Parish Profile

Parish Profile 2018-09-05T07:43:11+00:00



2 McLean Street
Coffs Harbour 2450

Phone 66514700

Location & Context

Coffs Harbour is a city located on the North Coast of New South Wales about 540 kms north of Sydney and 440 kms south of Brisbane. It is well serviced by three major airlines (providing direct flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane), as well as good train and bus services.
The subtropical climate, tranquil rainforests and clean uncrowded beaches of Coffs Harbour (“Coffs” to locals) make it one of the most popular family holiday destinations on the New South Wales coast. With natural attractions, adventure activities and cultural pursuits in equal measure, Coffs Harbour works well for singles, couples and families

The Coffs Harbour City Council area population from the 2016 census totalled 75,000

The Anglican Parish of Coffs Harbour services part of that council area ministering to a region with a population of approximately 33,000. The other two parishes in the local council area are Northern Beaches (Woolgoolga) and Sawtell/Bonville.

The Parish also supports, with ministers for weekend services, the Parish of The Orara Valley. There is a memorandum of understanding between the two parishes that was organised with the Bishop.

The Parish area has a slightly lower percentage of children and a slightly higher percentage of over 55’s than the rest of regional NSW. It also has a slightly higher percentage of people from non- English speaking backgrounds
The population of the area continues to grow with increased housing construction and employment opportunities.

From the latest census, most employment in the area is in:

1. Health Care and Social Assistance
2. Tourism and Hospitality
3. Local fruit production and distribution

History of St Johns Anglican Church Coffs Harbour

The 1st St John’s church, on the corner of Moonee St & Coramba Rd,was dedicated on 6th April 1899.
This site proved subject to flooding and a bullock team moved the church to the present day site in about 1905.

The building of a new church commenced in 1910 alongside the original church. The 2nd St John’s church was dedicated on the 28th May 1911

Shortly after the dedication, the original St John’s church was moved to High St at the Jetty and renamed St Aiden’s by the Sea.

St John’s Hall was built over a period of two weeks in 1927. It was originally 30’ x 50’ and unlined.

The 3rd St John’s church (current) wasdedicated on 3rd March 1973 with 600 parishioners attending

The diocese made the decision that St Aidan’s Anglican church which had served the Anglican community in the Jetty area for sixty years, would be amalgamated with the new, bigger St John’s, and the old St Aiden’s was demolished in January 1973

In 1980 an Op Shop was added to the hall, built by volunteer labour.

On 11th April 1999 a service was held at St John’s celebrating 100 years


 Locum (commencing July- September 2018) The Rev’d Canon Dr David Cole
Assistant Priest/ Chaplain Coffs Harbour Health Campus Rev’d Anne Goode
Deacon in Charge of Pastoral Care Rev’d Carol Ford
Children’s Church Co-ordinator (part time) Position Vacant
We also have 11 L.L.M.s which is by some measure the largest number in the Diocese

Parish Facilities

St John’s was designed with a floor plan based on the Star of David and the altar was originally placed at the centre of the church beneath the spire. This was seen as highly innovative, allowing for worship “in the round”. The altar was moved during the 1990’s to allow for a more traditional service structure. The building can accommodate over 200 people in comfort thanks to the generosity of a parishoner couple with their recent donation of air conditioning.

Offices and meeting rooms for the church are in an adjacent building (formerly the rectory).

St John’s also has a small hall that is available for community groups and church use as well as an adjoining Op Shop.

The Op Shop is an important financial support for the church and is a valuable outreach to the community

The Parish Rectory is at 5 Cotswold Close, Coffs Harbour, 4 kms from St John’s


Worship is at the centre of parish life. Each weekend there are three services of Holy Communion: 6 pm Saturday, 7 am. Sunday and 9 am. Sunday. Each of these services has their own particular flavour. The 6pm is a quiet, meditative service with no music. At 7 am we sing traditional hymns and have a sung Eucharist. At 9 am there is a band and a variety of music, contemporary and traditional. Sunday afternoon at 5.30 we have a Family Service with our children’s and family activities.Every week this also includes a bring and share meal This is a relatively new service and has been received very well in the church community.

