What to expect at the Cathedral this Christmas

Are you thinking of coming to church for the first time, or the first time in a long time, this Christmas? You will be very welcome here at the Cathedral! Find out the answers to common questions you may have.

When I come for the first time, how will I know what to do?

When you arrive there will be a welcomer on the door. They will give you a copy of the Order of Service (which contains all the words and music for the service). The welcomers will direct you to where you can find a seat. Feel free to ask them or any of our staff any questions you have about the service and they will be happy to help.

For our larger services, there may be a need to queue. We always work hard to ensure everyone can come to the Cathedral so please be patient with our staff as we welcome people inside.

What should I wear?

We are not fussy about what you wear to church. We are a relaxed group of people whose priority is that you feel comfortable when you come. It is worth keeping in mind that the Cathedral can get quite warm when there are lots of people inside, so layers are a good option.

Do I need to bring anything?

No, just bring yourself and your family or friends. We do have an offering which is the way we acknowledge our love for God and which enables us to fund our ministries, you can contribute to the offering through cash, card or electronic giving. We rely entirely on the giving of our visitors and congregation.

You are welcome to bring a bottle of water, however no other food or drink is allowed inside.

How can I get to the Cathedral?

St Paul’s Cathedral is located on the corner of Swanston & Flinders Street. We’re just over the road from Flinders Street Station and Federation Square

By Public Transport

The Cathedral is directly opposite Flinders Street Station which services all metropolitan and some regional train Lines. Information about trains in Melbourne and Victoria can be found here.

Trams routes 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67, 70, 72, 75 and the free City Circle stop out the front of the Cathedral. Tram travel is free within the city’s ‘Free Tram Zone’ – more information is available here (link).

It’s worth checking the PTV website to plan your journey

By Car

Unfortunately, there is no parking available at the Cathedral. A number of parking complexes are located nearby; Flinders Gate and Federation Square carparks are the closest.

What if I have accessibility requirements

The Cathedral has ramp access to the main body of the Church front street level. If you need assistance, please ask a welcomer or member of staff. Accessible toilets are also available in the adjacent building which is also accessible via a ramp and a lift.

Guide dogs and Assistance dogs are welcome.

If you would be more comfortable joining from home, a number of our services are available to join via livestream.

Are children welcome at the services?

Yes! Most definitely. Children are welcome at all services and events. We have a special Christmas service for children at 3pm on Christmas Eve which includes music and a nativity story, but you’re welcome at any of our services.

We take child safety seriously. All of our clergy and volunteer leaders have been vetted and have Working With Children Check clearances. To find out more about our Child Safety policy click here.

What if I don’t know all the words? How do I follow or join in with a service?

During a service, there will be some music and often songs, hymns and words which are a way of worshipping God and praying. All the words and the music will be provided to you in the Order of Service which you will receive when you arrive.

The priest leading the service may invite you to stand if you are able and say some of the responses at certain parts of the service, or these instructions may be written within the service sheets. Join in with as much or as little as you like and if you’re unsure just follow others’ lead.

What if I’m not a Christian?

If you are not a Christian, you will find us a place where every question is taken seriously and we welcome those who are earnestly trying to discover the truth about Jesus and the Christian faith. If you would like to find out more about becoming a Christian please do speak to one of our clergy or staff or get in touch with us here.