National Council of Churches in Australia

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For other uses, see NCCA (disambiguation).
National Council of Churches in Australia
NCCA Logo.jpg
Founded 1994

The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) is an ecumenical organisation bringing together a number of Australia's Christian churches in dialogue and practical cooperation.

The NCCA works in collaboration with state ecumenical councils around Australia. It is an associate council of the World Council of Churches, a member of the Christian Conference of Asia and a partner of other national ecumenical bodies throughout the world. "Act for Peace" is the international aid agency of the NCCA, which aims to empower war-torn communities to protect refugees, reduce poverty, prevent conflicts and manage disasters.[1]


The modern ecumenical movement began to take shape at the end of the 19th century. Initiatives among students and between church mission agencies led the way. In Australia these included the Australian Student Christian Movement, formed in 1896, and the National Missionary Council, created in 1926.

Organised ecumenism in Australia at the national church level was first formalised through the Australian Committee for the World Council of Churches (1946). This movement initially involved only the Anglican and Mainline Protestant churches. In the 1960s and '70s, however, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches joined the ecumenical movement. This developed into the Australian Council of Churches (ACC). Following the Second Vatican Council, the Roman Catholic Church in Australia began exploring possibilities for relationships with other churches. In 1994 the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) succeeded the ACC, with the Catholic Church as a member.


The symbol of the boat has long been used to represent the ecumenical movement, and its origins are unclear - perhaps in the Gospel story of the calling of the Galilean fishermen to be disciples - "fishers of men". The boat represents the Christian Church as a ship sailing the sea that is the world. The mast, in the shape of the cross, recalls the Christian faith.

The NCCA's version of the boat includes waves and the Southern Cross and was adopted at the formation of the NCCA in 1994. The use of the Southern Cross identifies the NCCA's geographical location.

An updated version of the logo, pictured above, was adopted in 2006.

Member churches[edit]

The NCCA has 19 member churches:

Member Church Head of Church
Anglican Church of Australia Archbishop Philip Freier
Antiochian Orthodox Church Archbishop Paul Saliba
Armenian Apostolic Church Bishop Haigazoun Najarian
Assyrian Church of the East Archbishop Metropolitan Mar Meelis Zaia
Chinese Methodist Church in Australia Bishop James Kwang
Churches of Christ in Australia Janet Woodlock
Congregational Federation of Australia Dr Joe B Goodall
Coptic Orthodox Church Bishop Suriel - Bishop of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions & Bishop Daniel - Bishop of Sydney and Affiliated Regions
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Archbishop Stylianos
Indian Orthodox Church Yuhanon Mar Dioscoros
Lutheran Church of Australia The Revd John Henderson
Mar Thoma Church Bishop Joseph Mar Barnabas
Religious Society of Friends Julian Robertson
Roman Catholic Church Archbishop Denis Hart
Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of Australia and New Zealand Bishop Mihail (Filimon)
Serbian Orthodox Church Bishop Irinej
Syrian Orthodox Church Archbishop Mor Malatius Malki Malki
The Salvation Army Commissioner James Condon and Commissioner Floyd Tidd
Uniting Church in Australia Mr Stuart McMillan


Year Name Denomination
2013 - present The Revd Mike Semmler Lutheran Church of Australia
2009 - 2013 Bishop Michael Putney Roman Catholic Church
2006 - 2009 Bishop Richard Appleby Anglican Church
2003 - 2006 The Revd James Haire Uniting Church in Australia
1999 - 2001 The Revd Lance Steicke Lutheran Church
1997 - 1999 Archbishop John Bathersby Roman Catholic Church
1994 - 1997 Archbishop Aghan Baliozian Armenian Apostolic Church

General secretaries[edit]

Year Name
2015-present Sr Elizabeth Delaney sgs
2009 - 2014 Tara Curlewis
2001 - 2009 John Henderson
1994 - 2001 David Gill

Source: National Council of Churches in Australia website[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ History of Act for Peace and the Christmas Bowl
  2. ^ National Council of Churches in Australia website

External links[edit]