IRCA Oceania


Churches and rural communities of Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, and the Islands of Oceania, have your say by sharing how your church is coping with the challenges Covid-19 – Stories of Hope and Stories of Pain.

Read the blog here and click this link for the questionnaire

Responses to the questionnaire are welcome at any time!

IRCA-Oceania exists to bring a uniquely antipodean perspective to the work of IRCA

We endeavour to encourage rural people in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the islands of Melanesia and the South Pacific to come to together to share their experiences and challenges.

IRCA-Oceania grown out of a long-standing relationship between Australian and New Zealand rural churches.  Since the early 1980’s rural people in New Zealand and Australia have been linking ecumenically to support, encourage, and resource one another.  The first Trans-Tasman Conference was held in Darfield, NZ in 1984, followed by Kyogle New South Wales in 1988, Waipawa, Hawkes Bay in 1992, Myrtleford, Victoria in 1996, Northland in 2000, Clare, South Australia in 2004, Nelson/Marlborough in 2008, and Atherton, North Queensland in 2012.

The last conference was held in May 2016 in Wairarapa, NZ.  The theme was Life, Death, and Resurrection.

But those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ John 4:14

IRCA-OCEANIA Statement 2016


Contribution of Women in Rural Churches, Fiji, March 2020

Conference 2020/21

Sadly because of uncertainty of travel between countries and between states in Australia, IRCA-Oceania’s  planned conference in Longreach, Queensland has been cancelled.  We will try again in 2024 Click HERE for details.

Leadership Group

A leadership group, appointed at the Conference in 2016, has had the task of keeping the connections and looking at options for gathering four years later.   The group includes:

Stephanie Clay who lives at Waikuku beach, North Canterbury, NZ – our Chairperson

Angela Dutton who lives in Wauchope, NSW, Australia – our Treasurer

Katrina Graydon who lives on the Chatham Islands, NZ – our Secretary

Graeme Learsch who lives in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

Robyn McPhail who lives in Alexandra, Central Otago, NZ

Feel free to contact us at any time.  Ideas for networking and strengthening ministry in rural communities always welcome.   Or to share your stories – stories of challenge and stories of hope.

The operating guidelines for IRCA-Oceania, adopted on the 6th July 2012, can be found HERE


Ruminations Journal of the NSW Rural Ministry Unit, Uniting Church in Australia

Rural Resources Anglican Diocese of Nelson (scroll to bottom of page)

Rural Ministry Unit UCA in NSW and ACT

God of the Whenua, print book by Bill Bennett, ebook

Rural and Remote Ministry Sisters of Charity

Being in Rural Areas Sisters of Saint Joseph


The Joys (and Challenges) of Rural Ministry

Outback and Country Ministries Australia

Southern Presbyterians, NZ

Rural Australia is worth considering

Effects of Closing a Small Rural Church

Rural churches cultivate initiatives

The Leadership Exchange

The Christian Faith in Rural Australia

The Rural Ministry Blog

Rural churches pose some hard questions


New Zealand’s ecumenical rural ministry newsletter: Rural Network News