Long before Scots Church Sydney began meeting in the Sydney CBD in 2017, God was growing his kingdom. Our young church in the city builds on a rich heritage dating back to 1827. We meet at Scots Church, the first Presbyterian Church in Sydney and founded by the pastor John Dunmore Lang. He planted the church independent of the colonial authorities and was the first Christian minister not on the government payroll. As a controversial character, he was often criticised for befriending convicts, championing the rights of minorities such as Chinese immigrants and seeking to understand local indigenous people.
He preached fearlessly, calling the authorities to account for their abuses and corruption. He was a Member of Parliament, working towards the establishment of schools, Sydney’s first university, and institutions that cared for the poor. His statue stands in Wynyard Park, and Lang Park in the Sydney CBD is named in his honour.
A new church in 2017
Almost 200 years later, the city is growing at a rapid pace. Offices, shops, apartments and parks are seeing countless people being drawn to the city. Young professionals, university students, families and empty nesters are relocating to the area like never before. To keep up with the growing population, we need more churches.
In late 2016, our team began to prepare for a church to launch in September 2017. Our group of about 20 adults met regularly to study the Bible, pray and encourage each other as we considered what it would look like to be a church in the city of Sydney. The desire to see a church where the gospel shapes and keeps on shaping how people live every day for Jesus underpinned each decision.
Celebrating 5 years and looking forward
5 years later we thank God for the way he has grown our church. We’ve welcomed people from within the city, from interstate and from overseas. We’re encouraged by tourists and visitors to the city who join us on their holiday. We’ve celebrated marriages, baptisms and a growing kids’ church, and experienced the sadness of illness and death. We’ve seen God faithfully grow his kingdom through multiple lockdowns and COVID-19 uncertainty. We’ve sent brothers and sisters back to their homes interstate and overseas and prayed that they will continue to serve Him faithfully. We’ve seen people ask questions about God and come to trust in Jesus and we’ve been blessed by the ministry of members serving and stepping up into leadership as they grow in their knowledge and love of Jesus.
We would love it if you became a part of our story. As you look around Scots, we want you to hear the different accents, see the different ages and embrace the different personalities. As you hear God’s Word taught and as we respond in prayer, song, questions and thoughtful reflection, we hope you see how the Bible shapes everything we do. When you meet with others to study the Bible, we trust that the gospel of grace is transforming our lives as individuals and as a church.And as we look forward to the next 5 years and beyond, we are excited about the unique opportunity we have as a church in the city and pray that we will continue to be a church that proclaims Christ and grows disciples, all for the glory of God.