What can I expect if I come to a Sunday church service?
Sunday church can seem unfamiliar and even a little scary for some people, but rest assured that it’s actually very normal. Our services are relaxed and friendly and you will be warmly welcomed. Someone will greet you at the door and give you everything you need for the service (e.g. we have supply of church Bibles which you can use during the service if you don’t have your own). On a typical week we sing several songs about God and his son, Jesus Christ (don’t worry, no one will notice if you choose not to join in with the songs); we hear a couple of readings from the Bible, a talk about one of the Bible readings, someone leads the church in prayer and we conclude with either morning tea (for 8.30am and 10:30am church) or dinner (for 5pm church). If you have children then at 10am church there are a whole range of facilities and programs that cater for all ages. And for our other services the cry-room is always available for little ones and comes complete with toys and nappy changing facilities.
What should I wear to church?
We are more interested in meeting you than what you wear! We are relaxed and friendly church so come dressed in whatever makes you feel comfortable.
Will my kids be looked after?
St Mark’s has a whole range of Sunday and mid-week children’s programs and we value the children and youth of our church very highly. Everyone who is involved with children at St Mark’s has completed a Safe Ministry Training course which focuses on child protection issues and many of our leaders have completed courses to train them how to teach children effectively. All people working with children are required to provide a Working with Children Check number which is verified prior tot hem engaging in any child related activity. More information about our Safe Ministry Policies can be found here.
The Sydney Diocese has a zero tolerance approach towards misconduct and abuse and if you have any concerns you should contact the Senior Minister via a telephone call or the Professional Standards Unit of the Sydney Diocese.
Our site has child proof gates on most exits and we aim to ensure that our property is a safe environment for our children. Any concerns about the St Mark’s site should be reported to the Senior Minister or one of our church Wardens.
What translation of the Bible do you use?
While we encourage church members to bring their own Bible to church we have a good supply of Bibles on hand to be used by visitors and members alike. These are the English Standard Version (ESV) translation. Reading and preaching is done with reference to the ESV translation.
How is your church financed?
We don’t receive any money from the government, nor do we receive any money from the Sydney Diocese. Rather our church is fully funded by the giving of those who call St Mark’s Malabar their church. If you visit our church you will find that there is an announcement about financial giving and the opportunity to give via a collection plate or our ‘everything box’ at the back of the church building. However, we don’t want visitors to feel under any obligation at all to give financially. Regular members of our church are encouraged to give so that Christian ministry in our area can continue to grow. Details of how to give are found in our weekly newsletter along with a finance update. This document also contains information about the why and how of giving to St Mark’s Malabar.
As with all Anglican churches in Sydney, we are governed by rule that ensure accountability and transparency with all financial transactions. Our accounts are independently audited and presented to the church at our Annual General Meeting of Parishioners each year. If you ever have any questions about church finances please don’t hesitate to ask either one of the church wardens, parish council members or the senior minister.
Does your church cater for those with limited mobility?
St Marks loves to welcome people of all ages, abilities and circumstances. To this end, we are working to upgrade our access points and toilet facilities to better cater for disability and wheelchair access.
In the meantime, for those who have difficulty with mobility, we have level access via the carpark entrance on Victoria Lane. You are welcome to bring a walking stick, motorised scooter, wheelchair, or cushion to make the seating more comfortable. We also have a toilet that offers better access for those with limited mobility. It can be accessed via the doors at the front of the church or the door through the crying room.