Sydney Anglican Archbishop defends $1m donation to same-sex marriage campaign
ABC News

ABC News

One of Australia’s most senior Anglicans has defended his diocese’s decision to donate $1 million to the No campaign in the national postal survey on same-sex marriage.

Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies announced the hefty handout during his Presidential Address to the 51st Synod of the Diocese of Sydney on Monday.

The donation drew some sharp criticism, including from ministers within the religion in other parts of Australia.

The Anglican Diocese of Sydney is a founding partner of the Coalition for Marriage, the group leading the No case.

On Wednesday afternoon the Archbishop read a letter to the Synod, which will be sent out to churches, defending the million-dollar donation.

“Some have questioned whether the money would have been better spent on social justice issues — feeding the poor, Sydney’s homeless, refugees etcetera,” Archbishop Davies said.

“The reality is, however, that our participation in the Coalition for Marriage is not at the expense of our commitment to social justice, but because of it.”

He wrote that the best way for Anglicare and other Christian agencies to serve the social good is for them to operate with a Christian ethos.

“A legal recognition of same-sex marriage will significantly affect Anglican bodies who wish to maintain and promote a Christian understanding of marriage in opposition to the law of the land,” he said.

Other senior Anglicans voting yes

The views of Archbishop Davies and the Diocese of Sydney are not shared by some other senior members of the Anglican Church.

Archdeacon of the NSW Central Coast, Father Rod Bower, read the letter and told ABC News he still believes the million-dollar donation was “not a good look”.

“My fear is this donation indicates all Anglicans are part of the No campaign when in fact the majority of Christians and the majority of Anglicans therefore are in favour of marriage equality,” Father Bower said.

“The Diocese of Sydney is free to spend their money however they choose to do so, legally speaking, and I wouldn’t want to interfere, but having said that, in terms of social justice marriage is very important, it is one of the cornerstones of our society.

“From my perspective if I had a million dollars to spend in this area, what I would want to do is use it to support families, no matter what the makeup of that family was.”

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