29 June 2014

Archbishop Phillip Freier elected next Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia

The Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Revd Philip Freier, has been elected Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia.

The Primate (pronounced 'PRY-muht') is often described as the 'spiritual leader' of Australian Anglicans. He or she does not hold any additional authority in the Anglican Church through being named Primate, but does play an important symbolic unifying role and often acts as spokesperson on national matters.

Born in 1955 in Brisbane, Philip Freier worked as a science teacher for seven years before training for the ministry at Melbourne College of Divinity. He received a PhD degree in History from James Cook University. After ordination he worked in Queensland until 1999, when he was elected as the Bishop of the Northern Territory. In 2006, he was elected Archbishop of Melbourne. He and his wife Elizabeth have two children and three grandchildren.

A champion of social justice issues and frequent critic of the government, Archbishop Freier is a supporter of women’s ordination, but holds traditional views on marriage and human sexuality.

Archbishop Freier succeeds Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, the Archbishop of Brisbane, as Primate. Dr. Aspinall stepped down from the post earlier this month after nine years in office.

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