Bishop Hurford (centre) with his wife Christine and Professor Bill Clark of the University at a convocation of the Order of St Lazarus in Australia.
Bishop Richard Hurford was installed in All Saints’ Cathedral as the ninth Anglican Bishop of Bathurst on 24th March 2001. The Diocese extends from Oberon to Bourke and covers 20% of the area of New South Wales. Bishop Hurford retired on 6th November 2012 at the mandatory age of 68 years.
Bishop Hurford was born in 1944 and was educated in Sydney where he received his secondary and tertiary education. He is the 4th generation of his family to have lived and worked in Bathurst.
After training and working as a secondary school English and History teacher, he was accepted as a Candidate for Ordination to the priesthood by the then Bishop of Bathurst, who sent him to St John’s Theological College, Morpeth at Newcastle in 1965.
He has had a wide and varied vocational life for the past 48 years of ordained life – including being a Parish Priest in city, provincial and country parishes. In addition he has served in School chaplaincy, Defence Force chaplaincy, Police chaplaincy, Prison chaplaincy and religious media. He has been a member of many community based organisations – serving also on their councils and boards. This service, largely in social welfare and social justice, was recognised by an award in the Order of Australia (OAM) on Australia Day 1999.
Bishop Hurford was awarded a scholarship for post graduate studies in Clinical Psychology and Theology in England where he spent seven years. In this time he worked both as a Parish Priest and in a variety of Chaplaincies. He returned home to Australia to be Rector of the Parish of Coffs Harbour in Northern New South Wales. He then became Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Grafton and following that, Rector of the historic St James’ King Street in the city of Sydney before being elected as Bishop of Bathurst. During the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney he was a co-ordinator of the Religious Services Centre in the Olympic Village for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games – an appointment which he held part-time for the previous two years of preparation.
Bishop Hurford served for three years as the President of the New South Wales Ecumenical Council which is the peak State body representing fifteen Christian denominations. He was a member of the Anglican Defence Force Board, which cares for Army, Navy and Air Force chaplains throughout the Commonwealth, for nine years. He is a Fellow of St Paul’s College in the University of Sydney and has served as a member of its Council since 2001. He has been a regional Police Chaplain in the NSW Police Force since 1990 and was awarded the Police Commissioners Commendation for Meritorious Service in 2005. He has been the National Chairman of the Anglican Men’s Society in Australia 2005 to 2011, and the Australian Sub Warden of the International Guild of Church Musicians since 2000. He was appointed as a Vice President of the Guild in 2004. He has given forty five years of voluntary service to the work of the Guild both as a member of its council, and as an educator and examiner for the Guild’s academic awards.
He has seen voluntary service with St John Ambulance both in the United Kingdom and in Australia. In New South Wales he has served as the NSW State Chaplain since 2006. He is the Sub-Prelate for the Venerable Order of St John in the Priory of Australia and in 2009 was invested as a Commander in the Order of St John at Government House in Sydney. He was invested as a Knight of Grace in 2016