Which Sunday service should I go to – 9:30am Church or 6pm Church?
While all ages and stages of life are welcome at both church services, the main difference between our two English-language services is that 9:30am Church includes programs for for children. 9:30am Church has a Kids’ Spot (a short talk or Bible story for children) early on in the service. After the Kids’ Spot, children (pre-schoolers through to year 9) leave the main auditorium for their various programs. There is also a creche, where toddlers are supervised for the whole service.
At 6pm Church, on the other hand, there is no supervision provided in the creche, nor are there any children’s programs. Parents are most welcome to take their children into the crying room or the creche (both of which stream audio from the auditorium), however parents remain responsible for their children at all time.
Both services have a similar mix of contemporary music and reworked hymns, the same Bible passages are read and the same sermon is preached.
If you are still unsure which service to go to, why not try them both, and see which fits best?
What should I wear?
Whatever you feel comfortable in! Our preachers and leaders usually wear long pants and collared shirts, but most of us dress more casually. Jeans, t-shirts, skirts, shorts, football jerseys are fine.
Is there parking?
Yes! There is plenty of parking on the church property, around the main building. Enter the car park by turning left off Latrobe Rd. If you have turned left off Cowpasture Rd into Latrobe Rd, you will have to do a u-turn at the roundabout (at the intersection of Latrobe Rd and Carmichael Dr).
Disabled parking spaces are available next to the building entrance.
Please do not park immediately in front of the building – this lane is for drop-offs and pick-ups only.
Where is the entrance to the building?
The main entrance to the building faces Cowpasture Rd. As you drive into the car park, turn right at the roundabout and then left into the car park. The entrance will then be on your left.
It’s a big building – where do the church services happen?
All our church services meet in the main auditorium. The auditorium is on your left once you have entered the foyer. We don’t have reserved seats, so you can sit where ever you like in the auditorium.
Sunday School classes happen in a combination of other rooms around the building – children will be led from the main auditorium to their rooms by their teachers.
How long do church services go for?
Our time together in the auditorium usually goes for about an 75 minutes. Sometimes we are longer (up to 90 minutes) and sometimes we are shorter (60 minutes). We usually spend time together over food afterwards, where people stay for as long as they like.
What happens in a church service?
We sing 4-6 songs throughout the service – a mix of contemporary Christian music and reworked hymns. Most of us stand to sing, but you can sit if you feel more comfortable.
We listen to the Bible read – usually a section from the Old Testament and a section from the New Testament.
We hear a sermon, which usually goes for around 25 minutes. Our sermons generally aim to help us practically apply one of the Bible passages we read.
We spend time together in prayer – praising God and asking him to fulfil his promises to us. Usually one person prays on behalf of the whole church. You won’t be asked to pray, but you can say “Amen” at the end if you agree.
There is a time of notices, where we hear about different things happening in and around our church.
We regularly pray prayers of confession together, and occasionally say creeds – the words are projected on a screen.
At 9:30am Church, there is also a Kids’ Spot – a short talk or Bible story for children.
Once a month, at both services, we share in the Lord’s Supper (Communion) together. This is a way that God helps us remember Jesus death for our sin – the bread and wine/juice which we eat and drink are symbols of his body and blood. Anyone who trusts Jesus as their Lord is welcome to eat and drink. If this is not you, use this time to reflect on everything you have heard during the service.
Do you cater for children?
We have programs for all children aged 0-15 at 9:30am Church. There is a crying room for babies and a creche for toddlers. There are three Sunday School classes: pre-school, years K-2 and years 3-6, where children receive age-appropriate teaching from the Bible. There is also a Bible study group, “Switch Bible Study”, for school years 7-9.
Children who attend Sunday School and Switch Bible Study begin in the main auditorium, for the first 15 minutes or so of the service. This 15 minutes usually includes singing and an introduction from the service leader, followed by a Kids’ Spot (a short talk or Bible story for children). After the Kids’ Spot, kids involved in Sunday School and Switch Bible Study leave the main auditorium for their various programs. Parents are most welcome to visit Sunday School classes, whether it be to help their children settle, or simply to get a taste of what goes on each week.
Toddlers in the creche can be signed in by a parent before 9:30am Church begins, or at any time during the service. Children also have the option of staying with their parents in the auditorium for the duration of the service, if they and their parents wish to do this.
All Sunday School teachers have undertaken Safe Ministry Training, accredited by the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. The safety of your children is of utmost importance to us.
Will I be forced to participate in the church service?
There is no compulsion for anyone to join in on any part of the service if you don’t want to. Feel free to sit and listen as songs are sung, prayers are prayed and so on. You will never be put on the spot, or asked to do something that may embarrass you: there are no wacky rituals or secret signs.
Will I be asked for money?
No. As a visitor – even a long-term visitor – you are our guest and there is no expectation that you give any money. We do not pass a plate around: church members give electronically or through the box in the back corner of the auditorium.
Hoxton Park Anglican Church is funded by its members – those who have settled in and made this church their own. There is no centralised Anglican body who contributes any funding. The majority of the money given by members finances ministry activities, staff, and upkeep of facilities.
Will I have to give my personal details to anyone?
You will not be pressured into to giving any personal details. However, if you would like to become more involved, and receive information about upcoming events, you can put your contact details on a Response Card (these are included in the orange welcome packs).
Do you have to be a Christian to come?
Certainly not! We welcome people of all backgrounds, including all religions. If you are a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist – or even if you’re not sure! – you are most welcome to visit our church.
Do you have to be an Anglican to come?
No! Whether you consider yourself Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Presbyterian, Uniting – or whatever! – you are most welcome.
While we are grateful that being Anglican means we are part of a supportive network of churches, with a strong history of faithfulness to God and his message, our priority is that people come to know, love and understand God better – whatever label you might give yourself.
Who else comes along?
You’ll find a mix of people in our church services on Sundays. Old people, young people, people from different cultural and national backgrounds, married people, single people, blue-collar, white collar, homemakers – chances are there’ll be someone just like you!
What if I feel out of place?
While we strive to make everyone feel welcome, we know that we are far from perfect at this! If you feel unwelcome or uncomfortable, we ask for your forgiveness and understanding. Should you choose to come back, our experience is you’ll probably find you’re not as different as you first thought.
What if English is my second language?
For Arabic speakers, we have an Arabic language service. Otherwise, our services take place in English. We try to keep our language simple, however if there are parts of the service you don’t understand, please speak to one of our leaders. We don’t want you to miss out on hearing the good news about Jesus!
What if my vision or hearing is not so good?
All song lyrics (and other items like some prayers or creeds) are projected onto two large screens at the front of the auditorium; find a seat where you can see one of these clearly.
Hearing assistance devices are available for people with hearing aids. Pick one up at the information desk in the foyer before the service.
Do you have disabled access?
Yes. Disabled parking is available just beyond the main entrance. The main auditorium and toilets are on the ground floor. A disabled toilet is also available. There is lift access to the first floor offices and meeting rooms.
Other people have a nametag – can I get one?
If it is your first visit, you can choose to make your own nametag. Just hand write your name on a stick-on tag at the nametag table. If you would like to get a permanent nametag, fill out a Response Card (these are in the orange welcome packs).
What if I have more questions?
Get in touch with us here.