St John's Cathedral is home to a community which seeks to bring the best of Anglican tradition into dialogue with the issues and needs of our day.
We strive for open-minded conversation, seek to practice inclusion, and reflect on how we might see our beliefs put into action. We want this to be a place where people are encouraged to seek God and progress their own spiritual journeys.
The Cathedral itself, a renowned Brisbane landmark, serves as a magnet, where diverse people gather to worship, celebrate, seek solace, converse and learn.
Peace, Peter Catt Dean of Brisbane
Follow the link for all the Christmass celebrations and services at the Cathedral.
Please consider giving help to those less fortunate than yourself this Advent, by donating through the Holy Trinity Pantry. Donations of non-perishable food items [packed in cans, packets and bottles] may be placed under the undecorated Christmas tree in the cathedral.
Inspired by Westminster Abbey which has placed 20th century martyrs in place of the traditional arrangement of statues, The Chapter of St John’s Cathedral has resolved to likewise depart from the traditional arrangement of characters in the west end niches of the cathedral. Instead of the 13 individual characters the niches will house representations of 24 biblical characters who played significant roles in the story of Jesus. The arrangement has been designed to reflect the importance of some of the relationships the bible records: Mary, Martha and Lazarus of Bethany are housed together, as are James and John, the sons of thunder; and Peter and Paul as the twin leaders of the evangelisation. Standing alone are the Christ at the centre, John the Baptiser as the forerunner and Mary Magdalene as the apostle to the apostles.
Visit our Worship and sermons page to download past sermons to read, or listen to them as audio files.
The cloud is free only
to go with the wind.
The rain is free
only in falling.
The water is free only
in its gathering together,
in its downward courses,
in its rising into the air.
In law is rest
if you love the law,
if you enter, singing, into it
as water in its descent.
Or song is truest law,
and you must enter singing;
it has no other entrance.
It is the great chorus
of parts. The only outlawry
is in division.
Whatever is singing
is found, awaiting the return
of whatever is lost.
Meet us in the air
over the water,
sing the swallows.
Meet me, meet me,
the redbird sings,
here here here here.
Congratulations to sue wilton, on the occaison of her ordination to the preisthood.
Congratulations to our Curate Sue, who was ordained here in the Cathedral on Saturday the 3rd of December. We look forward to sharing the next steps of your journey with you as you minister amongst us.
Message from Sue Wilton "I am so grateful for the love and support that has been shown by the cathedral community during my time preparing for ordination to the priesthood and at the Ordination Service. The gift of the beautiful chasuble will be cherished by me always and a constant reminder of the strength of relationships of our community and the sacred ties I will always have to this place. I look forward with gratitude, excitement and no small amount of wonder, to all that this next stage of ministry will bring."
Outreach through offering - December
month’s Outreach: The 2017 Christmas Bowl Appeal
Over 65 years of the Christmas Bowl
It began on Christmas Day 1949, when a minister, Revd Frank Byatt in Victoria placed a simple empty bowl on the table before him. He humbly asked his friends and family to contribute what they felt the cost of the meal had been. Revd Byatt asked that they consider their own good fortune in being able to share a Christmas meal together in comfort and safety. And he invited them to share God’s blessings of love and friendship in the form of a gift to people who had fled the horrors of World War Two and were suffering as refugees.
This invitation to Australian Christians to stand by men, women and children living through conflict and displacement is, sadly, more important than ever. For the first time in history, there are nearly 60 million displaced people in the world who need our help.
The Christmas Bowl appeal is our way of forging a loving connection between our Christian community here in Australia and people around the world who are experiencing dreadful hardship and suffering.
This Christmas we are supporting the alleviation of severe hunger in Zimbabwe. ‘Seeds of Hope in Zimbabwe’ is providing seeds to plant crops and training to ensure that farming families always have enough to eat. See more at: https://www.actforpeace.org.au/Christmas-Bowl
Congratulations to graeme morton
In October, Director of Music Graeme Morton went to York Minster (UK) to receive the prestigious award of Fellowship of the Royal School of Church Music (FRSCM). The FRSCM is an award for exceptional musical achievements in church or liturgy of international significance. Normally there are fewer than 5 awards made each year, most of them in the northern hemisphere. Former Director of Music Robert Boughen and member of St John's congregation Charles Clark, are among the very few Australian recipients.
Graeme and his late brother Ralph Morton were awarded this honour in January of 2016, and, with Ralph's wife Cheryl (a member of St John's congregation), formally received the award from Lord Gill, Chairman of the RRSCM Council, on 1st October at the RSCM Celebration Day in York.
Until his death earlier this year, Ralph was Director of Music at St Stephen’s Cathedral. In the words of Ross Cobb, written at the time of the announcement in January, the two brothers, "encouraged and trained several generations of musicians and the excellent standards of choral singing in the whole of the East Coast are in the main due to their selfless and unstinting work over many years. Australian music will be forever in their debt, and we rejoice that their amazing work has been recognised internationally.
