Alan Walker

Rev Dr Sir Alan Walker (1911 – 2003) Methodist minister, founder of Lifeline
Rev Dr Walker led the Methodist Church’s “Mission to the Nation” crusades across Australia in the 1950s and founded Lifeline in 1963 as a telephone crisis service of the Methodist Central Mission in Sydney.

Reverend Dr Sir Alan Walker – 1911-2003
Methodist minister & founder of Lifeline

Rev Dr Walker led the Methodist Church’s “Mission to the Nation” crusades across Australia in the 1950s and founded Lifeline in 1963 as a telephone crisis service of the Methodist Central Mission in Sydney.

Sir Alan saw that Australia’s largest city, Sydney, had a crying need for a counselling service and a means to address this problem in a caring and practical way. With this realisation and vision he established the telephone counselling service Lifeline in March 1963. Forty-three years later Lifeline is an international organisation with a mantle of care over some of the world’s largest cities. As a result, millions of men and women around the world have received support and hope in times of loneliness, isolation and need.

In addition to his leadership of Wesley Mission for 20 years, from 1958 to 1978, and being a prominent media cleric, Dr Walker was best known for his large evangelical missions to the nation, his uncompromising voice for peace and justice, and deep commitment to the Methodist tradition.

Known as much for his social activism as his evangelical work, Sir Alan influenced the politicians and social policy makers of his day and demonstrated how the Christian message was relevant and meaningful to the human condition. As Gordon Moyes has said, “it took great courage to be an outspoken pacifist in the Second World War … to defend the young against conscription in the 1960s … [and] moral courage of the highest order to condemn the White Australia policy in 1938.” Alan Walker was expelled from South Africa twice for his anti-apartheid stance and was dubbed ‘the conscience of the nation’ by then Governor-General, Bill Hayden.

“Let it never be forgotten that it is Christ we offer, “ said Sir Alan, adding that, “The church must never degenerate to being akin to a government or social service agency. We witness first, last and always, to Christ.”

Sydney Morning Herald tribute to Alan Walker –

Lifeline Facts: –

Lifeline provides a comprehensive range of services with free of charge or a low cost for all Australians including the 24-hour telephone counselling services, face to face counselling services, education and training, suicide prevention programs, and many other related activities.  On any day, at anytime, around 40-60 Lifeline telephone counsellor volunteers are available for callers across Australia.  In 2002, 4,710 Lifeline telephone counsellor volunteers listened for 456, 222 hours.  Relationships and life transitions have always featured prominently in Lifeline calls.

(Source: Lifeline’s Calls Issues Monitoring, 2003)

‘Lifeline’ recommits to God at 50th anniversary
The 50th anniversary of Lifeline provides an opportunity for the telephone crisis counselling service to recommit its vital to work to God, the Superintendent of Wesley Mission, the Rev Dr Keith Garner said. Speaking at an anniversary function at Government House, Sydney, Dr Garner, said it was time to offer the work of Lifeline to God again, to face future challenges unafraid and to believe that listening and caring ‘still constitute the heart of the secret which is Lifeline.’ ‘What is clear is that Lifeline grew out of a clear sense of Christian vision,’ he said. ‘It was initiated by a remarkable man (the Rev Dr Sir Alan Walker) and was consistent with the Mission principle of reaching out to those on the parameters of the community.’

Alan Walker (theologian):

A Study in Word and Deed: A Eulogy at Rev. Sir Alan Walker’s Thanksgiving Service, Wesley Centre, Sydney, February 11, 2003.

Wesley Mission:

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