If the Liturgical Commission has played a pivotal role in renewing the face of the Anglican Church of this country, then Evan Burge has had an enormous influence in shaping that renewal.
Evan had the unique distinction of serving on the Commission twice, and twice he influenced the revision of our prayer books. He was a great contributor to the work that led to the publication of An Australian Prayer Book in 1977. He was recalled to the Commission when the decision was taken to revise again, and was again an important contributor to the text of A Prayer Book for Australia (authorised in 1995).
Dr Burge’s scholarly gifts were many. He was a true classicist, with extensive knowledge of Hebrew, Greek and Latin, as well as being a devotee of our Cranmerian liturgical heritage.
Ecumenical dialogues had an enormous influence on our emerging Anglican liturgical tradition. Evan was at the heart of this as well.
He was a founding member of the Australian Consultation on Liturgy (ACOL), serving as a member from 1976 until 2003, and hosting its meetings at Trinity College for many years. Beyond this, he represented ACOL on the international English Language Liturgical Consultation and did us proud. His gifts with classical languages were utilized in providing revisions of the Agreed texts that became widely used across the English-speaking churches, and locally in APBA. Evan wrote the official commentary on these traditions.
If Dr Burge was an influential scholar, then Evan the person and priest was warm, enthusiastic and ever encouraging, especially of younger members of the Commission, and generously hosted the Liturgical Commission for many of its meetings.
Evan Burge was a true Anglican – open-hearted and open-minded.
He served God and God’s people remarkably well.
We, the members of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia, record our thanks to God for Evan Laurie Burge: priest, scholar, teacher, liturgist and friend.
David Richardson – 5 Oct 04