On Monday 26th May 1919 a small group of clergy and laity gathered at St.Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney to pray for and plan a new, bold and uncertain venture. They had a vision for gospel work that would send men and women to minister in the most remote parts of Australia. This was the birth of the Bush Church Aid Society.
In the 100 years since then thousands of people across Australia have heard the good news about Jesus on railway tracks, in forests, underground, in hospital, through the mail, in bush homes and in tiny churches.
Many lives have been saved by doctors, nurses, and bush pilots. Well educated children arose to face the challenges of the 20th century because they were given a home by the Bush Church Aid Society.
More importantly though countless people have had their lives saved as they responded to the gospel of Jesus because of a gently spoken word, a godly example, or a church service held in the bush.
100 years later, BCA continues to find new ways of reaching people wherever they are. They are planting churches in new areas, supporting and equipping indigenous leaders to serve their communities in ways that are biblically faithful and culturally appropriate. BCA serves people who are hurting in times of crisis with Christ centred pastoral care.
At the centre of their ministry is the priority of talking with people about the gospel of Jesus in 1:1 conversations, and community gatherings.
It’s been a century of change, a century of work, and a century of serving Jesus in rural and remote Australia and in 2019 the Bush Church Aid is still going the distance.
Currently there are 33 field locations around Australia. 4 of these locations have field workers who are connected with Jannali Anglican. David and Crystal Fell on Norfolk Island, Glen and Beth McDonald in Roxby Downs SA, Roger and Amanda Kyngdon in Newman WA and Bruce and Jodi Chapman in Darwin NT, (though Bruce recently died after a 3 year battle with melanoma). We also have Greg Bridge serving as the COO in the NSW/NT office of BCA in Sydney.
Here is a prayer for the 100 year centenary of BCA.
Almighty and gracious God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We praise you for planting your fruitful word in this land over many generations, through many different ministries, and we rejoice that many Australians have found new life through faith in Jesus.
Today we especially thank you for your faithfulness in sustaining the work of the Bush Church Aid Society over the past one hundred years.
We grieve that we have not always shown your love and truth in our common life. We recognise the injustices done to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and ask that you would help us walk together as one, reconciled through Christ.
Please continue to pour out your Spirit on your church, so that we might reach Australia for Christ. Raise up many labourers and empower us to be your witnesses, so that this nation would worship its true Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,
In whose name we pray, Amen