Skip Navigation

ABM Archive Website


For up-to-date information, including our latest appeals, news, and resources, please visit our current website.




Celebrating ABM’s Foundation Day

October 28, 2014

The glory of God is a human being fully alive. – St Irenaeus of Lyons (d. 202)

Each year on 29 October, ABM remembers the day when it came into being in 1850. George Selwyn, the Bishop of New Zealand, was in Sydney to ask for help from the Australian bishops. He wanted funds to purchase a boat which could be used to evangelise the people of Melanesia. At the meeting it was decided to form, as we were known then, the Australasian Board of Missions. It’s recorded that when the decision was relayed to a crowd who were waiting on Pitt Street for news, they began to sing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus spontaneously. Things were certainly different back then.

Yet, despite the changes we have seen in 164 years, some things remain constant –

  • ABM still works to help the Church in Australia to see what God is doing in the world and to help it join in.
  • ABM continues to work in partnership with people who are dedicated to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to communities in Australia and across the world.
  • We work, as ever, to bring God’s fullness of life to people in a holistic way by helping to fund initiatives that help people’s bodies (e.g. health clinics), minds (e.g. literacy classes) and spirits (e.g. by providing Bibles and prayer books).
  • ABM is blessed to have the continued enthusiastic support of Anglicans throughout Australia who give us their time, talents and treasure so that together we can witness to the God who loves the whole world.


God of heaven and earth, we give you thanks for sustaining the Anglican Board of Mission through the past one hundred and sixty-four years. As we commemorate the yearly remembrance of ABM’s foundation, may we be empowered by your Spirit to continue to work for you. May the whole world receive the fullness of life which your Son Jesus Christ, taking on our human flesh, came to bring to us in all humility. This we ask through the same Jesus Christ who died and yet now lives with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Pictured: a depiction of the bishops at the meeting where ABM, then the Australasian Board of Missions, was formed in 1850.