About Queensland Churches Together

Why Queensland Churches Together?

In the Christian Scriptures we are given a prayer said to have been spoken by Jesus before his death. In this prayer Jesus prays for his disciples and for all who follow him in the future:

“I ask... also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their [the disciples’] word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
(John 17:20-21)

The sixteen member churches and Christian communities in Queensland Churches Together seek to fulfil this common calling, “to the glory of the One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, as the Constitution of QCT puts it. In other words, by working together for the good of God’s world, the Members of QCT point to the community and wholeness that is in God – as expressed in the relational Oneness of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Christians believe that in the life and death of Jesus, and in his overcoming death, God opened a door for us to be restored to wholeness as individuals and communities, as well as being agents of restoration in a broken world, including the natural (created) world. The Church is to live out that message of healing and reconciliation, with the help of God’s Spirit, through prayer, worship and the way Christians live in the world.

The Members of QCT share the conviction that in order to see clearly the image of Jesus Christ in the world around us and respond, we need to overcome the divisions between us. In order to be agents of healing, we need to be healed of our prejudices about each other.

"I dream of an ecumenical movement as a movement of people who are messengers of God's grace, a people open to each other and discovering the presence of Christ and of God's grace in the other. To see Christ in the other is so much stronger than all that separates us. The reward in the search for visible unity of the churches in Christ is to discover the presence of the grace of God in each other on the common journey as we walk together." (Revd Dr Samuel Kobia, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, in: Called to the One Hope. A New Ecumenical Epoch, Geneva 2006, p.2)

At its 1952 world assembly held in Lund, Sweden, the World Council of Churches adopted the so-called Lund Principle.

The Lund Principle states that “given unity in Christ” churches “should do together everything except what irreconcilable difference of sincere conviction compels us to do separately”.

Queensland Churches Together expresses this goal through its own set of AIMS.


Our Aims

QCT aims to encourage and enable Members to:

(a) pray together and share their faith, and to find ways to worship together, while respecting each Church's disciplines, doctrines and traditions;

(b) foster Christian unity through dialogue;

(c) develop a deeper understanding of evangelism/evangelisation in Australia's cultural context;

(d) give prophetic leadership to each other and the community by:
i) speaking out on behalf of oppressed people;
ii) promoting reconciliation and healing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people;
iii) responding to human need and acting on issues of justice, peace and creation;

(e) dialogue with people of other faiths and ideologies in order to further mutual understanding and strive jointly for peace.

To learn about how QCT translates these aims into action, see What We Do to the left of this page.


Our History

Rev Anne Halbert and Hazel Smart at lunch at the 2012 AGM with The Very Revd Dr Peter Catt in conversation in the background. Photo by QCT.Participants representing the sixteen member churches of QCT gather around the altar in front of seven banners of the member churches. Photo by QCT.

Read about the history of QCT as put together by Revd Don Whebell. The document is based on an earlier article by Elizabeth Harrington. It has been adapted and updated by Glenine Hamlyn.

An informative booklet about the history of QCT was created as part of QCT's 20th anniversary celebrations (1 December 2011). Click here to download QCT, The First 20 Years - Formation to 2011.

Our Members

The constituting members of Queensland Churches Together are:

Anglican Church of Australia

Antiochian Orthodox Church

Armenian Apostolic Church

Congregational Christian Church Samoa Queensland

Coptic Orthodox Church

Greek Orthodox Church

Indian Orthodox Church

Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church

Lutheran Church of Australia: Queensland District

Mar Thoma Church

Queensland Congregational Fellowship

Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) – a non-credal church

Roman Catholic Church

Romanian Orthodox Church

Salvation Army

Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod


Some of our member churches only have national websites. For information about the Queensland presence of these churches, see our Links page.


Our Way of Working

L-R Lieut Colonel Ray Wilson, Inari Thiel and Rev Dr Brian Sparksman.L-R Lieut Colonel Ray Wilson, Inari Thiel and Rev Dr Brian Sparksman.

QCT is a membership organization. This means that all the work undertaken by QCT is done on behalf of its members. In order to reach consensus about what they want, the members meet regularly, represented in each case by delegates of their choice. This takes place in monthly Executive meetings and twice a year in so-called General Meetings. Each of these meetings is a rich exercise in ecumenical dialogue. QCT's structure, in other words, creates many spaces for dialogue between its various members.

QCT Presidency handover – Rev Bruce Johnson (L) and Dr Joe Goodall (R). Photo by QCT QCT Presidency handover – Rev Bruce Johnson (L) and Dr Joe Goodall (R). Photo by QCT

Each year QCT elects a new president. The President is a member of QCT's Executive Committee. The annual change of presidents ensures that all active members of QCT are able to fill this leadership role at some time. Our current president is Dr Joe Goodall.

The staff (see below) facilitate joint action of the members of QCT in various fields, in consultation with the governing bodies and commissions.


Our Staff

QCT has two full-time and two part-time staff, plus a volunteer who regularly assists with the work of the Churches Together Indigenous People's Partnership (CTIPP).