This award is very well deserved. Graeme Morton AM was co-founder of The Australian Voices, founder of St Peter's Chorale and Brisbane Chamber Choir. He has commissioned and published many significant Australian works. As a Churchill Fellow he has observed choral leadership in both the United States and Canada. He is the recipient of a Prime Minister’s Medal and in 2011 was the recipient of the Lord Mayor’s Australia Day Cultural Award. Graeme holds a Master of Music (Organ) from the University of Queensland, and as a composer, is published by Augsburg Fortress, Kjos Music, and Morton Music. St John's is very proud to have Graeme Morton as its Director of Music (currently also organist) and we congratulate him on receiving this significant award.
the gift of pastoral care
by Rev'd Sue Wilton
To follow Christ is to be called each day to love one another as we are loved. Yet it is so easy for our motivations to become mixed and our attempts to show love become disempowering where we try to fix things for others, give advice, or ‘sort them out.’
The power of skillful pastoral care lies in being aware of ourselves and able to lay aside what we think we know, leave our judgments behind and acknowledge that the other is a mystery to us. When we do this, deep listening can occur. When we truly hear one another, we begin to also truly see one and communicate the immense hope and promise of God that we are not alone.
The poem below by an unknown author captures the essence and healing potential of true pastoral care.
When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I ask is that you listen. Don’t talk or do – just hear me.
Advice is cheap; 20 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper. And I can do for myself; I am not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.
But when you accept as a simple fact that I feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can stop trying to convince you and get about this business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling.
And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice. Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s behind them.
Perhaps that’s why prayer works, sometimes, for some people – because God is mute, and he doesn’t give advice or try to fix things. God just listens and lets you work it out for yourself.
So please listen, and just hear me. And if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn – and I will listen to you. - Author Unknown
the Season of advent
Advent is a season of expectation and preparation, as the Church prepares to celebrate the coming (adventus) of Christ in his incarnation, and also looks ahead to his final advent as judge at the end of time. The readings and liturgies not only direct us towards Christ’s birth, they also challenge the modern reluctance to confront the theme of divine judgement.
Every eye shall now behold him robed in dreadful majesty. (Charles Wesley)
The Four Last Things – Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell – have been traditional themes for Advent meditation. The characteristic note of Advent is therefore expectation, rather than penitence, although the character of the season is easily coloured by an analogy with Lent. The anticipation of Christmas under commercial pressure has also made it harder to sustain the appropriate sense of alert watchfulness, but the fundamental Advent prayer remains ‘Maranatha’ – ‘Our Lord, come’ (1 Corinthians 16.22). Church decorations are simple and spare, and purple and blue are the traditional liturgical colours.
The Third Sunday of Advent was observed in medieval times as a splash of colour in the restrained atmosphere of Advent (Gaudette or ‘Rose Sunday’), and the last days of Advent were marked by the sequence of Great O antiphons, which continue to inspire modern Advent hymns and meditations.
advent study group
Advent 2016 Study: "Where Is God?"
Advent is a time of waiting, but it is also a time of searching. “Where is God?” is a question that has been drawn from the human soul down the ages. It is a question uttered in lament in the psalms, shouted from the ugliness of the battlefield, cried from the darkness of the concentration camps, and whispered in the loneliness of grief and loss. It also expresses the great quest of the human spirit; the searching that would prompt a youthful mother to proclaim the favour of the Lord, shepherds to desert their flocks to find a baby in a feed trough, magi to follow a star, and an old man to praise God for the salvation he has seen with his own eyes. This Advent, we will enter a time of waiting and searching together, with an opportunity to join a small group to ponder and reflect on the question, ‘Where is God?’ This study will consider where history and culture have positioned God and how the direction of our search changes everything. As we travel the advent journey together, we will seek to discover anew this hidden treasure of God who comes wrapped in human flesh. Dates and times: Three different opportunities to be part of the same study: Sundays 3.30- 4.45pm - 27 November, 4 December, 11 December Tuesdays 11.00am- 12.15pm - 29 November, 6 December, 13 December Wednesdays 7.30-8.30am - 30 November, 7 December, 14 December
A comprehensive listing of Christmass events at the Cathedral for the 2016 Festive Season
Concerts and Carols
27th November, 6pm - The Advent Procession of Light, with the Cathedral Singers
11th December, 2pm - Noël Christmass, with Brisbane Chamber Choir
18th December, 6pm - 9 Lessons and Carols, with Brisbane Choral Artists
21, 22, 23 December, 7pm - Charpentier’s Messe de Noël: Join the Brisbane Chamber Choir for 3 special nights of experiential music in the Cathedral as we prepare for Christmass. The BCC will perform Charpentier’s Messe de Noël as well as a selection of period Christmass carols, accompanied by the Cathedral Consort.
24th December, 7pm - God is with Us - Lessons and Carols^
20th December, 6pm - Blue Christmass:
Hurry to Bethlehem - A Children’s Liturgy 1..30am & 3.30pm
God is with Us - Lessons and Carols^, 7pm
First Eucharist of Christmass, 11pm (with pre-service carols beginning at 10.40pm
Holy Communion 7.30am
Choral Eucharist 9.30am
Holy Communion 5.00pm
The Cathedral is closed from 11am - 4pm on Christmass Day and all day Boxing Day (Monday 26th of December).
*A note on our spelling of Christmass: We opt to use the double ’s’ to form the traditional word Christ Mass. This serves as a reminder of the season’s spiritual roots - it’s not a typo, it just helps us remember that Christmass is first and foremost the celebration of God coming to be with us.
^The carol service on Christmass Eve is one of our most popular services of the year. Please try to arrive early to ensure you and your family can get seats together.
St John's Cathedral
373 Ann Street, Brisbane, Qld, Australia. Open for visitors from 9.30am-4.30pm daily. +617 3835 2222