due to expire, and would not seek re-election. He would have been eligible to seek a three-year extension as Primate.
No reason was offered for Archbishop Freier’s decision.
Dr Freier wrote to all Australian Anglican bishops on 25 November to say he would not accept a further term, and that he would conclude on 31 March to allow his successor to prepare for the next General Synod (national parliament) of the Church in Maroochydore, Queensland, from 31 May to 5 June next year.
He had been due to chair the synod.
“I am hopeful that my early advice to you will enable a smooth transition to be made,” he wrote to the bishops.
Melbourne’s Archbishop @ABFreier is to resign as Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia. The shock announcement from his office said Dr Freier would step down on 31 March 2020, before his term was due to expire, and would not seek re-election. https://t.co/5e9zrm7xaS pic.twitter.com/1tFG6MCxm7
— Anglican Media Melbourne (@MelbAnglican) November 25, 2019