The Diocese of The Murray was created from the Diocese of Adelaide in 1970, and takes its name from the Murray River, Australia's most important River, which flows through the Diocese before reaching the sea. It was the last new Diocese to be created in Australia.
The commencement of the Diocese was not without concern. The Bishop of Adelaide, in his presidential address to Synod on 1st September 1969, noted that the creation of a new diocese was premature on financial grounds and that the Diocese of Adelaide would be embarrassed by the loss of income from the assessment and the Leigh Trust.
Nevertheless, during the same session of Synod a vote by Orders passed the measure for a new Canon entitled Canon X—Diocese of The Murray (as carried by the Synod on 2nd October 1968). The same session of Synod sought ratification of the formation of the Diocese by General Synod which was due to meet on the 16th of the same month. General Synod ratified the Adelaide Canon. The Election committee met in November 1969 and elected the Rt. Rev Robert George Porter, OBE, Th.L. to be the first Bishop.
At the first Synod of the new Diocese called on the day of the enthronement, 16th April 1970, the name of the Diocese, The Murray, with a capital “T” came to be used and has remained so since then. Financial difficulties have not been unknown, but the Diocese acknowledges with gratitude the share it receives from the Leigh Trust. It also acknowledges the generosity of the people of God within and outside of its borders who have responded wonderfully to appeals for financial assistance in the hard times.
The Diocese today is strong and vibrant and has come a long way since the days of 1970. It contains within its borders some of the fastest growing populations in South Australia and has one of the highest communicant figures in Australia. It has survived the financial hardships and has a firm financial base which maintains the Diocese with lowering of parish assessments over the past two years. We continue to “Give thanks in all circumstance, for this God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18).
Read From the Murray to The Murray: A Brief History of the Diocese for a condensed version of the events leading up to the formation of the Diocese of The Murray by Rev’d Bill Goodes.