Rev. Simon Hansford
Rev. Simon Hansford is the Moderator of the Synod of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory in the Uniting Church in Australia, and was installed as Moderator on 29th September, 2017. Simon will serve in this role for six years (his three year term was extended at Synod 2019) and will be the 28th Moderator of the Synod.
The Moderator is elected to give prophetic and pastoral leadership to the people and congregations of the Synod, by assisting and encouraging expression of our hope in Jesus Christ, offering challenge because of that same hope, and reminding the church of its call and the God who calls each and every person.
As Moderator until 2023, Simon said of his vision for the Uniting Church:
“Our Church has a vital place in our community, and we have a long experience of seeking to engage our community with the gospel, through advocacy, service, and the ministry of individuals and congregations.
Our lives – and our words – proclaim the hope we have found in Jesus, and this echoes in our worship together, in our challenges for our community and in our service for all those around us.”
Simon has served in ordained ministry for more than twenty-five years, serving in rural and regional communities across New South Wales.
He grew up in Sydney and completed a Bachelor of Arts at The University of Sydney in 1988. He was formed for ministry at the United Theological College, North Parramatta, completing a Bachelor of Theology, whilst working part time in youth ministry with the Gymea-Miranda Congregation of the Uniting Church.
Simon was ordained as a Minister in 1990 and moved with his wife Fiona to Dubbo in 1991, in response to his call to placement as Minister in the Dubbo Congregation. It was in Dubbo where their two daughters were born and here that he developed his deep love for regional, rural and remote Australia.
In 2003, Simon and his family were called to Queanbeyan Congregation and he served there until 2006. From 2006 until 2012 he served as the Presbytery Minister for the New England North West Presbytery, and it was in this Presbytery where he completed his most recent placement in Tamworth Southside Congregation in August 2017.
The rural church has a significant place in Simon’s heart, informing much of his understanding of service, theology and community and thus, how the gospel is articulated with integrity.
Simon sees this time as an opportunity for us to articulate our experience of God, who is deeply committed to our entire creation; it is not simply serving those who need it, but sharing the hope which places us with those in need, living the story of Jesus Christ, in whom we find ourselves made whole.
Read Simon's blog Through a Strained Fence where Simon regularly posts about faith, life, theology and culture in rural Australia.