The Diocese of Adelaide was founded in 1847 with Bishop Augustus Short as its first bishop. Until 1856 the diocese included Western Australia. The Diocese now forms part of the Province of South Australia, with Willochra (1915) and The Murray (1969).
The first Anglican services were held in 1837, shortly after the founding of the Colony of South Australia, which unlike the other Australian colonies, was founded on Wakefield’s principles of systematic colonisation, without convicts. As this colony was the first to end the granting of public funds to religion (1851), the Church of England in the colony had no establishment status.
Today, the Diocese of Adelaide is geographically the smallest diocese in Australia. It is largely an urban, metropolitan diocese, although its rural parishes include Kangaroo Island and in the north extends to the wine-producing Barossa Valley and Kapunda.
The Anglican Church in South Australia has always been closely involved with the local community. The first bishop was the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide. It was the wife of an Archdeacon of Adelaide who was largely responsible for establishing what was then called the Home for Incurables, and is now known in her honour as Julia Farr House for the chronically ill and disabled. Other Anglican welfare institutions were consolidated in recent years as Anglicare SA, one of the biggest welfare agencies in this state which has its own web site.
Located on traditional Kaurna lands, the Nunga Ministry serves the Aboriginal community. Anglicare SA continues to provide services to children, the aged and family services and emergency relief. St Peter’s Cathedral in North Adelaide is the mother church. While predominantly Anglo-Celtic in background, it has a multi-cultural and mission ethos, and has played a significant part in the growth and development of the state.