Here Comes the Sun

Carmel Bulletin, 18 November 2018

Church from Distance
A view of the side of our church from a distance, with new solar panels on the roof

Recently the parish installed seventy-two solar panels across the priory and church.  Our action is part of a growing trend amongst homeowners and businesses to reduce both energy bill costs and reliance on fossil fuels.

Continue reading “Here Comes the Sun”

Hear the Difference

Carmel Bulletin, 1 October 2017

Church Renovation 1The visual difference to our church since demolition work began is obvious, but have you noticed any aural (sound) difference?

The removal of the carpet has changed the acoustics of the building.  Soft furnishings, like carpet, absorb sound, while sound bounces off hard surfaces like brick, timber and stone.  The result is an increased resonance of sound throughout the church, which enlivens the output from the sound system, organ and musical instruments.

Good acoustics are also important so that we can hear each other.  Being able to hear those around us pray and sing gives us confidence and reminds us that the liturgy is a communal, rather than individual act.  If we can’t hear others, it feels like we’re cheering on our team at home in front of the TV, rather than at the stadium with thousands of other fans – there’s a big difference in terms of sound and experience.  Feeling like you’re the only person in the church singing is not very encouraging!

While our renewed church will have some carpet, there will be less of it.  Some spaces that were carpeted will be tiled instead.  This means the acoustic feel of the church will change again, but will not be as dull as what it was before.  We’ll need to wait and see what the difference will sound like.

Celebrating the Diamond Anniversary of Our Church

The original interior of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (then St Columba's) Church, Wentworthville, 1955
The original interior of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (then St Columba’s) Church, Wentworthville, 1955

This weekend we celebrate sixty years since Cardinal Gilroy blessed and opened our parish church.

From early times the name “church” has also been given to the building in which the Christian community gathers to hear the word of God, to pray together, to celebrate the sacraments, and to participate in the eucharist.

Ceremonial of Bishops, no. 864

We call our building a church because it is the place the Church prays and worships.  In this way, the church building is both the “house of God” and the house of the people of God.  Christ is present in both the building and the people; thus our church should be both a place that is fitting for the praise of God and reflective of the parish community that gathers here.

The Introductory Rites of the Mass
Photo © 2014, Alphonsus Fok, 321 Photography

Much of our parish’s history and life has been played out within the walls of this building.  Unlike many parish churches, all seven sacraments have been celebrated here over the past sixty years, including the ordinations of deacons and priests.  The rest of our parish’s story, which has taken place beyond the walls of the church, has been nourished and sustained by our prayer and worship within the walls.  The celebration of the Eucharist forms us and leads us out to mission.

Building Faith in Our Future - Our Church: 60 YearsThe past sixty years has seen our building grow and change as we have as a Church.  Looking back over photos of the church shows that it is noticeably different to what it was when it opened, and has in fact changed in almost every one of the past six decades.  Perhaps the courage of those who went before us, who built this church and shaped it to serve our community and its worship, can serve to remind us that we too must be courageous in our faith as we look ahead to the sixty years to come.