General Secretary: The Revd Canon Richard Tutin

QCT General Secretary, The Revd Canon Richard TutinBorn and raised in Queensland, Richard is an Anglican priest who has worked in both parish and non-parish ministries. Ordained in 1977, he served in the parishes of St Luke’s Toowoomba, Bundaberg and Gin Gin before being appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Australian Board of Missions (ABM) for the Province of Queensland in 1982. He was appointed as Regional Representative for ABM in Queensland in 1984.

In 1986, Richard and his family moved to Tasmania where he had accepted the appointment of Rector of the Parish of Devonport. While in Tasmania, Richard served on a number of Diocesan and ecumenical bodies as well as being in charge of a busy parish.

Richard moved out of parish ministry when he was appointed as Lecturer in Biblical Studies at St John’s Theological College Morpeth near Maitland in New South Wales. He was Acting Principal in 1992 and then Vice Principal and Dean of Studies from 1992-98.

The beginning of 1998 saw the Tutin family move back to Queensland when Richard became the Rector of St Luke’s Toowoomba. The stay in Toowoomba lasted until 2003 when they moved back to Bundaberg where Richard had been appointed as Rector.  In 2008, Richard accepted the invitation of the Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, the Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall, to be his Chaplain with responsibility for Diocesan and Provincial matters.

Richard became General Secretary in October 2011. He had previously been a member of the QCT Executive and was President from 2010-2011.

He is a Residentiary Canon of St John’s Cathedral Brisbane and serves on Cathedral Chapter. He is also a member of the Ministry Education Commission and the Anglican Committee for Ecumenical Affairs. Richard has had extensive experience in ecumenical ministry and activities including as a broadcaster on Christian radio stations Rhema FM Newcastle and The Light Toowoomba.

Richard holds a Bachelor of Divinity from the University of Queensland and a Masters in Professional Communications from the University of Southern Queensland. He is married to Jennifer. They have two sons Ross and Gregory.

Administration Officer: Jela Virzi

Jela began working with QCT in March 2006.  Previously she had eighteen years experience working in Administration and Office Management in Catholic schools and parishes.  When someone remarked to Jela recently that her life had been ecumenically very rich, she says she realized how true it was.

Jela’s mother was German and her father is Yugoslav (Serbian).  Baptised Serbian Orthdox, Jela was welcomed into the Catholic faith in 1993.  “We spoke German at home until I was about ten years of age.  My father tried to teach my sister and me to speak Yugoslav, but we only ever remembered a few words.  We attended the Serbian Orthodox Church every Sunday, which was a wonderful opportunity for my parents and others who had come to Australia post-war to gather and share their stories”.

“I have always loved learning other languages.  I am fluent in Italian and while my German is not as good as it once was, I can still understand a lot.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to take my children to visit the countries of their grandparents’ heritage, including their father’s Italian heritage.  My children have inherited my love of language and are all fluent in Italian.  My five grandchildren are blessed with a rich multi-cultural and multi-faith heritage”.

'I love working at QCT,' is what I tell people if they ask me about my job.  'I meet and speak to so many interesting people every day and I enjoy the work that I do.  I feel blessed to be working with Richard, Joan, Georgia and Hazel. who are not only supportive but people with whom I can share a joke and a laugh.'"

Project Worker, Churches Together Indigenous People's Partnership (CTIPP)

CTIPP Project Worker, Chris EllisChristine (Chrissy) Ellis is an Aboriginal woman born on Palm Island and identifies as Bwgcolman.  She is a descendant of Kalkadoon / Kairi nations on her mother’s side and Kuku Yalanji / Garawa nations on her father’s side.  Chrissy has lived in the Ipswich / Brisbane regions for most of her life. 

Chrissy has extensive experience working in Indigenous community-based organisations that address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice issues, for the past 17 years.  These roles have included working in Aboriginal Legal Services, Community Justice, Policy and Advocacy, Employment and Training, Vocational Education and Training, Sessional Trainer and Community Development. 

Chrissy and Paul (her husband) are members of the Dinmore Murri Baptist Church and have served in church leadership in a voluntary capacity for the past 7 years.  Chrissy has also previously worked as an Administrator / Executive Assistant to National Director, Baptist Union of Australia.

Chrissy is passionate about serving in a position that continues working towards God’s kingdom purposes and achieving Justice and Reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people/s and non-Indigenous church communities.

Volunteer, CTIPP: Sr Joan Murphy

Sr Joan Murphy wtih Georgia CorowaSister Joan (our Saint Joan) has been working as a volunteer with the CTIPP programme for almost ten years, i.e. since its inception. She compiles resources, prepares meetings of the CTIPP Committee and carries out many other related duties. In the past Sr Joan has conducted parts of workshops, focusing on historical aspects of relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Queensland. Sr Joan is a Good Shepherd Sister.





Office Bearers List

  • President - Dr Joe Goodall (Queensland Congregational Fellowship)
  • 1st Vice President - Rev Dr Brian Sparksman (Roman Catholic)
  • 2nd Vice President - The Revd Dr Cathy Thomson (Anglican)
  • Treasurer - Brooke Prentis (Salvation Army)