The Armidale Diocese Anglican Synod elected the Rev Rod Chiswell to be their new Bishop last Saturday; he will commence in February 2021.
Rev Chiswell said he was surprised by the appointment as he has great respect for the other candidate.
"It took me a while for it to actually register, but I'm starting to get my head around it now which is good," he said.
In some ways, it is a homecoming for Rev Chiswell who grew up in Armidale during his teenage years while his father Peter Chiswell was Bishop. Both Rev Chiswell's parents have since passed, but he has fond memories of that time - and an idea of the paternal nature of the Bishop's role.
"It is an interesting situation with dad having done that job for all those years in the past," Rev Chiswell said.
"There is some common ground between the role of Reverend and of the role of Bishop, and there are some differences," he said.
"All of us are on about introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven, but the Bishop has oversight to the clergy in doing that.
"There are some clear differences between the roles because the clergymen in the parish have the responsibility of proclaiming the gospel to that community and helping the parish to grow more like Christ as they teach God's word to them.
"The Bishop role is an oversight role where you are trying to support the clergy to do that in their community. So it is really a servant kind of role to the clergy.
"But you also have some oversight to the care of the people in the congregations right across the diocese so instead of thinking about one parish you are thinking about all the people within it."
As the current senior minister at the St Peter's Anglican Church in South Tamworth, Rev Chiswell has served the Tamworth community for the past 13 years with his wife, Jenni. The couple have two children - Sam, who is married to Clare and has three children, and Georgia who has just completed her HSC this year.
Between his current role and previous roles, Rev Chiswell has served in the Armidale Diocese for the last 25 years - as Vicar of Mungindi, Walcha and South Tamworth respectively.
Consequently, the Anglican Synod say they believe he understands the challenges facing a rural diocese in these times; challenges such as recruitment of clergy, support of clergy and their families, and the training of laypeople.
"Having lived most of his life in the Armidale Diocese, Rod has the heart to introduce people of the region to Jesus and help them home to heaven," Rev Brian Kirk, Armidale Diocese Vicar General said.
Rev Chiswell said he is both excited and daunted by this new role but says he has come to believe that God can use ordinary people to accomplish his purposes.
"Those that God calls to a task, he equips for the task," he said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.