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Church, Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia
Church, Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia.
Church of Australia, Diocese
of Canberra and Goulburn.
A typically quaint Gothic Revival stone cross shaped building
set in pleasantly large church grounds. It replaces an earlier
building and is the design of the Revd Alberto Dias Soares,
born of Portuguese parents residing in England. Soares emigrated
to New South Wales in 1852 in search of work in his chosen profession,
engineering, but decided instead to enter the ministry. He was
ordained a priest in 1857 and was incumbent of Christ Church
until 1877. The present church plus rectory, stable and school
houses were built to Soares' specifications in 1859-60, and
he designed several other churches as well. Christ Church and
its ancillary buildings form a picturesque landmark in downtown
The parish of Queanbeyan and District is a large one and includes
four other churches: St Matthew's, St Paul's, St Thomas Michelago,
and Googong, the Celebration Community. They sponsor several
small home groups plus Bible study and a bowling club. There
are two celebrations of holy communion at Christ Church each
Sunday, plus Sunday school.
The church is set in a beautifully leafy area.
The Venerable Ian Palmer, archdeacon and team leader, presided.
He was assisted by the Revd Deacon Mary Thorn. There were three
servers besides and a visiting minister.
The date & time:
Last Sunday after Epiphany, 19 February 2012, 8.00am.
What was the name of the service?
How full was the building?
There were at least 50 people there of various ages ranging
from perhaps mid to late 20s to perhaps 80-ish. The church was,
I would say, two-thirds full.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
A sidesperson welcomed me at the door and handed me a service
sheet and a newsletter.
Was your pew comfortable?
As far as standard wooden pews go, it was okay. There were cushions
hanging from the pew in front of me, but I am not sure if these
were for sitting on or kneeling on, as there were no kneelers.
It was comfortable enough.
How would you describe the pre-service
Chatty and engaging. People were just chatting and welcoming
What were the exact opening words of the
"Let us stand for our opening hymn: 'Lord your almighty Word
chaos and darkness heard.'"
What books did the congregation use during the
No books were used. An A4 sheet had the entire service printed
out on it. There was a screen used during the talk time.
What musical instruments were played?
An electronic organ was the only instrument used. It had a very
Did anything distract you?
I have to say nothing unpleasant distracted me, but the stained
glass windows were some of the most beautiful and colourful
I have ever seen. They seemed to have been personally donated
in remembrance of various members over the years. It would be
interesting to know the full history of those beautiful windows.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip,
happy clappy, or what?
The service was middle of the road Anglican, with procession
into the church of the minister and servers with a gold cross
leading the way. It was reverent but you could tell that this
is a very evangelical Anglican church. The hymns happened to
be among some of my favourites: "Lord your almighty Word",
"Fairest Lord Jesus", and "Be thou my vision."
The hymns were being sung as worship, not just for the sake
of singing a hymn. There were several "hand raisers" here and
Exactly how long was the
It was not a sermon, but rather an interview with a visiting
missionary from Seville by the name of Ian Batey. Archdeacon
Palmer did the interview and I found it very challenging.
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
8 As said, it wasn't a sermon per se, but it was challenging
all the same.
In a nutshell, what was the sermon
Pretty much about Ian Batey's calling from his youth into the
ministry via a nursing degree and finally being called to serve
the Lord in Spain. The challenges facing evangelical Christians
in a Catholic dominated "Mary focused" country were highlighted
with sensitivity and Christian concern for the gospel to be
shared with the people of that country. The speaker mentioned
that he originally didn't feel he could ever speak in public
and that he argued with the Lord about that. He said he was
reminded of the Lord calling Moses and the excuses Moses gave
before relenting to serve God anyway.
Which part of the service was like being in
Well, most of it really. It was a warm and worshipful good Anglican
service. There was a tiny baby who was just wonderful to watch.
She seemed to know where she was and why she was there. She
made one shriek of joy just toward the end of the service.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
There was an annoying reverberation from the microphones during the ministry of the Word.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
There was an invitation to morning tea given by Archdeacon Palmer
during the notices. Once I was outside, there were one or two
"hellos" and invitations to a coffee, so I duly went to the
old school hall for a cuppa.
How would you describe the after-service
Instant tea and coffee, home baked scones (from Archdeacon Palmer,
I was told), and assorted cakes and biscuits. China cups were
used and the place was full of buzz and chatter. Two folks had
a recent birthday so a cake was presented along with a sung
"Happy Birthday" to Jim and Jill. The comment was made that
it should be to "Jack and Jill" with laughter all around. There
was a plate of gluten free muffins, which I thought was very
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
8 As far as wonderfully warm Anglican goes, I would definitely
make this particular service my Sunday service. Since I was
not able to be around for the 10.00am, I can't compare the two.
A flight back to Adelaide was awaiting me at Canberra Airport.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a
Yes, in a most positive way.
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The visiting speaker's story of his calling to Spain. I was
deeply touched and challenged.
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