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Biography of Geoffrey Tremayne Sambell 1914-1980. Archbishop of Perth 1969-1980

Porter, Anne (1990) Biography of Geoffrey Tremayne Sambell 1914-1980. Archbishop of Perth 1969-1980. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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Geoffrey Sambell was a man of passionate determination, whose ambition was to change the Anglican Church of Australia into a welfare-orientated institution which adhered still to its intrinsic spiritual ruthless base. In these attempts he was at times a bully and powerbroker, while at others he was a generous, caring pastor and friend. He was always 'the Boss', sure his opinion was the right one. He lacked social graces; he was afraid of forming close relationships; he did not marry.

This biography the Anglican childhood in places Sambell within the context of Church in Australia. It begins with his Victoria and the early interest in religion that separated him from his siblings and which he took into the commercial world. The years at Ridley College and Melbourne University, then his term as a curate, established his growing determination to face up to social welfare questions in the community. He became an Army chaplain in 1942; hence the care of soldiers was his main concern during the four years that saw him twice in the battle zones in New Guinea. This experience brought an added maturity and self-confidence as well as extending his ability and interest in social concerns. These were among the reasons for his being appointed Director of the Melbourne Diocesan Centre in 1947. There he was responsible for inner-city parishes while developing a team ministry. At the same time he was appointed to the Board of the Brotherhood of St Laurence which was outside diocesan control. The Superior, Father Gerard Tucker, became another influence as Sambell developed his interests from those of social welfare to a concern for social justice. In 1949 he became the Brotherhood's Director of Social Services, increasing the dichotomy in his responsibilities as he rose in the church's hierarchy while influencing the programmes of the Brotherhood and becoming its Director. From 1962, when he was consecrated Coadjutor-Bishop of Melbourne, he was active in the General Synod of Australia where his business acumen was also useful. From 1964 he was increasingly involved in the Anglican Church outside Australia and, after attending the Lambeth Conference, was appointed to the Anglican Consultative Council, members of which represented the world-wide Anglican Communion.

The last decade of his life, as Archbishop of Perth, drew together all his interests, with the addition of Aboriginal welfare, as he restructured the administration of the diocese. He brought it closer to the church in the Eastern States as well as to the Asian churches. He coordinated the diocesan welfare work under Anglican Health and Welfare. The biography concludes with his final illness and the changes this wrought in his relationships with others, be they clergy, friends or the wider public.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Layman, Lenore and Bolton, Geoffrey
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