The first parish church in the town, St John’s, had reached capacity by 1838 and it was decided that a new church should be built. Plans were drawn up by the former convict architect, James Blackburn. The Governor, Sir John Franklin, approved an application for the land in August 1839 and the church opened for worship on 27 September 1842. The first Rector (inducted in May 1844) was the Rev’d William Gibbon, the first of several short incumbencies before the 46 year ministry of the Rev’d Francis Hales.
It was towards the end of Hales’ time as Rector that the original church developed structural issues and work commenced on the current building designed by Alexander North. Opened in 1902, the present church was intended to be only stage one, consisting of the chancel, transepts, chapel and vestries. A ‘temporary’ corrugated iron wall (which stayed in place for 80 years!) covered the space where the nave and spire were to join, but these were never constructed. Financial constraints, two World Wars and a Depression all no doubt contributed to the delay, and by the 1980s it was clear that the building as planned would never be completed. The present narthex, office, kitchen and toilets have provided a very functional smaller scale alternative.
Extensive information about Holy Trinity’s pipe organ can be found here.
In addition to the traditional staples of Sunday services, Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals, the parish has featured many groups and activities through its history of some 180 years. These have included choirs, GFS (for girls), CEBS (for boys), women’s groups, men’s groups, Sunday Schools and servers guilds - each an attempt to meet the needs of the community at the particular time.
At various times the parish has also included the churches of St Barnabas’ Alanvale, St George’s Invermay, All Saints Ravenswood, Holy Family Inveresk, St Peter’s St Leonards and All Souls Patersonia. Some of these continued independently and others have been closed and sold over the years. The parish currently incorporates St Andrew’s, Evandale, which has a service at 5.00pm each Sunday, St Matthias’, Windermere which has services twice a month and on special occasions, and St James’, Franklin Village, where we are presently holding a service each Thursday morning.
As is true of every church, Holy Trinity has had its share of both prosperous and lean times. In more recent years, some of the housing in the parish has given way to commercial premises. People have therefore travelled in from the wider area and we have seen fewer families among the regular attenders. The changing nature of the local community has brought new challenges which stretch our resources. But the essential task of proclaiming Christ is unchanged and remains our priority.
Some years ago, an urgent need for conservation / restoration work to be carried out on the stained glass and the the carved sandstone led to the establishment of a Conservation Fund. Work of the kind necessary can only be carried out by expert craftsmen and is, necessarily, quite an expensive undertaking.
With the assistance of the National Trust of Australia, we are able to accept tax-deductible donations towards all such restoration work, and new projects are always on the horizon. Please contact us for more information.
Midweek services are being held at the usual times. As restrictions ease further this information will be updated and in time we hope to return to the patterns listed below.
There is a clear emphasis on hearing God’s word in the Bible readings, and grappling with its meaning and significance in Bible focused sermons. Joining in Holy Communion each Sunday is a regular reminder that we gather in the name of Jesus Christ, who gave his life for our sins. When possible, we include one or two hymns in the service, but otherwise all parts of this service are said rather than sung.
We share in Morning Tea at the conclusion of the service.
Apart from January, our small but dedicated choir is present to lead the music and the service — using the second form from A Prayer Book for Australia 1995 — is rather formal, and includes the use of incense on some Sundays.
A key part of our time together is hearing God's word in the Bible readings, and grappling with its meaning and significance in Bible focused sermons. Holy Communion is a regular reminder that Christ gave his life for our sins.
We share in Morning Tea at the conclusion of the service.
Choral Evensong (using the service of Evening Prayer from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer) was held monthly prior to the COVID shutdown. Its future is currently under consideration.
Our usual pattern for Christmas Services is:
5pm Family Service
11pm Eucharist/Holy Communion (with choir)
9am Eucharist/Holy Communion
A 'carols and lessons' service is usually held in the preceding weeks, depending on where in the week Christmas falls. In 2021 it will be at 7pm on Saturday 18 December.
Our usual pattern for Easter Services is:
6pm Eucharist/Holy Communion
9.45am Devotional Meditation: 'The Way of the Cross' (or 'Stations of the Cross')
10.30am Good Friday service (including Communion)
8.30am Eucharist/Holy Communion
10.30am Eucharist/Holy Communion
The baptism of a child can be a very significant social event for families, and parents request baptism because they are eager to do the very best for their children. We ask parents to take time to properly understand what baptism means, so that the words expressed in the service are meant from the heart.
In past generations, baptism of children was very common, but many adults today - and especially younger adults - are not baptised. To find out more, come along to one of our services and speak to a member of the staff. (By the way, many people use the term ‘Christening’, but both the Bible and our Anglican Prayer Book use the proper term, which is ‘baptism’.)
In order to satisfy the requirements of Australian law and Anglican Church policy, our Marriage Services always follow one of the authorised Anglican Prayer Book forms and are conducted by one of our staff.
It may be possible for other Ministers to assist in the service. We will be pleased to meet with you and discuss what is involved. Marriage services can be conducted at any mutually convenient time, but our regular activities on Sundays mean that we are unable to accept bookings for Sunday weddings.
Whether a service is planned for the church, crematorium chapel, or other location, we welcome enquiries from those who live in our parish or who have had significant connections with Holy Trinity in the past. Please contact us as early as possible to ascertain the availability of the church and ministers.
Children & Youth Young people of all ages are welcome at our services and activities and we aim to offer suitable activities. A program for younger children is offered at our Sunday 8.30am service.
Bible Study Small groups can be a wonderful part of church life. They complement Sunday services by offering opportunity for discussion, friendship, mutual support and prayer. A key aspect of most groups is time spent exploring the Bible together. Meeting times and locations vary. Contact us for more information.
Prayer Meeting A small group meets for prayer each week between our morning services (currently suspended due to COVID restrictions). We start at 10am and keep strictly to 15 minutes. You are most welcome to join us in praying for our community and church.
Choir The choir sings at the 10:30am Sunday Eucharist except during January. Practices are held every Sunday morning before the service (starting at 9.45am), as well as on two Saturdays each month at 2.30pm. Weddings, Christmas, Easter and special occasions are also opportunities for the choir to help enrich our worship experience. Singing is an important expression of our liturgy at Holy Trinity and we welcome new members who would like to join the choir.
Services in Aged Care Facilities We help to provide regular church services in a number of local aged care facilities, including Glenara Lakes, Sandhill, Riverside Views and The Manor.
Special Events Holy Trinity regularly hosts cultural events such as concerts and exhibitions. For up to date details of special events, please refer to our Facebook page