​Bishop John Parkes.


Bishop John Parkes of Wangaratta has been elected to the Anglican Church of Australia’s highest court, the Appellate Tribunal, succeeding the retired bishop of Armidale in New South Wales, Bishop Peter Brain.
The former barrister, who has led Anglicans in north-eastern Victoria since 2008, was elected by members of General Synod’s House of Clergy. The result was 39 votes to 26 cast for Bishop Brain’s successor in Armidale, Bishop Rick Lewers.
Bishop Parkes, 63 this year, was priested for Canberra and Goulburn diocese in 1990 and has served on the General Synod Standing Committee and the Church Law Commission.
He was assistant Bishop of Brisbane and Archbishop’s Commissary there from 2007-08, and Dean of St John’s Cathedral in the Queensland capital from 2004-07. Earlier, he had been Rector of All Saints’ Church in the Canberra suburb of Ainslie from 1998-2004, Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture in 2001-02, Archdeacon of Canberra South (1998-2001) and had worked as a priest in rural NSW centres of Orange, Wellington and Young from 1991-98.
The Appellate Tribunal rules on questions referred to it involving faith, ritual, ceremonial or disciplinary matters in the Anglican Church of Australia. It also determines appeals by the Special Tribunal (which handles charges brought against diocesan bishops or assistant bishops to the Primate) or diocesan and provincial tribunals.
Its seven members, elected by General Synod, consist of three diocesan bishops and four lay people, the latter of whom need to be both a qualified lay representative of a diocese as well as a judge or as a practising barrister or solicitor.
The tribunal is chaired by Mr Justice Keith Mason of New South Wales, with Mr Maxwell Horton, Chancellor of the Diocese of the Northern Territory, as its Deputy President. The Primate, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall of Brisbane, and Archbishop Roger Herft of Perth are the other two diocesan bishops on the panel, while the remaining lay members are Mrs Gillian Davidson of Sydney and Justice Richard Refshauge of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory.

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