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Anglican bishop elected president of national church body

The Right Reverend Richard Appleby, recently retired Assistant Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane, was last week elected President of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA). Bishop Appleby is the 4th President of the Council, following on from the Revd Professor James Haire of Canberra. The purpose of the Council is to promote Christian unity and help the Churches work together on key issues of theology, peace, and justice.

The national Executive of the Council unanimously elected Bishop Appleby in Sydney on Friday. Bishop Appleby is a long time supporter of the ecumenical movement, and was instrumental in the formation of the NCCA in 1994, playing an important part in the negotiations that led to the membership of the Catholic Church. He has had an extensive ministry in the Anglican Church of Australia having served as an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Newcastle (1983-1992) and as Bishop of the Northern Territory (1992-1999). He is married to Elizabeth and they have two adult children.

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

Currently the Council has a total membership of 15 national Churches, including the Anglican, Catholic and Uniting Churches, 7 Eastern and Oriental Churches, and a range of Protestant Churches, the Salvation Army, and the Quakers.