Australia’s first indigenous Dean at St Peter’s Adelaide

Anglican Diocese of Adelaide

Anglican Bishop Chris McLeod has been appointed Dean of St Peter’s Cathedral in Adelaide, the first indigenous person to hold the position.

It is the latest milestone for Bishop Chris, a Gurindji man whose mother was a member of the Stolen Generations.

He was ordained as Assistant Bishop of Adealide in 2015, becoming South Australia’s first and Australia’s third Aboriginal Anglican bishop.

“I am delighted to be serving the Cathedral, the Diocese of Adelaide, and the people of Adelaide in this capacity,” says Bishop Chris.

“The Cathedral is a people’s church, and an iconic part of Adelaide. I look forward to working with the Cathedral in strengthening our service to the community, especially with the First Nations’ people of Adelaide.

“I hope I can further assist the church in acknowledging and rejoicing in the First Nations’ heritage of this land, and to address the Church’s role in the harm done to my people.

“At the heart of the Cathedral’s ministry is the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ, bringing healing and reconciliation to all,” says Bishop Chris.

The Archbishop of Adelaide, Geoff Smith, said he was delighted Bishop Chris had accepted the role.

“He is a wonderful choice,” says Archbishop Geoff. “He is well-known and popular in the Adelaide Diocese, having previously been a parish priest in Brighton.

“But he is also well-known nationally and brings the experience of 20 years of ministry among and beside Aboriginal people in Anglican orders.

“His life prepares him to serve the spiritual needs of the Cathedral community, while strengthening ties between the church and Aboriginal communities.”

Bishop Chris will retain his role as National Aboriginal Bishop.

The Dean is the senior member of clergy at the Cathedral responsible for its administration as well as outreach to the Diocese and the community.

St Peter’s Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Adelaide, but also a vibrant parish. The Cathedral celebrated its 150th year in 2019.

The Diocese of Adelaide is situated on the traditional lands of the Kaurna, Peramangk and Ngadjuri people and includes most of greater Adelaide, the Barossa Valley to the north, the Western fringe of the Adelaide Hills, and Kangaroo Island. The Diocese includes 59 parishes, 10 Anglican schools, and the community services agency, AnglicareSA.

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