As a community of faith, we are inspired by the challenge of Micah, a Hebrew prophet, who called the people of God to “do justice, to love kindness and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8). It's this call that shapes our life together and helps determine our priorities in mission: the priorities of justice, hospitality and spiritual growth. Even more, we have found in Jesus one who embodies this way of living in the most compelling way.
Collins Street is a community engaged with the challenges facing our neighbours near and far. Through public advocacy on social issues of equity, the provision of services to those who are marginalised, and the hosting of our Conscience on Collins conversations and other public forums, we seek to play our part in nurturing a just and inclusive society.
Collins Street is a church of open doors. The hospitality of God is key to our understanding of mission. We model this commitment in the ministries of our Verandah Cafe at the church's front door and Credo Cafe at the back. What's more, we open our doors to the city through our engagement with Melbourne's annual festivals including White Night, the Melbourne Arts Festival, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival and more. Our annual art prize and exhibition Feast•Pray•Love draws artists from around Australia to reflect on the themes of spirituality in everyday life and welcomes the wider community into that reflection.
We are a community committed to a faith rooted deeply in the Christian tradition, one that can begin in multiple places and flourish in ways unique to each individual story. Through shared practices of faith and worship and small groups for bible study and mutual support, we encourage one another to a deeper engagement with God.
OUR MISSION PARTNERSHIPS
Back in 1987, CSBC began exploring new ways to engage with its immediate neighbourhood. Under the leadership of its then pastor Rev. Ron Ham, a new expression of ministry with the poor and marginalized in the city’s heart took root. What began as the mission arm of the church now flourishes as an independently governed and funded missionary community with residential and ministry teams here at CSBC as well as in Footscray, Bendigo and Geelong, and with a combined staff of more than twenty people.
Urban Seed's ministries include its street and hospitality team based here at Collins Street and providing weekday lunches and Sunday night dinners for those who are homeless or struggling. Another significant program is its educational work with schools and churches around the state. Operating out of CSBC's Gospel Hall in Little Bourke Street, the youth and schools team speaks every year to thousands of school students, leading interactive walks around the city and providing educational workshops on issues of homelessness, addiction and community involvement.
You can read more about Urban Seed's ministry here.
THE GOSPEL HALL TRUST
Similar to Urban Seed, the ministry of the Gospel Hall Trust at 116 Little Bourke Street began as a missionary initiative of Collins Street back in the 1800s among the poorest inhabitants of the city. Since 1998 the Gospel Hall has operated as a non-profit, incorporated charity. Still vitally connected to the ministry of the church, the Gospel Hall property underwent a major redevelopment in 2004. Today it provides accommodation for young people at risk of homelessness, and educational facilities for the youth and schools work of Urban Seed.