History of the SACC
Council of Churches
As plans were being made for the first Assembly of the World Council of Churches in 1948, regional councils were being formed around the world. On June 1947, the Lord Bishop of Adelaide, Rt Rev'd Bryan Robin (Church of England) preside over the formation of the Regional Committee for SA of the World Council of Churches. Their main objective was "to represent South Australia in the World Council of Churches and to function as an integral part of the Ecumenical Movement". The Rev'd Louis Schmidt, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of SA was appointed Secretary.
Church of England 9, Methodist 5, Baptist 2, Churches of Christ 2, Congregational 2, Presbyterian 2, Salvation Army 1, Society of Friends 1. Every member was appointed to one of the two committees - Faith & Order, or Life & Work. The Lutheran Church was represented at meetings by a visitor Rev Dr JJ Sotlz (UELCA). Reps were male and clergy. Meetings were held in the Epworth Building, Pirie Street. From the beginning the Council addressed issues such as ecumenism, faith, communism, aid to displaced persons following World War 2, refugee and immigration with direct correspondence to the Federal government on enforced repatriation and settlement by Japanese in Australia.
Brief Timeline of SACC
|1948||Salvation Army and Society of Friends reps increased to two each.|
|1949||The Baptist church withdrew from membership|
|1950||The Christmas Bowl of Remembrance Appeal commenced with participation from all "non-Roman" churches in SA.|
|1951||The Inter Church Aid Committee was formed with Bishop Robin as Chair and Rev Ernest Woollacott (Methodist) as Secretary heralding the significant work of ecumenical co-operation in SA. This was to become today's Christian World Service (CWS).|
|1955||Representation from some member churches increased bringing the total to 29, providing opportunity for lay (male) reps.|
|1962||The Committee became the South Australian Council of Churches Inc with opening service in St Peters Cathedral.|
|1965||Inter-Church Aid committee was integrated with the SACC. Each holding separate identity but with a shared budget|
|1966, June/July||in SA 270 churches with over 600 house groups (8,000 people) were involved in the Church and Life meetings growing ecumenical understanding and participation.|
|1967||Council involved with issues of Billy Graham Crusade, Vietnam War protest and supported a "Yes" vote in the Referendum "as a declaration of regret for the past and intention to give every necessary assistance to people of the Aboriginal race to enable them to take their place in the nation".|
|1970's||Lutherans became members of the Faith and Order Committee and Roman Catholic Church become increasingly involved in ecumenical activities.|
|1976||The Commission on Social Questions was formed to enable communication between churches with sharing and co-ordination of work. Non-members of thecouncil -Catholic, Lutheran and Baptists also were part of this. Issues addressed included racism. violence/nonviolence, war/peace, and exploitation in the Pacific.|
|1978||The Australian Council of Churches (ACC) Forum hosted by SACC in Adelaide at Lincoln College with a service in St Peter's Cathedral. Archbishop Edward Scott, Primate of Canada was guest speaker.|
|1997||SACC and other NGO's moved to the Torrens Building, Victoria Square.|
|1999||Rev Vikki Waller appointed new Executive Officer, the second woman and first ordained woman to hold the position.|
|2004||The 5th National Council of Churches Forum "At the cross roads - Living in a world of change" hosted by SACC was held at Lincoln College with a service in St Peter's Cathedral. Guest speaker was Rev Kobia, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches.|
New Core Purpose accepted by General Council.
|2008||Beginning of the implementation of Core Purpose and four SACC Priorities.|
Move from Torrens Building to 65 Flinders Street.