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Latest Cathedral News

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Anglican Archbishops Express Concern at Children in Detention

The Anglican Archbishops in Australia will commence Holy Week with a call for more humane treatment of refugees, particularly children in detention.

The Archbishops have released the following statement deploring the fact that recent figures suggest that around a thousand children will spend Easter in Australian sponsored detention.

As leaders of the Anglican Church of Australia we wish to put on record our profound disquiet that at the end of February this year there were more than 950 children in detention facilities and alternative places of detention in Australia, and a further 177 children in offshore detention in Nauru. The average time people spend in detention is more than eight months.

While our Federal Government has been drawing attention to the number of days without boat arrivals, this is another set of numbers that needs close scrutiny. These children are innocent victims of tragic circumstances. To use the words of the UN Charter on the Rights of the Child, detention of children should be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate time.

As church leaders, we are not seeking to express a party political opinion on this matter. Within our Church there is grave disquiet about the asylum seeker policies of both major parties.

It is our view that those who flee from desperate circumstances by boat should not be punished by prolonged detention whether in Australia, Nauru or Manus Island. They are not the people smugglers. They are people made in the image of God, who deserve respect from all Australians, but especially our Government and its agencies. They come to Australia out of desperation, fleeing religious, ethnic or economic persecution. They seek asylum under the Refugee Convention that as a nation we have signed. Many will be found to be refugees, as the Government’s own statistics demonstrate.

We call on the Australian Government to ensure that asylum seekers are treated humanely and respectfully by those charged with their care and protection, and that they are attended to in a timely manner.

The Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall Primate and Metropolitan of Queensland


The Most Reverend Dr Glenn Davies Metropolitan of New South Wales


The Most Reverend Dr Jeffrey Driver Metropolitan of South Australia


The Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier Metropolitan of Victoria


The Right Reverend John Harrower OAM Bishop of Tasmania


The Most Reverend Roger Herft AM Metropolitan of Western Australia


Funeral Service for The Venerable (Henry) St John Edwards

The Funeral Service to celebrate St John’s life will be held in the Cathedral Church of St John the Evangelist, Brisbane, at 14:00, on Wednesday 23 April 2014.

Parking will not be available in the cathedral grounds, parking vouchers for Cathedral Square car park will be available from Cathedral reception at a cost of $25.

Non-officiating clergy are asked not to robe.


Reflecting on the Ignatian Suscipe

Homily offered by The Venerable Valerie Hoare at The Eucharist of The Oils on Tuesday 15th April 2014.

Download here.

Cathedral vetoes chocolate Easter eggs due to ‘slavery’ concerns

The only chocolate egg to be seen at St John’s Cathedral this Easter will be pictured on the notice board.

Although the Anglican Church supports chocolate eggs at Easter, the Dean, Dr Peter Catt, said today that the Cathedral would not distribute eggs to worshippers on Easter Day – due to child slavery concerns.

“I made the decision after a fruitless search for chocolate eggs that are certified ‘slavery-free’,’’ he said.

“Much of the world’s cocoa is produced by child slaves. It is the dark side of the chocolate industry.

“Chocolate that is certified by Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ is guaranteed to be slavery free. “Unfortunately there is not much of it around and what little there is of it can be very expensive.”

Dr Catt said having only expensive certified eggs in the marketplace created the idea that the public cannot afford to avoid chocolate that might be produced by child slaves.

“This just isn’t true,” Dr Catt said.

“In the UK and Europe public sensitivity to the issue has seen large amounts of certified product become available with very little increases in price.

“I am deeply concerned that Australian manufacturers and retailers are dragging the chain. Some have made the switch on a number of their products, but this has not carried over to their Easter product range.

“Easter is a celebration of life. We can’t in all conscience enjoy that celebration at the expense of children in other parts of the world,” he said.

“We hope that by Easter next year, some retailers will embrace the simple ethical response that is open to them.”

The Anglican Church of Southern Queensland is a member of The Stop the Traffik Coalition which exists to end slavery world-wide. More on the work of Stop the Traffik can be found at: http://www.stopthetraffik.org/australia

Media contact

John Austin Mob 0401 759 073

And the Cream of All my Heart

A homily on using the sign of the cross offered by The Dean for Palm Sunday, 13th April 2014.

Download here.

St John's Cathedral, 373 Ann Street, Brisbane, Qld, Australia. Open for visitors from 9.30am-4.30pm daily.