Welcome! We’re a church community in North Leaside, Toronto, serving and praying with our neighbours and inviting people into relationship with God’s love and joy, known in Jesus Christ. We strive to be a welcoming, inclusive, and affirming community.
Visiting a church for the first time can be a bit daunting, so we hope you’ll find these notes helpful. You can also ask our sidespeople (greeters), our clergy, or anyone you meet here about our services and our life together. Or feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!
Where is St. Augustine’s?
St. Augustine’s is located right on Bayview Avenue, three blocks north of Eglinton Avenue at Broadway Avenue, at the top of the hill. Some people jokingly call us “the church across from Whole Foods.”
We have about 20 parking spaces available, and a TTC bus stop right outside our Bayview door.
What should I wear?
Wear whatever makes you comfortable. Most of our community opts for fairly casual clothes. Don’t worry about what you look like – we’ll be happy to see you no matter what!
What happens when I get there?
You may want to arrive a few minutes before worship begins. There are two doors from the parking lot and another set from Broadway Avenue.
A greeter will say hi and give you a leaflet to help guide you through the service. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have. We try to be friendly and welcoming, so our members will likely introduce themselves to you. Find a seat wherever you feel comfortable.
Is the church accessible?
Sort of. On Sundays, our volunteers put out a ramp to the doors in the parking lot. The ramp is located close to our two designated handicapped parking spots. From that door, there’s a chair lift to assist people up to our main level, and lots of helpers willing to assist with its operation and by bringing walkers, canes, and strollers up the stairs. From our main level, an accessible washroom is located off the Bracken Room, at the end of the hallway past the offices.
Because our worship space has chairs, rather than pews, it’s easy to shuffle the furniture to accommodate mobility devices and allow you and your companions to sit together wherever you choose.
We don’t have an elevator. If you plan to arrive with a scooter or wheelchair, we suggest you call ahead and we’ll help you plan your visit.
How will I know what to do?
We generally stand to sing and pray and sit to listen to the readings and the sermon. You can follow what others are doing or choose what feels right for you. When we celebrate communion and bless the bread and wine, everyone is invited into a circle around the altar. Some find standing difficult and you’ll notice a number of people choose to remain seated in the front rows as they form the circle.
Your leaflet includes the words to the prayers, a lot of the music, and numbers for the songs in the hymn book. We say some of the prayers together (written in bold type), and some are said or sung by the priest and other leaders. If you don’t know the tune for a hymn or don’t feel comfortable joining in, don’t worry – our volunteer choir will help guide and direct the music.
If you feel lost, you can always ask someone. We’re happy to help!
Do my kids stay with me?
We love to have kids join us in worship! You and your children have a few options. There’s a small area at the side of the worship space with a few toys, books, child-sized furniture, and some colouring activity sheets. Some families prefer this area because it gives their child space to move while staying together and participating in worship.
After the opening prayer and music, some children choose to follow the leaders to a room down the hall (the Bracken Room), where they have a chance to explore the same Bible lessons with stories, crafts, and games. Kids come back to you during the offertory hymn, when we sing and form the circle around the altar for communion. Kids also lead us in worship. You might see kids helping at the altar, greeting at the door, and on special occasions, telling the story creatively with drama, props, and music.
Do I have to give money?
If you’re visiting, you’re our guest and shouldn’t feel obligated to donate. However, all our work and ministry relies on free-will donations. We ask our members to seriously and prayerfully consider what they can give to support the work of the church. During the offertory hymn, a plate is passed to collect these donations and bless them.
If you feel inspired by the work we do in the community and would like to support us financially, you can donate by adding cash or a cheque to a visitor’s envelope. This ensures you receive a tax receipt. These envelopes are available on the welcome table in the entryway. You can donate online using the web link to Canada Helps. Or you can become a regular donor by asking for envelopes from the office or signing up for monthly, automatic withdraws from your bank account using a pre-authorized remittance form.
You’re welcome to speak to our priest or our parish leaders about how to donate and how your contribution will be used.
Can I receive Communion?
Yes. All who seek God in Christ are welcome at our altar. We invite everyone to gather in the circle as we say prayers to bless the bread and wine. The clergy and communion ministers will come to everyone in the circle and offer a piece of bread and a sip of wine from the chalice.
You’ll notice that some people choose to receive both the bread and wine, and some people cross their arms to indicate that they wish a blessing instead. We invite you to participate as deeply as you wish.
Does St. Augustine’s offer healing ministry?
Healing is an ancient practice in the Christian tradition, and part of the ministry Jesus gave to the disciples. It’s a practice we continue at St. Augustine’s. On the fourth Sunday of the month, we add special prayers for healing. Those who wish to be anointed with unction, the holy oil, are asked to place their arm across their chest. The leaders will come to you. They’ll make the sign of the cross with the oil on your forehead and say a brief prayer with you. Some choose to receive and others don’t. Everyone is invited to sing the music along with the choir during these prayers for healing.
Sometimes, people request prayers for healing when they’re ill or in hospital. Our clergy and lay anointers on the Pastoral Care team are available in such circumstances. Please contact the church office or email our priest to request this ministry.
What happens after the service?
After both of our Sunday services, we gather for refreshments and conversation in the Bracken Room, just down the hall from the worship space.
Following our 8:30 am worship service, this time is a little more structured. Our deacon, Beth Nelson, facilitates a conversation with a focus on the scripture readings for the day. Feel free to drop in – we’d love to meet you!
What does “Anglican” mean?
The Anglican Church is one of the branches of Christianity.
With roots in the Church of England, the whole Anglican family worldwide has more than 80 million members in 165 countries. We’re part of the Diocese of Toronto, which includes more than 200 church communities in the GTA and beyond.
Learn more about who we are and what we believe.