Home grown for us at Home
Holy Hermits has grown out of pandemic, into something that will outlive Covid-19 by the grace of God

Originally developed in response to the arrival of pandemic in March 2020 with the Anglican Parish of Bulimba, Holy Hermits Online is now hosted by St John's Cathedral Brisbane and is boundary-less and geographically free to invite people from every place, every ability and every background, to join in and live as the Body of Christ online. We are rooted in the Anglican Church tradition but are open to ecumenical partnerships and welcome members from other christian denominations too.

Who is this online church for?
Short answer - Everyone!

Including people who:

  • may not be seeking physical church attendance, or are unlikely to ever pass through a physical church door
  • live with disability and/or physical barriers for attending a local church (no pews here! - BYO comfort)
  • are socially vulnerable or sensitive (turning video on is completely optional!)
  • live with chronic illness and experience periods of ill-health when they need to rest
  • are convalescing or rehabilitating away from their regular community and need a temporary spiritual home
  • are "Seekers" and find online engagement an easier step toward exploring faith and church
  • prefer at home or on-the-go worship to fit in with other commitments
  • have different hearing needs (Zoom is compatible with many hearing devices) 
  • have transportation barriers to getting their bodies into a church space
  • live rurally where their local church has closed or has irregular worship
  • are vulnerable to Covid who continue to shelter at home as much as possible
  • live as pilgrims or travellers who don't spend long periods in just one place - they can take us with them!
  • have family members who are living geographically apart, so they can attend worship together
  • are tech enthusiasts who enjoy the online way of being and want their church to come to them
What makes Holy Hermits Online Mission special?
Many online ministries have been born during the pandemic, but few offer the same level of engagement and connection that Holy Hermits Online represents.

Having the space available for those who attend to interact with one another and with the liturgy, by offering their ministry gifts, makes this community engagement unique.

With inclusivity and invitational values driving the mission, Holy Hermits Online enables people who may not have been able to exercise their ministry gifts in a physical Church setting, to function as a member of the body of Christ in an authentic and meaningful way.

By being free of building management or geographical limitations the focus of community connection and pastoral care are paramount for Holy Hermits Online.

Inspired by the Holy Hermits from our history we are encouraged by their examples to make space for God to transform our lives and the lives of those around us through us. 

Below is a downloadable poster and flyer
Please feel welcome to download and distribute these flyers to share our invitation to community

Questions & Answers

Here are some answers to common questions asked about our community

Yes! Many of our members also attend a parish church or are part of other online communities. We affectionately refer to them as 'dual-citizens'. 

We are also open to partnering with your local community so that your minister has access to our resources and other HHO members might link with your Church too. If you think you might like to have a conversation around this we have some resources which might help, including the Partners in Ministry Page

Online safety is our paramount reason for asking people to sign up to get our links to gather on Zoom. More info at the end of the Sign-up page or below on this About Us page.

We are still building towards sustainability. At present we are able to support Rev'd Jame for 2 days a week through our offerings and are working towards paying for the full 3 days. Once we are sustainable we might be able to add extra days or even take on other clergy for a team ministry approach.

The Cathedral team is available for pastoral care and can be contacted through the Pastoral and Spiritual Care page. 

The HHO leaders can be contacted at holyhermits@anglicanchurchsq.org.au. 

At this stage the wider Church community is reflecting on if and how we could have Holy Communion Online. We are engaging in conversation as a community to see how we can add to the wider dialogue. 

We have Spiritual Communion once every quater at our high feast days, usually including an Agape Feast - Christmas Day, Easter Day, Pentecost and All Saints Day as well as regularly using the 'Making a Spiritual Communion Prayer' at Sunday worship during our devotions. 

Being Together
Expectations of behaviour in our church community

At Holy Hermits Online we value fellowship and unity alongside difference, and discourage the bringing of anything that could be divisive or hurtful to our shared space where everyone is welcome. 

Jesus told us to love one another as he loves us. As Christians we know our life together is strengthened when our behaviour is consistent with our faith. However, our experience of being together can be difficult, particularly when there are differences. So it is important to be clear about how we will behave towards each other.

Being a community:

We will value the wellbeing of others.

We will encourage each other to participate in the life of the church.

We will consider the impact of our behaviour on others.

Relating to each other:

We will treat each other with respect and dignity, irrespective of ability, gender, sexuality, race, age or contribution to the church.

We will act with integrity and honesty in our interactions with each other.

Communicating with each other:

We will communicate respectfully with others, and not in a way that threatens, belittles or humiliates.

We will speak with integrity and honesty, and refrain from speculation and gossip.

Acknowledging difference:

We will respect those who are different from us and not isolate or ridicule them.

We will listen to and seek to understand the beliefs, opinions and practices of others, even when we do not share their views.

Responding to conflict:

We will accept responsibility for our part in a conflict.

We will be willing to play our part in resolving a conflict.

 

Resolution 45/14 of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia 2014 “Being Together”

An intro to HHO

Our first look at ministry together October 2020

Reflecting on our first 6 months of ministry together - April 2021

A deeper look at who we are at HHO and how we are following the Holy Spirit's leading
Online Safety
We take the safety of our members very seriously at HHO and undertake to make being part of community as safe as possible
Online safety is the main reason signing-up is necessary to get the Zoom links for worship and gatherings. By ensuring that those who have signed up are genuinely wanting to connect in or become part of the community, we have less risk of internet 'trolls' gaining access and disrupting our space.

Our members are encouraged not to give personal information away on Zoom - even when we are gathered with other members we know well. Although Zoom is a very safe platform and is constantly being updated to make it safer, we must remember that being in a Zoom meeting is still a public space.

Only the sermon is recorded during our worship. Many people would likely appreciate having access to the full service recording, however due to the nature of our worship being so interactive - with members offering their ministry gifts in roles like LA, cantor, reader or prayer leader - we protect our community by 'pinning' the minister's screen and recording only the message of the day which is loaded to YouTube, embedded on the Sermons Page and made available to the community for further reflection.

Lastly members are encouraged to think carefully about using their full names when they join our Zoom spaces. Whenever a community member is mentioned in our send-outs, on the liturgy screens or in other communications, only their first name will be used. 

Overall, being part of the Holy Hermits Online community should always feel like a safe space, but if anyone is in doubt or has a concern they are welcome to raise it with either Rev'd Jamee or the Cathedral team or with our Leaders, and we will gladly do our best to help.