We Welcome You
We are always open to new people, people returning and people who are always here.
First Time Visitor
Entering a Church building for the first time can be quite daunting as what is inside the building is unknown. Also, as is the case with the Churches in our Parish the doors are made of solid wood meaning that you cannot see what is on the other side of them until the doors are opened. All the Church buildings in the Parish are traditionally laid out inside which means the entrance is at the 'back' of the congregation.
Most importantly, there are people at the door to welcome all who come into Church, to give you any Service Booklets and Hymn Books that may be used on that day, and to help you in any way they can.
People can sit anywhere they choose in the main part of the Church (there are no reserved seats). All are welcome to attend any of the Services in our Churches. There is no obligation to say or do anything. If you wish to participate in the words and songs of the Service you are welcome. If you wish to simply observe the regular pattern of worship you are just as welcome.
Ease of Access
We wish to ensure that everyone is welcome to join us for worship in our Churches, and don't want there to be obstacles. Here is some information about the Churches of our Parish to help anyone who may have mobility issues.
Christ Church Hamilton is located on the corner of Gray and McIntyre Streets. There is a carpark accessible from Griffin Street. As a traditional blue-stone building there are stairs at the entrance under the tower. There is a level access from the carpark through the porch on the McIntyre Street side of the building into the Church.
St Mary's Dunkeld is located on the corner of Sterling and Wills Streets. It has an easier access on level ground through a door behind the Church which avoids the front stairs.
St Peter's Glenthompson is located at 16 McLennan Street. There is a single step into the building.
St Mark's Cavendish is located on the corner of Riley and Bunbury Streets. There is a side door with a single step on the Bunbury Street side of the building.
All Saints Penshurst is located on the corner of Cobb and Burchett Streets. There is a disability access ramp on the side of the building.
You are welcome to Receive Holy Communion
If you are baptized you may receive the bread and wine, or the bread only, or come forward for a prayer of blessing, or choose not to leave your seat at all. The Altar is God's table, and God's generosity is great. Children may come forward with their parents for communion or a blessing.
What's in our Church Services
Each Sunday we gather for worship and celebrate the Eucharist together. The form of this service comes from 'A Prayer Book for Australia' which is the modern Anglican Service Book. This follows the ancient pattern of Christian worship that has been passed down through the centuries expressing it in modern language. The Eucharist can be considered to have two principle parts:
1. The Liturgy of the Word
We begin our worship by greeting one another in God's Name, and offering an opening prayer;
we take a moment to consider our own human frailty and ask God's forgiveness for the wrong we have done;
we declare our praise to God who loves and forgives us;
and we listen to several readings from the Bible, and an address intended to expand our understanding of what those readings mean to us seeking to live Jesus' way.
We then declare our Christian faith in the words of the 'Nicene Creed' ('creed' is a word that means 'I believe'),
we offer prayers for the needs of the world and the community at the present time.
We conclude this part of our worship with 'the Greeting of Peace' which is an acknowledgement that we are all at peace with one another, bonded by Christian fellowship, as we worship together. At this point in the Service people often move about greeting one another.
2. The Liturgy of the Eucharist
The Eucharist is best described in four simple words: 'take', 'bless', 'break', 'share'.
The Priest presiding at the Eucharist goes to the Altar and the Offertory takes place: the bread and wine that will be used for Holy Communion is brought forward from the congregation and is 'offered' on the Altar to God. It is a symbolic offering of our lives to God that we may be nourished for our Christian lives. We offer ourselves to God as we 'take' bread and wine to the Altar. (On Sundays a voluntary collection of money to support the ministry of the Parish happens at this point.)
The Priest leads the gathered community in the Great Thanksgiving Prayer, a prayer which recalls the great acts of love God has shown to humanity in the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, and the gift of the Holy Spirit; it recalls Jesus' words at the Last Supper; and it asks the Holy Spirit to be present in us as Christ is present in this sacred meal. The bread and wine 'blessed' and recognized as the spiritual body and blood of Christ.
The Priest 'breaks' the bread so that it may be share by all who are present. It reminds us that Jesus was broken for us on the cross, and that he makes our brokenness whole. We come from a broken and divided world and are made one in Christ's love.
Holy Communion, the Body and Blood of Christ, is received by all those present who wish to come forward, 'share' this sacred meal, and be spiritually nourished by God.
The Eucharist concludes with a prayer of thanks for receiving Holy Communion, a declaration by the Priest of God's blessing upon all present, and a dismissal which is encouragement to go and live the Christian life for another week.
Hymns and Music
On Sundays we usually sing hymns during the service:
An entrance Hymn at the beginning;
An Offertory Hymn after the Greeting of Peace;
A Communion Hymn after everyone has received Holy Communion;
and a Thanksgiving Hymn before the Blessing.
The Hymn numbers are printed in the Pewsheet each week and displayed on the hymn board mounted near the front of the Church for all to see.
At the 10.30am Sung Eucharist in Christ Church Hamilton the Choir leads the congregation in sing certain parts of the Service itself.
The Choir also sing an Anthem while Holy Communion is being received.