29 September 2023

Bilingual church grows despite trials

Members of Holy Trinity Coburg worship in both Arabic and English. Picture: supplied 

By Farag Hanna 

7 January 2022

We are so thankful to the Lord for the work that he is doing in and through both the English and Arabic congregations at the Holy Trinity Church in Coburg. 

The past year and a half can be encapsulated in the following verse from Philippians: 

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” 

There will always be trials and struggles but in Christ we triumph over them and grow through them.  

Our church has seen significant growth since its beginning early 2016, both in numbers and participation. We continue to cast all on Jesus and trust him and his sovereignty as we put our heads and hands to the plough.   

Since the beginning of our services we have preached out of the lectionary in both the English and Arabic services. Both services are held on Sunday mornings, the English at 10:00 and Arabic at 11:30 am.  

For special occasions the two congregations come together as one and hear the message translated in their respective languages, either by a member of the congregation or from the pulpit. In the beginning to foster relationships within the church we decided to have a fellowship meal after every service. It was a great success! It was a chance for new families coming into the church to get to know others and for the church as a family to catch up on friendships. 

We are so thankful to all the members of the church who are tireless in serving the Lord both practically and joyfully. 

Our activities have included Sunday school in both English and Arabic, with about 50 children most Sundays. About 23 teenagers attend a Friday night youth group. 

A hundred people regularly attend a weekly adult Bible study. About 50 women go to monthly women’s meetings, while a bi-monthly men’s group is about building activities and social relationships. 

We are so thankful to God that our church has grown since its establishment in January 2016. We have even planted a new church in Geelong. 

Reverend Canon Farag Hanna is vicar of the Arabic and English speaking Holy Trinity Anglican Parish, Coburg. He will share his experience of ministry at the Ridley College annual dinner in February. 

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