In the city
This certainly seems a very busy and flourishing church judging by the same welcoming leaflet: a special program for children, called Buzz, during the morning service; weekly English language classes for those whose first language is not English; and several different home groups meeting regularly, such as the fellowship group, a book club, and groups focusing on the needs of youth and young adults.
Now I did finally manage to make it to Adelaide during that Wednesday window of opportunity and had a most fascinating conversation with the person on duty, a former minister to the church, after which I was able to stroll around, take photos, and pick up the aforementioned welcoming leaflet, together with "A Brief History." But the atmosphere was hardly conducive to simply taking my own private time for prayer, meditation or quiet reflection, always conscious of someone at the front of the church on "security duty." And they claim to be a community which is "open and hospitable... which reaches out to others."
It is also a shame that the Brief History notes are not anywhere on the website - or not that I could find anyway. The church, which opened for worship in 1863, and is heritage-listed, is noteworthy for: its gallery or balcony installed in 1873 to cope with the 500 or so congregation plus 500 scholars in the Sunday School; a rather magnificent pipe organ, the baptistry designed and indeed used for total immersion baptism; its links with Global Interaction (formerly the Australian Baptist Missionary Society) as recognized by plaques in the church: and some interesting stained glass windows including a rather beautiful rose window under the balcony.
Some day soon, when I come to the end of my Adelaide Churches pilgrimage, I am going to have a rant about closed churches - so watch this space. And meanwhile if you would like to contribute to that particular debate, whether about the churches in Adelaide or anywhere else across the world, I would really love to have your comments. In fact please leave your comments anyway! I know that lots of you out there are reading this series - I would love to hear from some of you.