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NCCA Welcomes new President

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”—1 Cor 2:9

It is with great joy that we announce that the Reverend John Gilmore, from the Churches of Christ in Australia, has been appointed as NCCA President after the decision of the NCCA Annual General Meeting on 27 October 2021.

With a long standing interest and passion for ecumenical leadership, we welcome him with prayerful gratitude. 

Rev John Gilmore has been a member of the NCCA Board since 2016 and prior to that, was the Chair of the Act for Peace Commission (AfP). He has over 25 years’ service with NCCA, and has held the role of chair previously when the commission was known by its former name, Christian World Service. He is also a past treasurer of the commission, taking part in the Finance committee of NCCA. John has been associated with the work of the NCCA since its formation back in 1994. It is clear that John’s passion and commitment to ecumenical leadership has endured the test of time.

Elected as the President for a three year term, Rev Gilmore will work with member and observer Churches, (chair the meetings of the Council), and represent it in a number of public settings.


so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. Romans 12:5 NRSV


And as we welcome, we also say farewell to our past President, Bishop Philip Huggins.


We are thankful for his warmth and grace in leadership. We wish him many blessings as we say prayers for him and his family.

Liz Stone, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), expressed her gratitude for the work of Bishop Philip and his involvement with the Council over many years:

When Bishop Philip Huggins invited me to serve our Council of Churches as Associate General Secretary in September 2014, he gave me enduring advice, to “not forget to let the Holy Spirit in!”

As a Spirit-led leader, Bishop Philip has put contemplative prayer, reflective prayer, prayer of the heart and other prayer traditions from our earliest Christian communities, and interfaith prayer, front and centre of his ministry of service as President of the NCCA since 2016. (Matthew 18:20) 

Bishop Philip modelled to me the centrality of prayer as the foundation for dialogue, witness and joint action in our striving for unity of Christ’s Church and of the whole world with all is suffering and the manifest needs for forgiveness, reconciliation and healing.

The prayer of Jesus in John 17 is one to which Bishop Philip often refers: to the Jesus' prayer first to his Father, secondly for his disciples and thirdly for all believers. It has guided his involvement with those people/ partners in mission who have been brought into his life of ecumenical service ‘through the Divine Providence’, he explains. 

His partners and friends through WCC, Christian Conference of Asia and the Pacific have spurred his international ecumenical advocacy and witness, speaking of God's love, compassion, conversion and transformation to stem inequality, injustice and needless suffering.

I have personally benefitted from this period of formation through example offered by Bishop Philip to me as General Secretary. His generosity ‘for the common good’ has been a gift to us all.

My sincere thanks to Liz and his family for this gift of 5 years with Bishop Philip as NCCA President.

In grace and peace,

Liz Stone

General Secretary, NCCA


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