THE Anglican Bishop of Bendigo Andrew Curnow AM has announced he will resign from the position by the end of 2017.
The decision will bring to an end his role as the leader of the diocese for almost 15 years – the longest serving diocesan bishop in Australia.
The announcement was made on Sunday morning to parishes across the Bendigo diocese, which stretches from Woodend to Mildura, and east to Mooroopna.
Bishop Curnow said the Bendigo diocese had been on a journey of transformation since he became bishop in 2003.
“I came 10 years after Girton Grammar School was sold, and the diocese was still recovering,” he said.
“It’s taken a lot of work to rebuild the diocese.”
Originally from Bendigo, he took the unprecedented step of later becoming the bishop of his own region.
Bishop Curnow was ordained in 1973 at the All Saints Cathedral on Forest Street, and served in parishes in Elmore and Lockington.
He gained his Master of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia, in 1980 and became the director of Council for Christian Education and Schools – ACCESS ministries.
Bishop Curnow served as the rector of St George’s Malvern from 1989 to 1994.
He was consecrated in 1994 by Archbishop Keith Rayner and became the assistant bishop of Melbourne, with responsibility for the northern region.
In 2003, he returned to his hometown of Bendigo to become bishop.
In that time he was instrumental in the merger between St Luke’s Bendigo and Anglicare, increasing the scope of the social welfare agency.
Bishop Curnow was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in late 2012 for his service to the Anglican Church of Australia through leadership roles.
He will resign as Bishop of Bendigo in November, before beginning a “journey of discovery” in retirement.
“I was ordained nearly 45 years ago. I’ve never done anything but ministry,” Bishop Curnow said.