ACT Heritage Library Manuscript Collection

HMSS 0285 ACT Churches Council Records

Scope and Content Notes 

Call Number

HMSS 0285


ACT Churches Council Records

Date Range



1.62m (9 manuscript boxes)

Access Conditions


Copying conditions

with attribution
Related Collections

HMSS 0139 Canberra Interchurch Council
HMSS 0165 Christian Media Association
HMSS 0170 Australian Church Women Australian Capital Territory Unit Archive
HMSS 0184 Canberra Churches Centre Archives
HMSS 0196 Canberra Baptist Church Records

The ACT Churches Council had its origins in the rise of ecumenism during the 1960s.

The Joint Commission for Church Development in the ACT (JCCD) held its inaugural meeting on 20 October 1966. On 17 November 1988, the name was changed to the ACT Churches Council, with subsequent changes to its Charter. Both JCCD and the Council had observer status at meetings of the Australian Council of Churches.

The original members were Anglican, Churches of Christ, Congregational, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, and Society of Friends. By 1979, the Baptist and Greek Orthodox churches and the YMCA and YWCA had joined, and the Methodist and Congregational Churches had united with some Presbyterian congregations to become the Uniting Church.

Following the name change to ACT Churches Council, member organisations were listed on the letterhead. There have been several new members, including by 1998 Apostolic (New Creation Ministries), Coptic Orthodox, Australian Church Women, the Bible Society, the Inter-church Trade and Industry Mission (ITIM) and Wellspring. By 2001 Assemblies of God and Grace Christian Fellowship were full members, and the Australian Church Women, the Bible Society and the NSW Ecumenical Council were associate members.

The Commission and the Council met four times per year. A number of subcommittees reported to these meetings; subcommittee members were elected annually. In February 1998 the Council held a major Review of Goals and Operations.

The Commission and the Council were closely connected with the development of the Churches Centres at Woden and Belconnen, the ANU Chaplaincy, national and international interfaith movements, social justice, and religious renewal programs such as Australian Frontier. Occasional reports, minutes and newsletters from these organisations may be found throughout the collection.

In addition to continuing interests, the Council both set up and contributed to other task forces or inquiries, including the post-2003 bushfire recovery, the Kosovar refugee programme, problem gambling, transgender equity legislation, and Reconciliation. 

Box Lists


Box No. Description Qty Date range
1 Covers the period of the Joint Commission for Church Development up to the change of name to ACT Churches Council. Includes relevant correspondence and details of subcommittees 1 file 1975-1989


Minutes were filed separately during the JCCD period, but included in the chronological sequence of minutes and correspondence thereafter.

Box No. Description Qty Date range

JCCD minutes 20 October 1966-1988
ACT Churches Council minutes 1989

3 files 1966-1989

Papers and Correspondence

Box no. Description Qty Date Range
1 JCCD correspondence 6 files 1964-1987

JCCD correspondence 1988
ACT Churches Council papers and correspondence 1989-1992

9 files 1988-1992

ACT Churches Council papers and correspondence

9 files 1993, 1998-1999

ACT Churches Council correspondence, papers and minutes

9 files July 1998-2001
5 ACT Churches Council correspondence, papers and minutes 6 files 2002-2004

Meeting Papers

Box No. Description Qty Date range

ACT Churches Council Review of Operations Meeting Papers 26 February 1998

1 bundle 1998

ACT Churches Council meeting 5 March 2003, minutes and meeting papers concerning Kosovar refugees, repairing ACT bushfire damage, ACT legislation on securing Gay, Lesbian and Transgender equity

1 file  2003

ACT Churches Council meetings 2003, minutes and meeting papers including those concerning Kosovar refugees

1 file 2003

ACT Churches Council Executive Committee, minutes and meeting papers, 2003

1 file 2003

Social Justice Task Group

Box no. Description Qty Date range
6 Minutes and correspondence 8 files 1993-2003

Inwards and outwards correspondence

1 bundle 1996-2000
4 Inwards and outwards correspondence 1 file


Community Housing Project

Box No. Description Qty Date range

ACT Department of Urban Services. Summary of the Report of the Community Housing Expansion Task Force. 1998
Papers relating to ACT Churches Council submission
Ecumenical Housing. Draft copy of report to ACT Department of Urban Services, October 1999

1 file 1998-1999

Community Housing Projects records, 1999-2001
Community Housing Project minutes and meeting papers, 2000-2002
ACT Churches Council Reference Group. Community Housing Project. Draft and final reports to the Council, 5 September 2001

3 files 1999-2002

Housing Reference Group minutes and papers

1 file



Submission to Housing Policy Branch

1 file 2000
8 Community Housing Project files for meeting September 2001 1 file 2001

Churches Community Housing Inc. ACT Churches Council Community Housing Project. Final Report to ACT Department of Health, Housing and Community Care. January 2002

1book 2002


Box No. Description Qty Date range

Court Chaplaincy

1 file 1980-1988
8 Correspondence with ACT Health Authority and others concerning chaplaincy services at hospitals, prisons and universities, and to aboriginal groups

Correspondence relating to euthanasia

1 file 1983-1994

Prison reform, concerned mainly with chaplaincy services

1 file 2000

Chaplaincy correspondence

1 file 2000-2002

Inter-church Trade and Industry Mission (ITIM), Canberra Region,
Includes national Annual Reports 1984-1986; ITIMission (NSW newsletter) 1986-1987

1 file 1984-1990

Church Development and Organisations

Box No. Description Qty Date range

Gungahlin development

1 file 1985-1994

Christian Media Association ACT, formerly Christian Television and Radio Association of the ACT. Constitution, annual reports

1 file 1984-1989

Australian Church Women, ACT Unit – newsletters, annual reports, constitution, correspondence

1 file 1985-1994


Box No. Description Qty Date range

- Papers, correspondence, submissions relating to the Forum and Workshop on the Draft Document for Reconciliation, October 1999
- Correspondence relating to the Records Task Force ACT of the Canberra and the Canberra Journey of Healing Network, 1999
- Papers relating to the Are We Bringing Them Home? Conference, 2000
- Correspondence and papers relating to Pilgrimage to the Heart, 2000

1 file 1999-2000


Box No. Description Qty Date range

Shifts in welfare policy
- Ann Neville. Competing Interests; Competition Policy in the Welfare Sector. Discussion Paper no. 21. June 1991
- Correspondence and papers

1 file 2000

ACT Gambling and Racing Commission - correspondence, papers and submission

1 file 2000-2001

Task Group on Violence and the Church, also called Task Group on Family and Sexual Violence – meeting papers, minutes, reports

1 file 1993-1997

Refugees’ Friendship Network – correspondence, minutes

1 file 2002

Religious Education

Box No. Description Qty Date range

Working Group on Education in Government Schools (Religious Education) –charter, correspondence, papers, reports

1 file 1982-1994