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Participating Speakers


Rev Dr Gerard Kelly
(Roman Catholic, Australia)

Rev Dr. Gerard Kelly

I am a priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney and was ordained in 1980, after studies in the Catholic Institute of Sydney at St Columba’s College, Springwood and St Patrick’s College, Manly. I joined the academic staff of CIS in 1986, and was given study leave in 1988 to pursue doctoral studies. I returned to CIS at the end of 1992.

There are always many influences in a person’s theological development. During my studies at CIS the teaching and theological writing of Rev Dr David Coffey was influential. He introduced us to the systematic theology of Karl Rahner in a masterly way. While in Ottawa I worked under the direction of J.M.R. Tillard OP, who was a leader in Catholic ecumenical theology. He not only opened doors into the Great Tradition, as he called it, but also showed the importance of dialogue in any theological endeavour, especially dialogue with those from other churches and Christian communities.

I have been able to continue some of that tradition in my own teaching and writing. I have also found my participation in various ecumenical groups, especially the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue in Australia and the Faith and Unity Commission of the National Council of Churches in Australia, to be significant places for doing theology.

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Canon Martin and Ruth Reardon

Martin Reardon, an Anglican priest, was sent in 1960 by the Church of England for a year to Louvain University, Belgium, to make contact with Roman Catholic theology following the calling of the Second Vatican Council by Pope John XXIII. There he met Ruth, a Roman Catholic; they married in Louvain in 1964. They lived for seven years in Sheffield, where Martin was Secretary of the Council of Churches. Ruth edited the Catholic ecumenical quarterly One in Christ, and became a member of the Roman Catholic Ecumenical Commission for England and Wales.

In 1968 they were founder-members of the Association of Interchurch Families. Martin became co-chair together with Fr John Coventry SJ, and Ruth honorary secretary .In the 1970s Martin was Sub-Warden of Lincoln Theological College, and their two children spent their early years there. In the 1980s Martin was General Secretary of the Board for Mission and Unity of the Church of England, and Ruth was Sussex Churches Ecumenical Officer. From 1990 until he retired in 1997 Martin was General Secretary of Churches Together in England. Martin and Ruth were elected two of AIF's presidents following their retirements as co-chair and secretary. They compile an email newsletter: Interchurch Families: Issues - Reflections - News that continues the work of the Interchurch Families Journal.

They were recently honoured with the "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" award for their work with interchurch families. They now live at Turvey in Bedfordshire.



The Rev. Dr Chris Budden
General Secretary
Uniting Church in Australia
New South Wales Synod

Chris Budden has been ordained for nearly 25 years. He has served four congregations/parishes (two prior to ordination and two since), and has been Mission and Justice Secretary for the Northern Synod, Assembly Secretary for Social Responsibility and Justice, and Presbytery Officer for the Hunter Presbytery.

He is a theological activist with a deep passion for the Christian faith and the church. Chris believes that, as Christians, we need to be more open to share our faith, more encouraging of new forms of church, and more flexible in our structures and ways of organising our life in local congregations.

He has recently married Wendy and between them they have six children and a one-year-old grandchild.

Chris' interests, which he would like more time to pursue, are scuba diving, jazz music and the saxophone, and bike riding. He lives in the beautiful city of Newcastle, and takes the 5:20 am train to work most mornings of the week



Elizabeth Harrington
(Australia- RC NCCA Rep)

Elizabeth Harrington (BA, B Econ, Cert Teaching, Grad Dip Theol) has been the Education Officer with The Liturgical Commission of the Brisbane Archdiocese since 1995.

She worked for ten years with the Queensland Department of Education and for seven years at Rosalie Marist College teaching German, maths and religious education.

Elizabeth was employed as Pastoral Associate at Rosalie parish from 1987 to 1994 and is still actively involved in several parish groups, including the liturgy committee and the interchurch council.

Her studies in liturgy include a diploma from the Institute of Pastoral Liturgy and courses at the University of Notre Dame and Oxford University summer schools. She was awarded a Graduate Diploma of Theology from the Brisbane College of Theology in 1999.

Elizabeth is very involved in the ecumenical movement having been a member of the Brisbane Ecumenical Commission for 12 years and its chair from 1991 to 1999. She attended all biennial gatherings of Australian Catholic Diocesan Ecumenical Commissions from Melbourne in 1988 to Brisbane in 1998.

She was appointed to the National Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Uniting Church in Australia in 1994, a year after the dialogue moved to Brisbane. The topic of Interchurch marriage was the focus of the dialogue for the first phase in Brisbane, with the report 'Interchurch Marriages: Their Ecumenical Challenge and Significance for our Churches' being published in 1999.

Currently Elizabeth is a delegate to Queensland Churches Together, a member of the executive of the National Council of Churches in Australia since its inauguration in 1994, and a member of the Uniting/Catholic National Dialogue.

Elizabeth has been married to Tim since 1976 and has 3 adult sons.


Bishop Graeme Rutherford
Anglican Co-chair AustARC


Bishop Graeme studied for the priesthood in Melbourne and Durham (UK). He has had a close association with the Cistercian Community at Tarrawarra on the outskirts of Melbourne. He is also a Benedictine Oblate of St Mark's Anglican Abbey in Camperdown, Victoria. He is the author of several books, including 'Watchers in the Morning - A Spirituality for Contemporary Christians'; 'The Potter God'; 'The Heart of the Gospel' and ''The Uniqueness of Christ'. He is co-chair of AustARC which consists of a group of Anglican and Roman Catholic theologians. They have produced agreed statements on 'The Saints' and 'Gospel Authority'.

Bishop Graeme Rutherford is the Assistant Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle, a position he has held for the past four years.



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