To the venerable Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia in the State of New South Wales.


1. The inerrant Word of God recognises men and women as equal in creation and redemption in Jesus Christ (Gen.1:26-27; Gal.3:28);

2. Women played a recognised and crucial role in supporting the ministries of Jesus and the apostles (Luke 8:2-3; 10:38-42; Rom.16:1-6; 1 Tim.5:3-16; Tit.2:3-5);

3. Women were not appointed as priests or elders in the Old Testament nor as elders in the New Testament;

4. Through the apostle Paul, the Scripture states: ‘A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to each or to have authority over a man; she must be silent’ (1 Tim.2:11-12). It states this on biblical and theological, not cultural, grounds (1 Tim.2:13-15);

5. This is in harmony with other passages which deal with male headship (1 Cor.11:3; 1 Tim.3:1-7; Eph.5:22-33);

6. The 1997 General Assembly of Australia (Min.120) ruled that the General Assembly of Australia, 1967 (Min.131 [2]) decision to open the eldership to women was a resolution which was not binding on the various state Assemblies;

7. The 1997 General Assembly of Australia (Mins 67 and 121) ruled that it is competent for a state Assembly to restrict admission to the eldership to men;

8. Diaconal ministry is open to women, along with a variety of other ministries;

9. Scripture demands that the ordinary teaching and ruling office of the eldership be open only to spiritually qualified men;

Now therefore the Presbytery of Sydney South humbly overtures the Assembly to take these premises into consideration and to:

1. Declare that only suitably qualified men are eligible to be ordained to the eldership;

2. Resolve to retain existing women elders in office;

3. Resolve that there be no further ordinations of women to the eldership of the Presbyterian Church in NSW;

4. Direct that the Code be amended accordingly:

4.33    Delete the first sentence ‘Elders are communicants of the church who have been elected to the session by the communicants of the parish or congregation’, to be replaced by ‘Elders are male communicants of the church who have been elected to the sessions by the communicants of the parish or congregation.’

4.37   Delete the whole, to be replaced by ‘Election of elders. Elders are elected by the communicants of a parish or congregation from among the male communicants who have attained the age of 21 years.’

4.40    Delete the whole, to be replaced by ‘Names suggested. The session may nominate men for election by the communicants.’

Or to otherwise as the Assembly in its wisdom may deem fit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *