TASMANIA’S new Anglican bishop wants to rebuild trust in the church.
Bishop Richard Condie was installed to the role on Saturday at a service in Hobart attended by 700.
One of his first tasks was to meet a victim of child sexual abuse.
‘’I want to stand fully behind the apology that was made by John Harrower, my predecessor, and to continue to issue that apology,’’ Bishop Condie said
‘’We stuffed up very badly in the past and we are very sorry for it.
‘’We want to continue to encourage any victims to come forward and go to the police and we want to take responsibility for it,’’ he said.
Bishop Condie, 50, said the church's reputation had suffered damage ‘’quite rightly’’ from the child sex abuse Royal Commission.
He said after meeting the victim, another victim had contacted him to also meet up.
‘’A victim’s feedback is really helpful,’’ he said.
‘’I understand lots of victim’s don’t want to retell their story, but if they want to tell it, we’re very happy to hear it.’’
Bishop Condie said the church now had strong training and accreditation systems for church workers.
‘’One of my jobs is to rebuild trust and confidence.’’
‘’Churches are full of good, wonderful people who love Jesus.
‘’People love Jesus, but they don’t like the church – we’ve got to fix that.’’
Bishop Condie had been working as a vicar in Melbourne before moving to Tasmania with his wife Helen to take on the role.
He said Australia needed to be more hospitable when it came to refugees.
‘’I don’t think Australia is generous enough in settling refugees,’’ he said.
‘’We sing it in our national anthem, we need to live it.’’
Bishop Condie said he supported a plebiscite on marriage equality.
‘’I think we need to have a respectful debate,’’ he said.
‘’We need to not slag off at each other – at the moment those who hold a conservative view on this are held up as the terrible people.
‘’We want to welcome anybody from any walk of life into our church, it doesn’t matter to me whether you’re gay or anything else, you’re welcome.
‘’But we still think marriage is between a man and a woman,’’ he said.
Bishop Condie will attend a service at Holy Trinity in Launceston on Good Friday
‘’It’s very significant to me that I start this role in the most significant week in the Christian calendar,’’ he said.
‘’The story of resurrection is a story of hope - I want to bring hope to Tasmanians.’’
Bishop Condie replaces John Harrower, who announced his retirement last year after 15 years in the role.