You could be forgiven for thinking that there are too many churches in our inner Canberra suburb of Turner. In our street are the Holy Trinity Finnish Lutheran Church and the Canberra National Seventh-Day Adventist Church (pictured). A Baptist fellowship meets in the SDA hall on Sundays.
A few hundred metres north of us is the Canberra Meeting House (below) of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). The North Canberra Baptist Church is near the Friends. A Korean Full Gospel church meets at the Baptist church and another Korean fellowship meets in the Finnish Lutheran church.
Our own church, St. Philip’s Anglican, is technically in the next suburb, but is only 15 minutes’ walk away.
The Canberra City congregation of the Uniting Church of Australia is nearby.
There are Vietnamese, German and English language congregations at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic church (Central Canberra Parish) ten minutes’ walk from us in nearby Braddon, and another Catholic church an easy walk from us. Half a kilometre from us, just up the street from the Canberra City Temple of the Salvation Army, is another congregation of the Uniting Church, St. Columba’s.
Then there’s the Hope of God congregation that meets near us. And there are chapels at the Australian National University residences including Burgmann College and the John XXIII chapel (right), as well as the University chaplaincy.
No doubt I’ve missed quite few! Our most spectacular neigbourhood church, one street away, is the Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox War Memorial Church of St. Nicholas.
Built in Ukrainian Kozak Baroque style, the church is white rendered with cupolas made from bronze. There are Byzantine mosaics on the outside walls depicting the Mary and the saints. A memorial centre, opened in 1988, is located next to the church and was erected by parishioners of Australia and New Zealand. A memorial stone nearby is dedicated to the victims of the artificial famine in the Ukraine during 1932-33, the Holodomor.
Gracious God, grant that that by our common commitment to you, and our one faith in Christ, we may recognise your presence and grow more and more into unity with each other. Make us truly one, O God. May we so to recognise your presence among us in differing ways that our desire for true community in our churches and society may be increased, and our yearning for the unity of your Church be strengthened. As you lead us into the future, give us the hope that, united in the name of Jesus, death will not prevail, our divisions will be healed, and we will attain fullness of life, love and light in your new creation.