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The Anglican Church of Australia

Anglicanism spread to Australia with  European settlers in the 18th century. The first chaplain, the Revd Richard Johnson, arrived in Australia in 1788 with the ‘First Fleet’ which was primarily made up of convicts and military personnel. Free settlers soon followed. A General Synod held in 1872 formed the Australian Board of Mission. Missionary work among the Aborigines and the Torres Strait Islanders was key to the growth of the Church. For about 150 years the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG, now USPG) provided many grants for the construction of schools as well as appointing personnel to serve as clergy, bishops and teachers.

The Church became autonomous in 1962. Today the Church has 23 dioceses across five provinces in Australia. The current Primate, the Most Revd Geoffrey Martyn Smith, is Archbishop of Adelaide and Metropolitan of South Australia. There are two Indigenous bishops appointed by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council (NATSIAC).

The church is a major provider of education and welfare services in Australia. There are around 145 Anglican schools and the Anglicare network of welfare organisations provides assistance in areas including emergency relief, care for the elderly, support to families and the homeless.  

USPG regularly cooperates with the Anglican Church of Australia’s Anglican Board of Mission.


You can watch the Anglican Church of Australia's contribution to our 2021 Communion Day of Prayer below.

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