Who we are
A Very Different Parish!
We are a parish:
•. In the Catholic Tradition of Anglicanism
•. Which welcomes EVERYONE
•. Which joyfully lives the Life of Christ in Community, and reaches out to share this life with others
Naturally enough, many of the people who identify with St John’s live in Dee Why Parish. At the same time, others travel to St John’s from all over Sydney’s Northern Beaches and beyond, attracted by its atmosphere and Anglo-Catholic tradition, with its liturgical worship accompanied by the riches of church music and its welcoming spirit. A wide variety of people have made St John’s their spiritual home. All are welcome whatever the stage of their spiritual journey.
Our faith community’s beliefs are demonstrated each year through the cycle of seasons and festivals honouring Christ’s life, death and resurrection, as well as the commemoraions of the Saints.
The Sunday liturgies provide strength and nourishment for all we do to serve God, and are conducted with love and reverence. But you will also find that the St John’s family loves to celebrate some special days with distinctive music and ceremonies.
The feast of Christmas begins at 11.00 pm on Christmas Eve with carols singing and the traditional Midnight Mass.
Every year on Palm Sunday and Holy Week (including Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil), and at the Dedication Festival in October, as well as many other occasions, there are beautiful services.
On Holy Saturday at 7.30 pm there is the Easter Vigil, a service which begins in darkness. A fire is kindled outside the church symbolising the resurrection of Jesus and the Paschal Candle for the current year is lit from the fire. Others light their candles from the Paschal Candle as we enter the darkened church. Light gradually increases, until the church is flooded with light, symbolising Christ’s triumph over the darkness of evil and death through his saving sacrifice on the Cross and glorious resurrection. The story of Salvation is heard again in the readings from Scripture which follow. The font is blessed (and frequently the sacraments of Christian Initiation—baptism, confirmation, first holy communion—are administered to those who have been preparing for them), those present renew their baptismal promises and the first Mass of Easter is celebrated.
In a world where more and more people are discovering faith in God for the first time, St John’s offers companionship to seekers as well as to ‘seasoned’ and committed believers. Its congregation includes marrieds and singles, solo parents, widows and widowers. All have an honoured place in God’s family. Many of our activities are intergenerational, happily embracing youth and adults, while others are geared to special groups.
Censing the altar at the beginning of Mass
Prayer & Praise
The congregation at worship
The washing of the feet on Holy Thursday