In 1961 the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC) was formed by the late John Stott in response to a request from his evangelical colleagues to form and lead a national body of evangelical ministry within the Anglican Church. Evangelicals in post war Britain were in a minority. For several years they had been meeting privately to study the scriptures and encourage one another in biblical ministry and evangelism. Forming a national body enabled evangelicals to strengthen evangelical ministry and evangelism and gave a voice to younger Anglicans for their work of reform.
John Stott’s thinking and writings were integral in the formation of EFAC’s mission. His publications were distributed throughout the fellowship and applied specifically to the Anglican context. Stott’s writings were also enjoyed by evangelicals cross-denominationally. His international stature, gave EFAC the opportunity to equip evangelicals world-wide to work for the strengthening of their denomination for its witness in the world. In parts of Africa today, EFAC remains the most prominent network for encouraging the witness of the church.
Australia has been the beneficiary of this international work. After Stott’s visits here during the lead up to the Billy Graham crusades, Australian evangelicals became connected to the wider movement within the communion. By the 1970’s there were five evangelical fellowship groups across Australia, coming under the EFAC banner in 1981. EFAC Australia has held a number of National Congresses, most recently in cooperation with the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA).
Here in Victoria-Tasmania, EFAC has in recent years been a key provider of evangelical thinking, fellowship and encouragement, especially through the ministry of our two Training Officers, Steve Abbot and Richard Trist, and key leaders such as Peter Corney, Stephen Hale and Richard Condie. It remains committed to fostering Christ centred Bible based ministry within the Anglican Churches of Victoria and Tasmania.
Today in our region of Victoria-Tasmania, evangelicals are no longer a minority group. However, challenges for Gospel growth remain. We remain committed to this cause through our partnership and initiatives as well as through gathering evangelical Anglicans for equipping, mutual edification and prayer.