25 April 2024

Braving the cold to welcome in Easter at dawn

The Reverend Alex Kornaczewski led an interdenominational Easter service on the beach at dawn. Photo: Wayne Crook

Maya Pilbrow

12 April 2023

Dozens of people from five different parishes across three denominations met at dawn on Sunday to celebrate Easter.

The Anglican parishes of St Augustine’s Mentone and St Michael’s Beaumaris joined with Heatherton Dingley Uniting Church, Parkdale Uniting Church and Parkdale Church of Christ for an early morning service.

This year marks the first time all five parishes have coordinated to meet up for a joint service.

St Augustine’s has run dawn services for over fifteen years. Parishioner Wayne Crook has been involved since the beginning.

Mr Crook said attendees at past dawn services were mostly from St Augustine’s with a few others from St Michael’s.

He said the services were originally held at Mentone Beach, but due to development works in the area, the parish had decided to move the location.

“We moved up to Parkdale, and as it happened, we turned up and another group was there,” he said.

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Heatherton Uniting minister the Reverend Deacon Andrea Mayes said it had been a spontaneous decision to combine services.

“Last year, Mentone Anglican happened to be holding a dawn service at the same spot we were,” she said.

Mrs Mayes said the combined service had been a success, so all parishes present decided to coordinate a joint service for this year.

She said her parish’s dawn service tradition had developed due to the efforts of laypeople from Heatherton, as well as Parkdale Uniting Church and Parkdale Church of Christ.

“It’s just sort of unfolded, it hasn’t really been planned,” she said. “It’s been driven by lay people who want to get together to greet the dawn and celebrate Easter.”

St Augustine’s locum the Reverend Alec Kornaczewski led the dawn service on Sunday. He said he was pleased to see so many parishes working together.

“There’s a real sense that God honours when we make an effort to come together,” he said.

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