FAQs

What can I expect if I come to a Sunday church service?


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic our Sunday Services are suspended until further notice. 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 10:30am 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.




How is your church financed?


We don’t receive any income from the government (although like other community organsiations we are eligible to apply for some grants), 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 rules 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. 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 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.




Safe Ministry Policy


The Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney is committed to the physical, emotional and spiritual welfare and safety of all people, particularly within its own community. To ensure the safety of children and vulnerable people in our communities, the Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney , in conjunction with the Anglican Church of Australia, will – • Carefully recruit and train its clergy and church workers, • Adopt and encourage safe ministry practices by its clergy and church workers, • Respond promptly to each concern raised about the behaviour of its clergy and church workers, • Offer pastoral support to any person who has suffered abuse, and • Provide supervision of and pastoral accountability (within the context of the ministries, locations and activities of the parish) to any person (who is a member of a congregation and) who is known to have abused a child or another vulnerable person. St Mark’s Anglican Church Malabar seeks to proactively implement safe ministry policies and practices into everything we do. The guiding principles for this are found in Faithfulness in Service. More information about Safe Ministry in Sydney Anglican Churches is available at http://safeministry.org.au/ Safe Ministry Training Safe Ministry training is essential for our staff and volunteers who are involved in Ministry to Children and Youth, and leaders must keep up-to-date. All leaders in children’s ministry at St Mark’s need to complete a Working with Children Check (WWCC), prior to commencing as leaders. Steps for applying for a WWCC The applicant should fill out an online application at: http://www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/Working-with-children/Working-With-Children-Check/apply/-apply The applicant will need to nominate whether they are a paid employee or a volunteer. Under child-related sector the applicant should select “religious services”. Once the online application has been completed a WWCC Application Number will be issued to the applicant. The applicant must then take their WWCC Application Number and proof of their identity to a Services NSW Office. If the applicant is in paid child-related employment, an application fee of $80 will be payable. There is no fee for volunteers. Once the application has been processed, the applicant will be advised of the outcome by email. Most applications will be processed within 48 hours. The applicant should immediately provide your parish (email details to the church office- please include your date-of-birth and full name) with the WWCC Application Number in order for the check to be verified. After the check has been processed, the applicant will receive a clearance or a bar. Workers must receive a clearance within the time frames stated in order to undertake child-related work. 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.




Weddings


At St Mark’s we are very happy to assist couples prepare for the life-long commitment of marriage. We will seek to do all we can to make your Marriage Service a meaningful and happy occasion. To do this, we meet with couples on at 5 occasions prior to their wedding. This gives us the opportunity to work through material that will help you prepare for your marriage and the wedding service itself. This includes covering the “Prepare” marriage course. The course has these goals: 1. To explore relationship strengths and growth areas 2. To learn assertiveness and active listening skills 3. To learn how to resolve conflict 4. To help the couple discuss their family-of-origin 5. To help the couple cope better with stressors 6. To focus on personal, couple and family goals We would also like to you consider regular attendance with us at one of our meetings on Sundays. We can conduct weddings at either St Mark’s Malabar or the Nurse’s War Memorial Chapel at Little Bay (the Little Bay chapel is independent of St Mark’s Malabar and is managed by the Prince Henry Hospital Trained Nurses Association–bookings for the chapel itself are arranged by emailing phhtnachapelbookings@gmail.com). You should contact one of our ministry staff either at church one Sunday morning or via the phone to organize an initial meeting about a marriage service. He will discuss with you, wedding times and other arrangements. We wish you God’s richest blessing in your future together.




Baptisms


We are delighted to hear of the birth of your child. It is a great responsibility that God has given you, and it is also a great privilege and joy to bring a child into the world. We are especially glad that you want to mark this occasion with a church ceremony. Having an infant baptised is a serious commitment on behalf of the parents and godparents of the child. It involves making promises to God and the church that should not be entered into lightly. For this reason, we will only set a date for the baptism of an infant after we have given the parents the opportunity to consider carefully the promises they will be making. All parents who bring their infant children for baptism are required to attend a five session course named Christianity Explored which gives them an opportunity to consider what is involved in baptism. At St Mark’s Anglican Church Malabar we offer an alternative service for parents called A Service of Thanksgiving to God. This is a type of naming service where parents can have their child appropriately named, with prayers offered to God, and asking for God’s blessing, in the presence of their friends and family. This ceremony (like a baptism) takes place in one of our regular Sunday church services. This Service is offered to anyone who would like to have an association with our church, and would like to mark their child’s birth by giving thanks to God for such a wonderful gift. Some people ask what is the difference between a Thanksgiving Service and a Baptism. The main difference between the two is that the Thanksgiving Service enables parents to thank God for the birth of their child, without obligation. Baptism, on the other hand, is a sign of membership in God’s church and signifies a commitment to raise a child as an active member of the church. It is a ceremony that symbolises Jesus’ death and our commitment to follow him, and therefore carries with it various responsibilities. Baptism is a sign of discipleship which, for Jesus’ followers, involves a complete change of lifestyle, including a commitment to meet together with God’s people and to live according to the Bible’s teaching. Baptism involves the use the sign of water, while a Thanksgiving Services does not. To discuss the various options available please come along to one of our Sunday services to talk more with one of our ministry team.




Funerals


If you have recently suffered the death of a loved one, may we express our deepest sympathies at your loss. We hope that there is some way we may be able to assist you at this time. Jesus says in the Gospel of John: ‘Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ Our hope for you at this time is that through Jesus you will indeed be comforted and your hearts will not be troubled. Every funeral or memorial service is an important occasion. The service provides the opportunity for people to express their grief and to extend sympathy to the bereaved, to honour the person who has died and to proclaim the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The various elements of the gathering need to be given careful thought and detailed planning. Using the framework of the Funeral Service in the Prayer Book (The Book of Common Prayer or An Australian Prayer Book) there is flexibility and scope for shaping the occasion around the desires of the family and friends involved. At the same time there are guidelines as to what we are able to provide and achieve within the confines of the church service. It may be possible and appropriate to give opportunities for other activities beyond this service. We conduct funeral services at St Mark’s Anglican Church Malabar, Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park (Matraville), or the Nurse’s War Memorial Chapel at Little Bay (the Little Bay chapel is independent of St Mark’s Malabar and is managed by the Prince Henry Hospital Trained Nurses Association–bookings for the chapel itself are arranged by emailing phhtnachapelbookings@gmail.com). Either your funeral director will contact us, or please feel free to contact us directly about conducting funeral services.




Hall Hire


The St Mark’s Malabar church building is not usually available for hire by the general public. However, we invite community organisations wanting to partner with St Mark’s to host an event to contact us. For private events Randwick City Council has a range of halls available for hire in the local area.





(02) 9311 0309

office@malabar.church

Corner Franklin and Victoria Streets

Malabar NSW 2036

©2018 St Mark's Anglican Church Malabar

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