In August 2004, a group of 10 people from St Thomas' North Sydney, gathered together to pray and plan for a church plant somewhere on the Lower North Shore.
The core team planned and prayed for what church should look like and identified 3 main aims:
- to be a community - that is a church family where we 'do life together' - sharing our burdens and our joys in Jesus.
- to be part of our local community - being a light for Christ in the community of Kirribilli, seeking opportunity to present Jesus through word and deed.
- to be a church which combined faithful and relevant Bible teaching, with great worship music - allowing people to express their love for Jesus through whatever personality God has given them.
In October 2004, we were given permission to start an evening service in the building we now call Church by the Bridge. After a few months of praying, preparation, publicity and perspiration, Church by the Bridge started on Sunday 6 February 2005 at '6 for 6.15pm' with 42 people gathering to worship God.
After a year, God had grown His church from those initial 10, to over 120 people, so we decided to run a duplicate service at 5pm. By 2007 we became independent from St Thomas' and had the opportunity to renew the morning service, introducing a Kids Church and seeking to combine good liturgy with contemporary style, whilst continuing our passion to 'be a light for Christ in the community’.
Over the years that followed, we sought to increase our diversity and community connection through reaching families (via a playgroup for 0-5s and their parents/carers) and the marginalised (through Community Lunches for housing commission residents). We continued to be deliberate in our evangelism and worked hard on our welcoming.
We began a more relaxed style 'Saturday night' service in 2008, yet conscious that all our gatherings were contemporary in style, we also started our 8am 'Traditional Anglican Service' with prayer book, organ and hymns for those in our community who were more comfortable with that style.
As church has grown, we have added more pastoral and support staff and introduced more 'ministries', to keep people connected to God and connected to their church family.
Mission and maturity are at the heart of what we do. As church has grown, we have continued to seek opportunities to start new gatherings and reach new mission areas (such as Lavender Bay and McMahons Point), aiming to be a presence for Jesus.
November 2017 saw an exciting opportunity for gospel growth (with many of our congregations near capacity) - partnering with St Augustine’s Neutral Bay. We are now working together as two churches functioning as one, across two parishes. Together we have one combined mission area (Neutral Bay and Kirribilli) and one combined staff team. Working across the two locations allows more opportunity to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each congregation continues to have a designated congregational pastor and retain its feeling of ‘church family’, whilst belonging to something bigger. This partnership for the Kingdom promises enormous opportunity in our Lower North Shore mission field.
We are committed to pursuing excellence in our gatherings - working hard at welcoming, service structure, music, prayer and preaching. We have active and growing ministries in the area of global and local mission, men and women, kids and youth, mercy and care and we continue to strive to honour God in the way we welcome, connect, teach and mature people, as we gather under Him.