Head of Australia's Anglican church to step down early

The Anglican Primate of Australia, Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier, has announced that he will step down on March 31, 2020, before his term was due to expire, and will not seek re-election.

Archbishop Freier, who has served a six-year term as head of the Anglican Church in Australia, will continue as the Archbishop of Melbourne, a role he has held since 2006.

Archbishop Freier today wrote to all Australian Anglican bishops to say he would not accept a further term, and that he would conclude on March 31 to allow his successor to prepare for the next national synod (parliament). This will take place in Maroochydore, Queensland, from May 31 to June 5 next year.

Archbishop Freier was 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.

A telephone conference of the Board of Electors is scheduled for December 23, and the board will meet on March 14.