Member Churches

Membership of the Victorian Council of Churches is open to all churches whose faith and practices are in accord with the mission statement of the Council.

The VCC is part of the National Council of Churches in Australia which in turn is a part of the World Council of Churches. WCC member churches are called: to the goal of visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship; to promote their common witness in the work for mission and evangelism; to engage in Christian service by serving human need, breaking barriers between people, seeking justice and peace and upholding the integrity of creation; and to foster renewal in unity, worship, mission and service.

 Our current member churches (in alphabetical order) are:

Migrant-ethnic communities (published on Religions for Peace Australia website)
Many immigrant groups establish their own independent churches such as by the Orthodox Churches (e.g. the Serbian Orthodox Church) where ethnicity and religion are very closely aligned. Most mainstream Christian Churches have established special centres and even parishes for their larger ethnic communities e.g. the Uniting Church has many Korean communities.

The 2015 Archdiocese of Melbourne Directory nominated chaplains for the following groups: Armenian (1 chaplain), Burmese (1), Cambodian and Laotian (1), Chinese Cantonese (1), Chinese Mandarin (1), Coptic (1), Croatian (4), Fijian (1), Filipino Tagalog (1), German (1), Hungarian (1), Italian (7), Korean (1), Lithuanian (1), Maltese (3), Polish (9), Russian (1), Samoan (2), Slovenian (2), South Sudanese (1), Spanish and Portuguese (3), Syrian (1), Syro-Malabar (3), Tamil (1), Tongan (1) and Vietnamese (4). Some of these groups have separate centres such as Croatian Catholic Centres in Ardeer and Clifton Hill, St. Anthony’s Italian Shrine in Hawthorn, the Polish Divine Mercy Shrine in Keysborough, Baraga House for Slovenians in Kew, St. Vincent Liem Vietnamese Centre located in a former pub in Flemington and the Sts. Huan-Thien Catholic Centre in Keysborough.

In 2002, it was reported that across Australia the Uniting Church had 117 ethno-specific congregations, 23 ethnic fellowships and two faith communities. The largest were the Koreans (33 congregations etc.), followed by Tongan (29), Fijian (11), Indonesian (12), Samoan (8), Tamil (7), Hindi (5), Cook Islander (5), Chinese (4), Sudanese (4), Dutch (3), Vietnamese (3), Nuiean (3), Pacific Islander (2), Rotuman (2), Filipino (2), Armenian (1), Cambodian (1), Farsi (1), Taiwanese (1), Macedonian (1), Melanesian (1), Nauran (1) and Tokelauan (1) (Cahill et al. 2004).

Multicultural chaplaincy came onto the Melbourne Anglican agenda during the episcopacy of David Penman, Archbishop of Melbourne (1984 – 1989). More recently, at its 2013 Synod, multicultural ministry for emerging communities was made a priority with the appointment of Rev. Alan Nichols as coordinator. Its outreach has been targeted particularly to the Chinese, Indonesian, Karen, Mar Thoma, South Indian, South Sudanese, Tamil and Tonga communities.

These communities with their chaplains and pastoral leaders operate quite independently within their own religious structures. Migrant chaplains operate as pastors to ethnoreligious, non-territorial parishes often with a special chapel or temple or shrine or prayer centre.