St. Helen’s Thanksgiving service for Chappo

John ChapmanThe video from the Thanksgiving service for John Chapman, held at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London a week ago (1st March 2013), is now available on Vimeo.

Participants include William Taylor, Dick Lucas, Richard Bewes and Hugh Palmer.

Dick Lucas remembered the first time he met Chappo – and Hugh Palmer preached from Romans 1.

The video runs for 51 minutes and is most edifying.

More thanks from South Africa for Chappo

Frank Retief, past Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa, gives thanks for John Chapman –

“But above all his love for Christ and the saving Gospel was always paramount. His wisdom in sharing the Gospel was a gift. We in South Africa will miss him very much.”

These words of thanks were sent to Archbishop Peter Jensen –

“Dear Peter

I am sure you have received many tributes in regard to John Chapman. I know that Des Inglesby has written to you on behalf of CESA. But I felt that I would like to add mine anyway because of the impact Chappo had on us in South Africa.

I first met him with your brother Phillip at Amsterdam in 1983. I was very naïve at that time and knew no one from Australia. I got the impression that if I hung around with them long enough I would get into trouble sooner or later. They were mischievous and insightful and to me very bold. But that connection has been one of the great blessings of my life because amongst other things they were both indeed bold for the Gospel and their humour was real, pertinent and made them both very accessible.

Chappo visited us several times. He taught our men how to preach the Gospel positively, from the text; boldly and wisely. I personally, as have others, seen him weep in the pulpit unashamed of his emotions which I thought was a great model for all preachers.

He was humble, unassuming and generous to a fault. His eccentricities only made him more loved. Our eldest granddaughter, now nine, had her very first pair of baby bootees knitted for her by Chappo. He was a remarkable conversationalist and enjoyed human company. But above all his love for Christ and the saving Gospel was always paramount. His wisdom in sharing the Gospel was a gift. We in South Africa will miss him very much.

I don’t know what you will do with this letter. I simply wanted to express to someone how much he was appreciated from my personal point of view.

Warm Christian greetings


See also: Dick Lucas gives thanks for Chappo.

CESA gives thanks for Chappo

Thanks from CESA –

“He was a true brother and friend in Christ, yet at the same time a ‘father-like’ figure”

From Desmond Inglesby, Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa.

“The Church of England in South Africa pays tribute to John Chapman, affectionately known to us as “Chappo”. We considered him as a ‘great one’ and we are indebted to him for his numerous visits to South Africa.

He was a remarkable man with unique ministry gifts. As a Christian leader, a committed Bible teacher and a passionate evangelist, his ministry influenced us in many different ways. His books are very popular and widely used in our churches.

He was a true brother and friend in Christ, yet at the same time a ‘father-like’ figure, who faithfully taught us God’s word and inspired us to know, and to make Jesus Christ known. We give thanks to God for his life, influence and service to our denomination.

We echo the words of King David “a prince and a great man has fallen in Israel this day”. (2 Samuel 3:38 NIV84)”

Thanksgiving Service for Chappo set for next Saturday (updated)

News from Dr Philip Selden, Diocesan Registrar –

“There will be a public Thanksgiving Service for the life of John Chapman, who died on Friday 16th November.

The service, to be led by the Archbishop, will be held at 2:30pm on Saturday November 24th at St Andrew’s Cathedral. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.”

Update from the Cathedral:
“Dean Phillip Jensen will preach. There will be a collection at the service for the John Chapman Foundation, which raises money to recruit and train evangelists. Please give generously.”

Update from Russell Powell:
Video of the memorial service will be streamed live from 2:15pm on Saturday, thanks to Audio Advice.

Dick Lucas gives thanks for Chappo

Wonderful words from Dick Lucas, past Rector of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate:

“…we join with friends in Sydney in blessing the Lord, who has now taken John away to be with Christ in glory, for giving him to us for so long, and for such grand purposes of grace.”

”Many at this time will wish to pay tribute to John Chapman, alias the unique and unforgettable ‘Chappo’. Allow me, as one such, to write very personally of a dear friend, a marvellously stimulating brother in Christ, a shrewd fellow worker and, of course, a superbly gifted evangelist and teacher. John knew his special calling, and, to his final days, was energetically gospelling and offering to all the possibility of a Fresh Start. This made his U.K. visits highly desired and valued.

Looking back, I recall another characteristic of Chappo – he was a great encourager of the brethren. I saw this in Australia at ministers’ meetings where John would always be present putting new heart and humour into everyone there. On one such occasion, when I was speaking, it was initially unsettling to have him lurking in the back row, making pungent and priceless comments sotto voce, causing a ripple of amusement to spread through the assembled company. With Chappo in attendance you had to be ready for anything, at any time!

As for his visits to this part of the world, when it was reported that Chapman was on the horizon, morale soared, and requests for his services poured in – this man was a tonic to have around. When in London Chappo often stayed with me. The day would begin with my calling him for breakfast, and delighting in the sound of his tread on the stairs, as he descended from his room on the top floor, humming, whistling, or otherwise making his happy noises, finally arriving, larger than life, full of cheerful talk, ready for the fray.

We commonly say of a person of note that we shall not see their like again. In John Chapman’s case I see this to be no less than the simple truth. As for his many friends in Britain, we join with friends in Sydney in blessing the Lord, who has now taken John away to be with Christ in glory, for giving him to us for so long, and for such grand purposes of grace.”

– Dick Lucas writes at the Proclamation Trust.