On Wednesdays at 10.00am there is a Eucharist. This service is a more informal service in which interaction can take place through discussion. There are no hymns and it is usually completed within 30 to 35 minutes. An informal cuppa is provided afterwards where parishioners can enjoy conversation and encouragement for the week ahead. It is a service that has grown in numbers in recent years.

Morning Prayer is held each weekday except Tuesdays, at 8.30 am.

The parish values the cycle of the liturgical year marking different seasons with variations in the liturgy, music and decorations in the church.

Worship is very much the work of the whole people of God, involving a large, well-coordinated team of welcomers, musicians, sacristans, readers, florists, servers, intercessors, sides persons, counters, licensed lay ministers, priests, deacons, and faithful worshippers.

Each week, on Mondays 5.30pm, we hold Preparing for Worship, an opportunity for all involved in leading the following weekends’ services to read and reflect on the readings, discuss themes and issues for prayer. We sometimes provide introductory words or select an alternate collect as a result of our discussions.

Our local Anglican School, Bishop Druitt College, brings students to St John’s for a range of services during the year. Students are often invited to contribute to our special community services.

Parish Statistics

Weekly Services Average Attendance
6.00 pm. Eucharist Saturday 18
7.00 am. Eucharist Sunday: 30
9.00 am. Eucharist Sunday: 79
5.30 pm. Family Service Sunday: 13
10.00 am. Morning Prayer Wednesday: 10
8.30 am. Morning Prayer Monday, Wednesday & Friday
2017 Baptisms Marriages Funerals
21 1 13

Special Services

Special church services include:

Daffodil Day Service

Blue Christmas Service
Monthly Taize Service
Blessing of the animals
Migrant and Refugee Sunday
Launch of the Christmas Bowl
Seniors week

Ready for the Daffodil Day Service

Hospital Chaplaincy

Rev’d Anne Goode, Assistant Priest at St John’s, is also the Hospital Chaplain at Coffs Harbour Health Campus. The Hospital itself and other Anglican churches in the City and in neighbouring areas contribute to the funding of this ministry. Rev’d Anne seeks to meet the spiritual and emotional needs of hospital patients, their families and the staff, by being available to people where they are and whatever their beliefs may be.

The Chaplaincy service offers:

  • Friendly support and a listening ear
  • Someone to talk with confidentially
  • Prayer support
  • Blessing and anointing of the sick
  • Holy Communion
  • Support in grief and loss

Rev Anne is usually in the hospital each Monday to Thursday morning.
Clergy (ministers) of various denominations and faiths visit the hospitals as required, and can be contacted by Rev Anne on behalf of patients.

There is also a team of Pastoral visitors who regularly visit patients of their own denomination or faith, who have indicated on their admission form they would like to be visited.

The chaplain can be contacted:

  • Through the Parish Office: (02) 6651 4700
  • At the hospital: (02) 6656 7152 – Extension 7152
  • Mobile: 0422 916 082
  • Or, you can ask the nursing staff to arrange a visit for you.

Parish Activities

Nursing Home Ministry

Extended Communion is offered at seven nursing homes each fortnight. The LLM in charge of Nursing Homes Ministry is Bob Walsh, who is contactable on 66963399

Nursing Home Services:

1st & 3rd Tuesday 1.15pm Masonic Hostel
3.00pm St Josephs
2nd & 4th Tuesday 10.30am Legacy
1.30pm Coffs Harbour Nursing Home
1st & 3rd Wednesday 10.00am Ingenia Gardens
11.00am Aveo Freedom Aged Care
2nd & 4th Wednesday 11.00am Opal

Women’s Bible Study

The Rev Anne Goode has offered two Bible study groups. They have been meeting on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a number of weeks during the winter

Men’s Group

All are welcome to this social gathering of men, meeting every second Monday of the month at 5.30pm at St John’s, for a shared meal and time of fellowship. A small charge is levied to help cover the cost of the meal.

