History – VCC

(this is a work in progress – bare bones here but will develop more fully. Contributions and suggestions welcome!).

The modern ecumenical movement began to take shape as the 19th century drew to a close. Initiatives among students and between Church mission agencies led the way. In Australia, this included the formation of the Australian Student Christian Movement (1896) and the National Missionary Council (1926).

Out of the devastation of World War II sprang the Australian Committee for the World Council of Churches (1946). This developed into the Australian Council of Churches which, in 1994, gave way to the National Council of Churches in Australia.

The Victorian Council of Churches was established in 1948 as a State Ecumenical Council, and incorporated as its own entity as Victorian Council of Churches in 1968. But interesting to note that VCC was actually inaugurated in 1912 after the Edinburgh World Missionary Conference in 1910. A long history and something to celebrate.

The movement for Christian unity in Australia was, initially, an Anglican and Protestant affair. Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches came in, in strength, during the 1960s and 70s. For Catholics, the 2nd Vatican Council opened up fresh possibilities for relationships with other Churches.

In 1988, the Australian Council of Churches (ACC) at its General Assembly issued an invitation to any Church which was not a member to enter in to dialogue with a view to becoming a member. The Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church in Australia responded and a series of meetings of a special committee were held to determine how the invitation of the ACC can be accepted. The proposal was that the ACC would cease to exist and be replaced by a new body, to be known as the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA). Membership of this body will be open to the present members of the ACC and those other Churches that wish to