More thanksgiving for Chappo

From Dave McDonald in Canberra –

“At 9.15 this evening Chappo departed to be with his Lord and Saviour. This was the occasion he’d been looking forward to since he was a teenager. This was the hope that Chappo had shared with all who’d listen. Chappo loved explaining to people that Jesus had given his life to pay for their sins and offer forgiveness. He’d share how God had raised Jesus from the dead, and how he was now the Lord of this universe. He’d passionately plead with people to consider how they’d been treating God, to turn and seek forgiveness, and to hand over control of their lives to Jesus.”

– A heartfelt gospel-centred thanksgiving from Dave McDonald at Macarisms.

Other tributes:

• Gordon Cheng (with links).

Evangelist John Chapman is home at last – Eternity Newspaper.

David Ould.

• In memory of John Chapman – St Helen’s, London (with a link to audio).

Nathan Campbell.

St Helen’s Bishopsgate.

In a little while – thanking God for Chappo

The Briefing“My generation missed Chappo. I think I heard him preach once, maybe twice. By the time I went through Moore Theological College he was no longer the one giving sermon feedback. Others were the regular evangelists up at the Katoomba conventions when I attended them.

I heard a number of his jokes — even I knew of his encouragement of younger Christians with words along the lines of ‘Don’t worry, the first 40 years are the hardest’ — but I heard most of these stories from others who knew him better, or had heard him more often.”

– Coinciding with the day of a special Thanksgiving service in London, Sam Freeney explains why The Briefing (March/April 2013) will carry some special appreciations of our dear brother John Chapman.

Memorial service for Chappo at St Helen’s March 1st

John Chapman (Matthias Media photo)If you are within striking distance of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate

“There’s a UK based memorial service for John Chapman (Chappo) coming up soon. It’s St Helen’s Bishopsgate on Friday 1 March at 3pm and is a good opportunity for those who have been grateful to God for this man of God to acknowledge that together.”

– so writes Adrian Reynolds at the Proclamation Trust.

Chappo Memorial Service video

While the Memorial Service for John Chapman has now concluded, you can see the recorded video stream here.

Thanks to Ken Sandell and Audio Advice for making this available.

Order of Service (PDF).

Update: Russell Powell has a report at

Chappo talks about his conversion

John Chapman speaks about how he came to Christ – in this 3 minute video recorded a couple of years ago for St Mark’s Pennant Hills. Thanks to Craig Schafer for making it available.

With thanks for John Chapman 1930–2012

Beloved Australian evangelist John Chapman has fallen asleep in Christ at the age of 82.

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labours, for their deeds follow them!” – Revelation 14:13.

Russell Powell writes at

Sydney’s leading evangelist for more than 50 years, John Chapman, has passed away in hospital at the age of 82.

‘Chappo’, as he was affectionately known, was converted in his teens and became involved in the Anglican Youth Department and later the Department of Evangelism, where he was director for more than 25 years.

His wide preaching, teaching and writing ministry saw him speaking to groups throughout the Sydney diocese, in Australia and overseas, particularly in England where he was a regular visitor.

In later years he passed on his wisdom on evangelism and preaching to generations of ministry trainees and colleges students. He was also prominent in evangelism in universities, particularly during the 1970’s and 80’s.

His books “A Fresh Start”, “Know and Tell the Gospel” sold in the tens of thousands and helped many Sydney Anglicans with personal evangelism and sharing the gospel.

Mr Chapman never married but was at home in many churches across the diocese.  The single quarters at Moore Theological College was named “John Chapman House” in his honour.

Although he had been ill for some time, Chappo received a stream of visitors from around the world during his retirement in Sydney’s south.

In recent weeks, one of his last duties was a project close to his heart, the newly created John Chapman Foundation, established in October to raise money to recruit and train evangelists.

He was admitted to St George Hospital in late October and had been on the critical list for a week.

On Friday 16th November, several close friends visited to read the bible, pray and say their last farewells to a man who was one of the most loved preachers in the Sydney Diocese in second half of the 20th century.

He finally succumbed to multiple organ failure on Friday night.

Archbishop Peter Jensen immediately paid tribute to his longtime friend and colleague.

“Chappo represented the very essence of what our diocese has always stood for and continues to stand for. A strong affirmation of the authority of the Bible, the importance of preaching and an approach to evangelism which made it central while at the same time respecting the intelligence and integrity of the listeners. He was a man of faith like Joshua of old, and he lived out his faith with clear godliness of life”, Dr Jensen said.

“Like many others, Christine and I feel the loss acutely. When I visited him on his last day, he reminded me once more that he prayed for us daily. His support for me personally for over 40 years has been an incalculable blessing.” he said.

Photo from an interview recorded just a few months ago by AFES.

Other tributes will be posted on our home page.

Update: Thanksgiving service details.

Chappo unplugged

Richard Chin, National Director of AFES, recently interviewed much loved evangelist John Chapman. As Sandy Grant says at The Briefing, “Younger generations of ministers in Sydney and Australian evangelicalism should hear this for personal edification but also to understand something of our heritage.”

You will be greatly encouraged and helped by investing 86 minutes of your time in watching Chappo. Classic. And give thanks for our dear brother.

Chappo and the Hallway challenge

ChappoMuch loved evangelist John Chapman has recorded a two minute video to encourage you to pray for your unsaved friends, and to use the resources available for Connect09.

The video is available at and would be ideal to play in church.

As always, Chappo reminds us what it is really all about:

“People who are apart from Christ are lost. Their plight is desperate. They need to be forgiven. And they need to find Jesus as a Friend – as a Saviour. They need to know that he’s died so their sins can be forgiven.”

Tip: You can download the video files from, but if you have problems playing them (we did), the 76MB mpeg4 file can be downloaded from Vimeo. You’ll need to register with Vimeo if you haven’t already, and then on this page, the download option is on the very bottom right (“Download Quicktime version”).

Our thanks to the team at Anglican Media Sydney for making these videos available.

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