George Browning (bishop)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bishop George Browning (2016)

George Victor Browning (born 28 September 1942) was the 9th bishop of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn in the Anglican Church of Australia. He was elected on 31 January 1993 and installed on 30 May 1993, and resigned in 1999.


Early life and family[edit]

Browning was born in Brighton, England. His family were dairy farmers in Sussex.


Browning attended Ardingly College and Lewes County Grammar School before moving to Australia in 1960. After working as a jackaroo and stud groom he studied at St John's Theological College, Morpeth, in New South Wales, where he obtained a Licentiate in Theology with first class honours. He was ordained deacon in 1966 and priest in 1967.

Ordained ministry[edit]

Browning became assistant priest in Inverell in 1966, assistant priest at St Peter's Cathedral, Armidale, in 1968, and vicar of Warialda in 1969. In 1973 he became vice-principal of St John's Theological College, Morpeth, and then principal in 1974. In 1976 he became rector of Singleton. He was appointed Archdeacon of the Upper Hunter in 1982. In 1984 he became rector of Woy Woy and Archdeacon of the Central Coast of New South Wales. He was consecrated as a bishop on 21 September 1985 and served as Bishop of the Northern Region in the Diocese of Brisbane until 1992 when he became responsible for the Coastal Region. From 1988 to 1991 he was also principal of St Francis' Theological College, Milton, Queensland.

Browning was elected Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn on 31 January 1993 and installed on 30 May 1993.

In 1999 Browning resigned as Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn.[1][2]

In May 2008 the Bishop of Salisbury, England, licensed him as priest in charge of the Wriggle Valley benefice in the county of Dorset[3][4] where he remained for a year.

Social views[edit]

Following controversy within the Australian Anglican Church, in response to the impending appointment of an openly gay Anglican bishop in the United States, Browning condemned the debate on sexuality as an "appalling," "irrelevant," "pathetic" waste of time.[5]

In 2005, Browning became convenor of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network. In 2007 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Charles Sturt University. The same year he had a public disagreement with Cardinal George Pell on the topic of climate change, saying, "Dr Pell's position on global warming defied scientific consensus and theological imperatives to protect the Earth and its future generations. It also made no sense and would be proven a mistake."[6] In 2011, Browning met with the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, to support a carbon tax. He said his organisation, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, wanted to assist politicians to create good legislation as this is a moral issue,[7][8] however the claimed severity of outcomes, following a failure to adequately respond, has been criticised.[9] He is undertaking a doctorate on climate change and the church.[10]

Prior to a United Nations' climate change meeting in Paris in December 2015, Browning was a signatory to a letter calling on world leaders to discuss a ban on new coalmines and coalmine expansions.[11]

Browning supports indigenous land rights saying that it is "doubly important" for Australians to make a commitment to support the wider Aboriginal [land-title] requests.[12][13]

Browning is the president of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network.[14] He has been a frequent visitor to Palestine and has hosted Palestinian leaders in Australia.[10] Browning is an advocate for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Browning and his wife Margaret have three adult sons (Philip, Richard and Timothy) and two daughters (Pat and Chris).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What do we do with an adulterous Bishop?". Sydney Morning Herald. 15 October 1999. 
  2. ^ "The Anglican Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, the Right Reverend George Browning, resigns". Anglican News. 26 September 1999. 
  3. ^ "Brownings prepare for England", Anglican News, May 2008, Retrieved on 12 May 2008.
  4. ^ "Welcome to the Wriggle Valley Benefice",, Retrieved on 12 August 2008.
  5. ^ Rafael Epstein (4 August 2003). "Gay bishop soon to be appointed in the US". ABC News. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Pell out of touch on climate - bishop", Sydney Morning Herald.
  7. ^ "Religious leaders back carbon tax". Sydney Morning Herald. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
  8. ^ Brolly, Mark (18 July 2011). "Bishop slams Church, MPs on climate". Melbourne Anglican. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  9. ^ Bolt, Andrew (3 August 2011). "The new green Apocalypse of the Anglicans". Herald Sun. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "George Browning". Online Opinion. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  11. ^ Taylor, Lenore (27 October 2015). "Prominent Australians ask world leaders to consider ban on new coalmines". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
  12. ^ "The Mabo debate: a chronology". Australian Parliament House. 12 October 1993. ISSN 1038-0116. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
  13. ^ Hughes,Philip (2003). "Spirit of Australia II: Religion in Citizenship and National Life". p. 150. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
  14. ^ "Australia Palestine Advocacy Network people". Australia Palestine Advocacy Network. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  15. ^ Browning, George (22 June 2016). "Boycott divestment and sanction (BDS)". Retrieved 9 August 2016.