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Parish to have say on how church works
7:00am Saturday 12th January 2013 in News
CLERGYMEN and churchgoers will decide the future of their services after the launch of a consultation.
Congregations from All Saints’ Church, in Kings Road, and the Ascension Church, in Maltese Road, will unite on March 24 as they work out, through a church consultation, how to operate in Melbourne.
It will also mark the last service at All Saints, which opened in 1969, but in recent years has started to have structural problems including a leaking roof and windows.
Sermons will be held at the Ascension for the next few years as parishioners speak to fellow churchgoers, residents and schools about how the church serves them and where services are done.
Bishop of Bradwell John Wraw said the aim was to make sure the parish is being served the best way possible, whether it be with a new church building or keeping everyone focused in one spot.
He added: “Over the past five years there have been questions raised about the future of the All Saints building, which has probably reached the end of its life.
“There is a strong relationship between the two churches and they have set off on a journey together to work out how they can best serve their community.
“We will not know for a while whether the congregation will stay together permanently or split again, but this does reminds me of the Three Wise Men story.
“We don’t know what the outcome will be, but like the wise men, they are following a star which they know will lead to something special.”
Michael Hall, vicar at All Saints for the past eight years, said it would be emotional to leave the church, but the future is an “exciting prospect”.
He added: “Some of my congregation remember this church building being constructed and many have been married, christened or had a funeral for a loved one here, so there are lots of memories here.
“But at the same time people are looking forward to the future as they see it as the right thing to do.”
After the last service at All Saints, on March 24, Palm Sunday, there will be a procession from the church to Ascension to signify the merging of the congregations.