English for all nations
Campsie’s Bottom Up Focus on non-English background locals is continuing to bear fruit, as a once Anglo suburb continues to reflect the increasingly multicultural blend of Sydney.
The rector at Campsie, the Rev Omar Anheluk, began at the church overseeing its Easy English service under then rector the Rev David Gilmour.
Now the main service at Campsie, the Easy English service includes an English lesson and attendees are provided with a transcript of the sermon in advance. The sermon is also followed by a discussion time.
“When David retired and then I took over, the church as a group decided to actually stop the main English service and focus on the Easy English service,” Mr Anheluk says. “That dovetailed nicely with English classes that I think have been running for about 30 years.”
According to Bureau of Statistics data, roughly 75 percent of people in Campsie were born overseas in non-English speaking cultures, and almost 22 percent were born in mainland China.
Mr Anheluk says one of the key things he has learnt in the ministry is the importance of language to in-depth, relationship-focused ministry.
The church put on a new Mandarin worker, David Chang, earlier in the year. Mr Chang and Mr Anheluk often trade preaching roles, with Mr Chang preaching at the Easy English service, and Mr Anheluk preaching in English, with translation, at the Mandarin service. Mr Anheluk says this is to avoid stratification in the church and to maintain its vision of being a church for all nations.
Photo: Members of Campsie church, young and old, celebrate at a church Christmas party