06 Aug Statement on the recent developments in the Diocese
Dear beloved congregation,
We write this message in our capacity as the newly appointed Public Affairs & Communications Committee. Apologies it has taken us a while to communicate with you. It has taken us some time to regain access to the Diocese’s communication channels. It is our intention to share approved Diocese news and updates, under the direction and guidance of His Eminence Metropolitan Tadros and the Interim Board of Trustees.
With that in mind, we wish to provide you with an update of what’s been happening in the Diocese over the past few months.
As you are aware, under the directions of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and HE Metropolitan Tadros, an interim Board of Trustees for the Diocese was appointed in February 2020 to administer all affairs of the Diocese.
During this time, the interim Board has undertaken a number of initiatives to reform the Diocese and put measures in place that will position it for both stability and growth, with the grace of God. These measures include the following:
- Initiated the process to amend the Coptic Orthodox Church (NSW) Property Trust Act 1990 and the Coptic Orthodox Church Constitution so that decisions under these instruments must only be taken by a Board of Trustees, not a sole Trustee;
- Appointment of a new, interim Finance Committee, who are currently undertaking a full and thorough review of all financial affairs of the Diocese;
- Restructuring the Diocese Head office, with the appointment of a new Business Manager for the Diocese;
- Restructuring the Coptic Education Board for overarching oversight and macro-management of all Coptic colleges and establishing local committees for each of the colleges for individual college management;
- Establishment of a new Public Affairs & Communications Committee, tasked to be the main communication point between the Diocese and the congregation, passing on all approved news and updates of the Diocese through social media and direct communication channels (eg text, email), on behalf of the Board of Trustees; and
- Cooperation (ongoing) with both State and Federal government authorities to ensure compliance with various laws and regulations.
The interim Board is also working on the establishment of a dedicated “Property Committee” to undertake a review of all property trust properties that are not zoned as “religious” and to define the market value of these assets.
We are grateful for the love and guidance of HE Metropolitan Tadros in implementing the above measures and thank the interim Board for their hard work and dedication in rolling out these changes to date.
We also thank God for the safe return of His Grace Bishop Daniel, whose prayers and blessings will be well received by the Churches and congregation of the Diocese. In accordance with the directions of our beloved Pope, HG Bishop Daniel will shepherd his flock in a spiritual capacity only. All financial and administrative matters will continue to be managed by the interim Board of Trustees, under the direction of HE Metropolitan Tadros, until further notice.
We understand there have been differences of opinion amongst our congregation regarding the direction of our Diocese. We humbly make this request: We are all members of the Body of Christ. Now is the time to put our differences aside, treat each other with love and respect and unite for the betterment of our Diocese, our Churches and our community as a whole.
Please continue to pray that God will guide and protect our Diocese for the glory of His name.
Public Affairs & Communications Committee (PACC)
Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Sydney & Affiliated Regions