NO ROOM: a report on domestic violence services

In 2017, Australian Baptist Ministries (ABM) sought to increase the awareness of Baptist churches in regard to issues of domestic violence. Further, ABM committed to supporting churches in responding to incidents of family and domestic violence in their churches and communities.  This included encouraging churches to become better informed about support services available in their local communities.

As a consequence of these efforts, ABM has just released a report on the current state of support services across Australia. Titled No Room, the report details the failings of our present systems of support and makes recommendations to strengthen them.

You can access the report here.

CSBC Community Weekend

In just two weeks’ time, the community of Collins Street will gather at the Amberley Retreat Centre for its annual community weekend.

Amberley is a just a 30-minute drive from the CBD, a beautiful place set on the banks of the Yarra River. The weekend provides a great opportunity to get to know each other better and to spend time reflecting on the faith that holds us together.

There are registration forms available in the narthex this Sunday or you can contact the church office for more details.

175th Anniversary Dinner

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.

2018 Film Festival

This Sunday we begin our sixth annual festival of films.

Coinciding with the Melbourne International Film Festival, we’ve set aside three Sundays to reflect on three very different films: The Shawshank Redemption, The Post and Babette’s Feast.

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.

Collins Street’s Day of History

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.

Welcome to Sherry Maddock

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.

Celebrating 175 years

In 2018, we celebrate our 175th anniversary.  From humble beginnings in 1843, Collins Street’s story of life and mission in the heart of Melbourne is an extraordinary one.

Through a number of events, we’ll be honouring our past, recalling our stories and celebrating our future as one of Australia’s oldest continuing Baptist communities.

For more details