The community of Collins Street gathered on Saturday night (Aug 4) for the church’s 175th Anniversary Dinner. The final event in our season of celebration, we met to feast! Together we told stories, shared memories and expressed our gratitude for God’s continuing presence with us.
With a three-course dinner provided by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, music from the Flinders Quartet, and stories from special guest and gifted storyteller Rev Jim Barr (minister of Collins Street 1994 – 2000), we celebrated in style. Weaved through the night were reminiscences from members of our community, new and old, and our very own quiz show hosted by Quiz Master Nigel Smith.
The generous hospitality of neighbouring Scots Church was a gift. Our thanks to all of those who contributed so beautifully to the night, and to Geoff Maddock for these wonderful images.
You are invited to watch each of the films in the comfort of your own home or with a group of friends, then come to our Sunday service to reflect on the meaning of these stories through the lens of faith.
On Saturday July 21, Collins Street joined with the Victorian Baptist Historical Society to mark the 175th anniversary of the church.
Historian Dr Ros Otzen offered a keynote presentation, Calling the Roll: What we can learn from the membership roll of CSBC. A document dating back to 1851 — just eight years after the church was formally constituted — this grand old book contains thousands of names, each one representing a story of faith that is now part of Collins Street’s extraordinary heritage.
Interwoven in Ros’s presentation were reenactments of some notable sermons (for good and for ill) preached at Collins Street by its pastors, Revs Samuel Chapman, Samuel Pearce-Carey, FC Spurr and TE Ruth. Playing the roles of these past preachers were Rev Jim Barr, pastor of the Welsh Church of Melbourne, and actor Benjamin Newall.
Two further papers were also presented, one by Dr Liz Rushen on the life and work of Margaret McLean, and the other by Sandra Thwaites on the ministry of Rev Thomas Elias Ruth.
You can access podcasts of these presentations, along with other resources related to our anniversary celebrations, here.
Today we welcome Sherry Maddock to our pastoral team. As Coordinator of Neighbourhood Engagement, Sherry will lead the church in initiatives of community engagement and ensure that Central House is a place of welcome in the neighbourhood. Sherry, Geoff and Isaac live in Central House and bring a wealth of experience and insight to their life with us.