“We have lost a great champion for the gospel, for evangelism and for healthy churches engaged in ministry and mission,” said Archbishop Glenn Davies. “Our Diocese has lost a faithful bishop and teacher of God’s word. I have lost a good friend and loyal colleague. Virginia and her family have lost a loving husband, father and grandfather.”
Bishop Lee was the first Bishop of Chinese descent in Sydney Diocese and only the second in Australia. He served a record 17 years as Bishop of Western Sydney after his consecration in 2003. Even though his successor, Gary Koo, was appointed last year, he continued to serve as Bishop for Evangelism and Church Growth until he was forced to go into hospital in January.
Speaking to Southern Cross last year, Bishop Lee reflected on the fact that the cancer had been in remission after his initial operation and chemotherapy in 2015, until it reappeared in 2019.
“That’s a pretty good run,” he said at the time, adding that people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer “typically last months, not years… so it’s quite a blessing (to be given that time)”.
One such event took place just over 16 years ago, and it was also here, in Parramatta. I wonder if +David Mulready will be here tonight? No doubt we will see +Ivan Lee – today is the 17th anniversary of his consecration. The outgoing Bishop of Western Sydney. pic.twitter.com/5U2ULMir5Y
— AustralianAnglican (@AustAnglican) December 20, 2019