Introducing Christ Church
Christ Church is an oasis of quiet and beauty in the busy centre of Brunswick, just twenty minutes by tram to the north of the Melbourne CBD. The first part of the building was dedicated in 1857 and reached its final form in 1875, and has been used for weekly and daily worship since that time.
Christ Church is an Anglican church, part of a worldwide body of Christians that finds its roots in the Church of England. Our worship combines strong preaching with sacramental worship in the Catholic tradition. Though we take our offering of worship very seriously, we have a relaxed approach to our life together. Because we are human, there is a frailty about our offering, but our experience is that God blesses our efforts and and our genuine desire to give him the glory.
The daily offering of worship and prayer is central to our life and to what we offer to the community of Brunswick.
Each day the Eucharist (also known as Holy Communion or the Mass) is offered, and at 6 p.m. each night (except Mondays and Sundays) Evening Prayers are said and intercessions are made. When the parish priest and/or parish lay assistant are at home at 12 noon midday prayer is offered.
Sometimes just a few gather, but on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings there can be up to a dozen folk at the Eucharist. At evening prayer, perhaps four or five. Numbers matter, but what matters most is the promise of the Lord: “Where two or three are gathered, there am I in the midst” (Matthew 18:20)
Sundays @ 10 is our main gathering. It always a ‘day of the Resurrection’ and we meet together to be reminded and to remind one another of the great day of transformation when Jesus rose from the dead.
It is the risen Lord we meet and know in the ‘breaking of the bread’ and in the Bible readings and preaching, and in one another.
So the first thing to know about us is that we are people who worship
We are a fairly diverse community these days, and just like Brunswick itself there are considerable comings and goings! But we try hard to be a welcoming community and it doesn’t take long to feel at home. The Gospel demands that we take the view that whether you have participated in our life for thirty years or for thirty minutes you are of equal value. No one is to be regarded as ‘new’ for very long!
Jesus teaches that God is ‘Our Father’. So we treat one another as brothers and sisters, and seek to discover the blessings of the relationship that is ours already even before we met each other.
After the Sunday celebration those who can stay are welcomed to our hall (the Bardin centre names after the first parish priest) for refreshments and conversation.
There are other opportunities for more relaxed opportunities to meet. We now have occasional series of Sunday evening meetings called MEET UP @ 5. These take place in the large vicarage next to the church where there is a room that holds 30 or so folk. They generally follow the pattern of a time of worship, a reflection by someone present about the theme, discussion in small groups, and then some food. People stay around for as long or as little as they like. It’s purposeful but also very relaxed.
The second thing to know about us is that we are people trying to live as a community
Next to the main hall in the Bardin Centre is our Op Shop. A team of volunteers staff it and we are open on Fridays and Saturdays. We have a definite policy of low pricing so as well as providing a measure of income for the mission of the parish, it is something of a service especially to individuals and families on low incomes. And as with many small shops, most who come in are ready for a chat and enjoy the ready welcome on offer from our volunteers.
Our halls are used by a number of local community groups. The parish has just entered into a relationship with the diocese of Melbourne and purchased a vacant block of land on Sydney Road. This will provide a new way on to our church property. We are just embarking on a master planning exercise which will see a major rethink about our whole site and how we might better serve the mission of God in Brunswick in the future.
We are a community seeking to be a loving and lively presence in Brunswick making common cause with all those who are working for good.