About Auburn Anglican Church

Auburn, Sydney
Urban (Multicultural)
One senior leader plus ministry team

Auburn Anglican Church

Auburn is a multicultural community in south western Sydney. The senior minister Tim Cocks has served at St Philip’s Anglican church since 2013 and also works a day a week as a General Practitioner doctor at the local medical centre. This tells you something about the church leadership’s desire to remain connected within the social fabric of the local area.

When asked to describe why their church is flourishing Tim describes the Word as being central, along with prayer and inviting God in. Keeping the gospel central allows people to know it’s Christ as Lord. The church culture he sees as healthy, when good relations and love are present in a very real way. 

The church leadership express big goals and dreams and are wanting to be developing more. Their intentionality is clear in planning ways to connect well with people, with integrity and authentic relationship, nurturing followers of Jesus and equipping them to grow. Their willingness to try new ventures and be innovative is also clear.

As the community is highly diverse and multicultural, hospitality and welcome is central to the gatherings at St Philip’s. As most people from different cultural backgrounds share a common expression of love via food and hospitality, that is often a way they use to build belonging and help people settle in to the church community. People from various cultures bringing their unique dishes enables them to express their identity and traditions and promotes an understanding of one another. 

The neighbourhood is also fairly transient in nature and is the first home to many newly arrived refugees and migrants. The church leadership expresses an awareness of the trauma and pain many people bring and as such are keen to respond with appropriate pastoral care and sensitivity in the way they minister. As a result Tim would describe the leadership task as sophisticated, to design genuinely relational gatherings, not just formulaic services.

Maintaining relational warmth as they’ve grown in numbers and size, has been a challenge and a goal as they’ve grown a healthy church ministry. Tim’s recommendation to other leaders is to focus on good communication, teaching, leadership and people management in the relational role of leader. Enabling people to live out the Christian life with integrity and real relationships should be kept as a core goal.

He acknowledges that gospel ministry is long term, often slow and deep work, so the need for patience is evident.  They’ve tried many things at this church, they’ve kept having a go and kept trying activities to connect with the community. 

Raising up leaders is one thing that often means the church hits a growth ceiling. As a collaborative team, the staff and volunteer ministry leaders pastor together, seeking to lead mission across the team and church. 

Tim would also recommend to others to work hard to understand your context, learn from your mistakes, keep persevering and retain relational leadership, not distant from people but with authentic, genuine relationship.

Stories from Auburn Anglican Church

Browse through some of the stories and wisdom that leaders of Auburn Anglican Church shared with us, on how they enliven their ministry and church life.