Proud history and tradition to celebrate

The South African Council of Churches came into being without fanfare or any special forms of celebration.

The event is simply recorded in the minutes of the 17th biennial meeting of the Christian Council of South Africa, held at the Observatory Congregational Church in Cape Town on May 29 1968.

At the meeting it was agreed that the name should be changed to the South African Council of Churches (SACC).

Church historians, Bernard Spong and Cedric Mayson recorded the history of the SACC in a 1993 publication titled Come Celebrate, now available in electronic format on

There was a time when progressive religious organisations had to fill the gap created by the banishment and imprisonment of political leaders, black and white, and the banning of political organisations that espoused a non-racial, united and democratic South Africa.

The SACC rose to the challenge. With the vast numbers of Christians in the struggle, it played a special role.

The council is now a fellowship of Christian churches committed to eradicating poverty and combating HIV-Aids, while ensuring economic, social and political justice.

During its 39-year history, the SACC played roles in the spiritual lives of innumerable people in South Africa and abroad. Though a Christian organisation, its programmes benefit all people regardless of their beliefs. Its funding base is located outside the country.