“John Chapman led a diocese to go evangelical, and outrage lingers still”

Posted on July 17, 2023 
Filed under Australian dioceses, History, People

John Chapman early 1960s Armidale. Scan C Mackellar.

“The Anglicans of Armidale elected an evangelical bishop in 1964, a move led by John Chapman, best known as Sydney Anglican’s evangelist.

The Professor of History at the University of New England, Thomas Fudge, gave a public lecture on the evangelical takeover of the diocese – making his disapproval plain by wearing a Cope, an ecclesiastical garment disapproved of by many evangelicals. …”

– John Sandeman reports on unhappiness which still lingers.

It’s true that not everyone loved John Chapman, but many many thousands did, and praise God for him and his clear preaching of Christ.


Chappo’s contribution to the Anglican Diocese of Armidale – Tim Stevens.

“Through God working through the diligence of a humble Christian man called John Chapman, many people in the Diocese of Armidale came to know the Lord.”

Phillip Jensen on Chappo, March 2013. – The Briefing, Matthias Media.

The preaching of John Chapman – Simon Manchester, The Briefing.

John Chapman – a personal reflection from Mark Thompson.

John Charles Chapman (Chappo) – by David Cook.

Dick Lucas gives thanks for Chappo.

In the 1990s, John Chapman wrote this about the need for groups like the Anglican Church League:

“It has been interesting to me to see how the churches in the New Testament, who were founded by the apostles, so soon fell into such error that the apostles say that they have lost the gospel itself (see 2 Corinthians 11:4).

There is in the Pastoral epistles a strong call to guard and preserve the gospel. The ACL was founded and exists to do that. The way they seek to do it is to help us by finding people who are committed to this cause who will serve us on the committees and boards of the various agencies of this vast Diocese.

I have been a member of ACL for more than 30 years and commend its activities.”

Photo: Chappo, probably when he was Armidale Youth Director – apparently taken during a mission at the University of New England, early 1960s.