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Melbourne assistant bishop appointed to national ecumenical role

"At the heart of our ecumenical work is friendship in Christ," says Bishop Philip Huggins

Melbourne's Bishop Philip Huggins has been appointed president of the National Council of Churches in Australia.

July 8 2016Bishop Philip Huggins has been installed as the eighth president of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA).

The NCCA brings together 19 Christian denominations, including Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, Methodist, Lutheran, and Congregational churches. Bishop Huggins, who is bishop of the Oodthenong area of episcopal care in the Melbourne diocese, was installed as president on Sunday 26 June.

Bishop Huggins has previously represented the Anglican Church of Australia at the NCCA in a number of roles: at its National Forum, as a member of its Executive and as a member of its Standing Committee. He also took on the role of Acting General Secretary of the NCCA for several months in 2014.

Bishop Huggins has previously reflected: “At the heart of our ecumenical work is friendship in Christ. It is this which gives meaning and direction to our work.”

Bishop Huggins has also played an active role in interfaith relations. He is a past president of the Jewish Christian Muslim Association, and a member of the Victorian Multifaith Advisory Group. He is a member of the community reference group for the Rabbinical Council of Victoria, and holds the Premier of Victoria’s Multicultural Award.

Bishop Huggins follows a number of Victorian-based Anglicans who have been presidents of Australia’s national ecumenical body (previously named the Australian Council of Churches). Victorian-based Anglican former presidents and their terms of office are: Bishop Oliver Heyward of Bendigo, 1989-92, Archbishop David Penman of Melbourne, 1988-89, Bishop Graham Delbridge of Gippsland, 1976-80, Bishop David Garnsey of Gippsland, 1970-73 and Archbishop Frank Woods of Melbourne, 1965-66.