ABOUT THIS PARISH:
Why does the parish have four different churches and not just one?
A hundred years ago there was just one church at Pauatahanui. St Alban’s was built in 1896. Plimmerton then became a popular seaside destination so St Andrew’s was built in 1916. St Mark’s at Pukerua Bay and St Philips in Paremata catered for the post war building boom in the 1950s.
Why is St Andrew's Church not on St Andrew's Road?
The road is named after the home place in Scotland of Mr Walker who owned the land in the nineteenth century. The church is named after St Andrew, who is the patron saint of many churches by the sea because he was a fisherman.
Where does the parish Vestry meet and how can I read their minutes?
They usually meet on the second Wednesday of the month in the Parish Centre. The minutes are sent out to the churches and are also put on the website.
Which version of the Bible is used for the readings in the parish?
The New Revised Standard Version is used because it is a good and inclusive translation. Also having one version of the Bible used by readers means that preachers can make specific references to the text.
Why do people chatter so much before the service?
Probably because they are pleased to see each other! They may also be welcoming new people. However, with this exception, it is helpful if everyone is quiet in the church as it is a sacred space and many people want to prepare themselves in prayer for the worship. It is sometimes said, "Before the service, talk to God. After the service, talk to each other!"
ABOUT THE ANGLICAN CHURCH
(or THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION as it is correctly called)
How are decisions made about church life?
The key unit of the Anglican Church is the diocese, so policy and directions are set by the Synod (Bishop with parish representatives). Local parishes set their own goals and organise their own local mission and life together, mostly through the elected Vestry. Within some parishes, individual local churches take responsibility for care of their own building and details of their worshipping life.
Who can receive the bread and wine in communion?
Those who have been baptised in any part of the Christian church, because this is the sacrament of belonging and strengthening for the ministry that God's people share together.
How can I find out what Anglicans believe?
Read the prayer book, both A New Zealand Prayer Book/He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa and the Book of Common Prayer. Also many parish websites are helpful in setting out clear beliefs.
Do you want to find out more about how Anglicans worship?
Have a look at this website Liturgy - an ecumenical site of resources and reflections for liturgy, spirituality, and worship, for individuals and communities.
ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN FAITH IN GENERAL
How can I learn to pray?
Mostly by doing it! A good spiritual director helps. Intentional personal prayer, possibly for about 30 minutes, should be part of every day. Being part of a church community helps. Often prayer groups are available and Anglican worship services always include various kinds of prayer (particularly praise, confession and intercession). However corporate prayer is not enough to deepen one's personal relationship with God, and you will probably find what happens in church flowing into your everyday life.
Why are there so many different denominations?
Because of historical events, as different individuals or groups experienced God's call in a particular way and found they could not be incorporated in the life of the church as it was. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any denomination or church that says it is the only way to God! The ecumenical movement of the twentieth century focussed on seeking ways that denominations could explore and celebrate what they have in common, and there has been considerable agreement especially about ministry and baptism, with eucharist being an outstanding and often painful area of difference between some denominations.
What is the difference between "a service", "worship", "eucharist", "communion"?
A service usually means a corporate worship activity and it mostly happens in a church building.
Worship means praise and adoration of God, which can and should be both an individual and corporate activity but is essential in any service.
Eucharist comes from the Greek word for thanksgiving and refers to the liturgical gathering in which bread and wine are shared, but also includes worship, praise, offering, and prayer for others. Anglican services today are mostly the eucharist, although morning and evening prayer (evensong) are rich parts of Anglican life.
Communion usually means holy communion which is technically the part of a eucharistic service which involves the ministry of the sacrament (that is the blessing, breaking and sharing of bread and wine). The mass or the Lord's supper are terms used for this in other parts of the Christian church.