Opportunity Shop

St John’s Op-Shop is situated beside the church in McLean Street. It is staffed by volunteers from the parish and the community, who work on a roster basis by serving, sorting, cleaning, ironing and a myriad of other duties required to keep the Op Shop productive.   The Op Shop is open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Fridays and from 9 to 12.30 pm Saturdays.

Garage Sales

We conduct 2 – 3 garage sales a year. They are held in the hall on a Saturday morning and are organised by the Op Shop, led by Carole & Rob Sunderland, and aided by volunteers from the OP Shop and church.

Anglican Mothers Union Australia – Coffs Group

The MU group has been part of St Johns community for many years.  It is a small group that meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.  It commences with Eucharist at 10.00am combining with parishioners for that weekly service.  It follows with morning tea, fellowship, sometimes a guest speaker or other activity.  The main project for the group is the supply of hospital emergency ‘comfort’ bags, which are put together by the members and friends.  Many of St Johns congregation help with donations for the bags.  Several of the MU members are involved with the diocesan executive of MU. Three members of the group attended the Australian MU Conference in Launceston in September 2017. Two members attended the MULOA Conference in Auckland NZ in August 2018.

Lunch Group

Meeting from time to time at different venues around Coffs Harbour, all women are welcome to register for any of the lunches that are planned. Details of upcoming dates are advertised in the Parish Bulletin and on the noticeboard at the rear of the church. Cost depends on the venue.


EFM has been a key program for lay formation in the parish. Currently we have a group in their fourth and final year and another in their second year.


Cursillocontinues to be a significant experience for deepening faith for many parishioners. A significant number of parishioners have been involved in leadership positions in the Cursillo movement.

Anglicare Disaster Recovery

A number of parishioners have undertaken training to enable them to be of assistance at any major disasters that may occur in Coffs Harbour

BBQ’S and Picnics

Parishioners gather for social get togethers on an irregular basis often meeting at the Jetty Foreshores

Christmas Children’s Play

The Children’s Christmas play is performed early on Christmas Eve. Many helpers work for long hours leading up to this service to ensure it is successful. This has become a very popular event and brings together a large attendance of parishioners from their normal service choice. Many people who do not normally attend our Sunday services also come to this special service.


Richard Dubois 0408667871
Stephen Campbell 66507019
Lesley Miller 0429772164

Parish Nominators

Stephen Campbell 66507019
Lesley Miller 0429772164

Parish Council

Apart from our Rector, Assistant Priest and Deacon, we have 9 volunteers on our Parish Council that meets on the 3rd Monday of each month in the Parish House meeting room. The wardens meet on the Thursday prior to the Parish Council meeting.

Parish Financial Statement at 30th June 2018

Coffs Harbour Anglican Parish

Approximate drawing area

Future Development Plans

The Parish of Coffs Harbour is the beneficial owner of 4 and 6 McLean Street with a total area of 2024 square metres on which the Hall, Op Shop and a rented Cottage are located.
Parish Council has appointed a committee of three people to investigate the possibilities for the two blocks. The three people are Bob Chambers, David Ford and Richard Dubois.
For many years ideas have been discussed for the development of this area. The latest idea is to build a larger Op Shop, Community facilities and approximately 25- 30 units for Affordable Housing.
We are at the planning stage and are working with Architects and Town Planners and hope to have a viable concept to be presented to the Diocese in the near future
It is worth noting that the Hall is almost at the end of an economic life and the Op Shop is now our largest source of income.

Looking Towards the Future of the Parish

A Parish Review was conducted in April 2018 and was well attended by parishioners. It is envisioned that information gathered from this review would form a basis for looking for future direction for the parish.