Our history begins back in 1884, when the St John the Baptist, Kirribilli building was constructed. 40 years after that, in 1924, the church building at St Augustine’s, Neutral Bay was built.
We pick up our story again in August 2004, when a group of 10 people from St Thomas’ North Sydney, gathered 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 – 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 local area, 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 to over 120 people, so a duplicate service began at 5pm. By 2007 we became independent from St Thomas’ and introduced a Kids Church.
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) as we embarked on a partnership with St Augustine’s Neutral Bay. Working together as one combined mission area (Neutral Bay and Kirribilli) and one combined staff team across the two locations allowed more opportunity to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 2018, we launched the 6pm Neutral Bay service and by 2020 the amalgamation of Kirribilli & Neutral Bay Parishes was formalised.
2021 introduced our Macquarie Park church plant & the decision with three locations and names to rebrand our gatherings and officially launch The Bridge Church. As we entered 2022, our Macquarie Park evening service began.
Each congregation continues to have a designated congregational pastor and retain its feeling of ‘church family’, whilst belonging to something bigger and we can see enormous opportunity in our Lower North Shore mission field.