BELONGING AND PARTICIPATING
BAPTISMS, WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS
Leigh Memorial Church offers open opportunities for baptisms, weddings and re-renewal of vows ceremonies, plus funeral services – and an adjacent hall and self-catering facilities. Reasonable fees and additional support are available. Bookings/enquiries via the Parramatta Mission office, 9891-2277 or our congregation email.
When available, our ‘Open Church’ program takes place on weekdays between 10am and 2pm – offering a quiet space for members of the public to pray and/or rest in the peaceful atmosphere of the church. NB: Open Church is not currently in operation. Those wishing to visit the church or attend worship, are encouraged to do so on a Sunday, with services taking place throughout the morning and early afternoon. Please check the website for further information.
ECUMENICAL, INTER-FAITH & COMMUNITY
The Leigh Memorial congregation has a long-standing commitment to interactive ecumenical, inter-faith and community programs. In recent years, we have hosted ‘International Day of Peace’ Inter-Faith prayer services, Interfaith Community Peace Dinners, ‘Parramasala’ mornings, Abraham Conferences, and Ecumenical Council of NSW and Sydney Alliance events – while also continuing to support the work and witness of our fellow Uniting Churches. We are an active part of Parramatta Mission, the Parramatta City Uniting Church alliance, the Parramatta-Nepean Presbytery of the Uniting Church in Western Sydney – and Synod NSW/ACT, Uniting Church in Australia.
COUPLES & FRIENDS/ RUGS GIVING PROGRAM
Our longest-running group (and one for all ages, including seniors), the ‘Couples and Friends’ continue to join in regular social gatherings, outings and fundraising activities – and to coordinate a community outreach program involving the production of multiple hand-knitted rugs for donation to Parramatta Mission’s and Uniting’s community and women’s support programs. Further information about the rugs giving initiative is available via the congregation email.
Since 2014, Leigh Memorial Church has been a regular participant and/or supporter of Parramatta Council’s popular ‘Parramatta Lanes’ Festival – with contemporary art, live music, food, heritage tours and a peaceful ‘open church’ environment being offered to visitors to our Macquarie Street site. As a congregation, we are excited to be part of Parramatta’s vibrant cultural and educational scene – and to be worshipping in the heart of an ever-expanding Parramatta CBD. We look forward to many future opportunities to connect with, and support, our Parramatta community!
CHILDREN & YOUNG ADULTS
The Leigh Memorial congregation currently offers child-safe craft and learning activities to children attending our services, in addition to opportunities to participate in worship. Our youth/young adults join with other young people from the Parramatta Mission, Parramatta City Uniting Church and Parramatta-Nepean Presbytery congregations in various cultural, enrichment, camping, climate change awareness and creative programs, as available. NB: All those working with children and vulnerable people within Parramatta Mission are required to have current ‘Working with Children’ clearances/police checks, in addition to specific training.
Leigh Memorial is a heritage church (opened 1885 and named in honour of the Mission’s first minister, Rev Samuel Leigh). It is the third church on Parramatta Mission’s Macquarie Street site, with a first chapel opening in 1821 and a second in 1839. The Parramatta Mission Heritage Committee (est. 2009) oversees heritage matters for the church, including the preservation of its unique historical features and the upkeep of its museum and archival collection. The committee also conducts historical research, liaises with the community – and hosts heritage talks and tours of the church and associated sites. Our heritage publications are readily available for purchase, borrowing or viewing online. The Leigh Memorial stained glass windows (dating from 1885) are considered to be among the most beautiful and significant examples of Christian stained glass in Sydney, with the Leigh Memorial pipe organ (1879) being considered a very special instrument. The church also has two unique war memorials (installed in 1923 and 1947), which are included in the NSW War Memorials Register. Heritage enquiries via the Parramatta Mission website or LeighMemorialUniting@gmail.com
Our church library contains a catalogue of books relating to the Christian faith, church history and personal development – which are available for reading or borrowing on Sunday mornings following worship (by prior arrangement). Our ‘Meals Plus’ program also offers a borrowing library.