At Small Boat Big Sea we have a reputation for “doing church differently” but that’s not how we see it. In fact, we don’t think we “do church” at all, let alone differently. We are simply a community of Jesus-followers who prefer people to programs, and worship-in-action to worship-in-a-building. We’re deeply committed to working together in God’s mission in Christ to bring peace and hope and love to the world – including our own world in Manly as well as the whole world out there.


They call it being missional, but actually we think it’s being church as it was intended, with less focus on maintaining institutional religion and all our effort on both announcing and demonstrating the universal reign of God in Christ. Sounds grand eh? Well, it works itself out in both big ways (advocating for the poor) and small ways (an act of kindness to the old lady down the street), in spoken ways (helping someone understand Jesus’ message of hope) and unspoken ways (street chaplaincy in the wee small hours).


Being missional together means we exemplify good community by looking after each other and extending care to our local and international neighbours. We devote time together each week to meet over a big meal, to celebrate the goodness of God, to understand the scriptures, and pray together.


Generosity, hospitality, faith, sacrifice, teaching, service, worship, prayer, laughter, justice-seeking, family, love, grace etc. You can’t really do that stuff “differently”. You just have to do it, right?


Come along and join our table. There’s plenty of room in our small boat!


Small Boat Big Sea is a community of people who share a passion for life, creativity and justice. We seek to develop genuine Christian spirituality that connects deeply through place and space, beyond just Sundays. We do, however, meet weekly on Sunday afternoons at the William Street Studios in Manly, and hold a number of other events, gatherings and projects.



DNA stands for “Discipleship, Nurture, Accountability”. Every person in our community is encouraged to join a DNA. These are groups of 2 to 5 people who meet regularly to talk, support and pray for each other.


People are encouraged to join DNA’s because the close relationships formed contribute to a lively faith in God and a fulfilling life. It is mainly through our relationships with others that we experience the practical outworking of our belief in God.


DNAs take on many forms: some meet in cafes, pubs, others in homes, and others on the beach. The groups aspire to be a place for honest discussion. They are a safe place where people can be supported and challenged.


DNAs are encouraged to use our Weekly Rythym to guide questions for accountability…

The Lounge

Small Boat Big Sea meets in the lounge. The lounge is church stripped of its formality. We eat together. We teach and encourage each other. We pray for our community and for the world. We aim to put Jesus at the centre of everything we do.


Kids Ahoy

School aged children have their own special gathering. After sharing dinner with the big people, we venture up the stairs, to enjoy our own time of learning. We love the music, the games, the team work and the stories.


kids sunset2

Our Mission

COMMUNING WITH GOD to create an expansive Christian spirituality that infuses daily life.

CREATING A COMMUNITY of safety, grace & healing that shares kingdom building adventures in Manly & beyond

COMMISSIONING PEOPLE to create a just, safe & beautiful world for everyone.

CATALYSING A MOVEMENT that provides a relevant & creative Christian spirituality for Australians.

What We Believe

Love is central to the Christian faith and life in community.


God, in Trinity, created the world and everything in it as an act of love; God desires all creation to know him as a loving creator and live in relationship with him.


By following the instincts of self, seeking to create and rule ourselves, turning after other gods, or choosing to live a life without God, humans have abandoned their relationship with God and failed to worship him.


This failure to worship God has seriously damaged our relationships with him, one another and the earth


Unable to abandon his creation, God sought to bring about reconciliation with himself by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to enter history, demonstrate God’s love in human form, and break the back of humanity’s sin.


In love towards humanity and obedience towards God the Father, Jesus bore the sins of humanity in his body and gave his life on the cross.


Jesus was resurrected, demonstrating his authority over life and death. In love, Jesus offers eternal life to those who call on him.


The right response to the call of faith is a life of love and obedience to God. God gives his Holy Spirit to those who respond in belief and embrace the life that Jesus offers. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in them.


Those who do not live a life of love and obedience to God, and who continue reject Jesus, God’s Son, remain under God’s judgement.


The church’s purpose is to bring this message of reconciliation to others, in the power of the Holy Spirit, so that they may share in the life God has to offer. This message is conveyed in both word and deed, individually and as a community.


The Bible, as a revelation of God’s character, purposes, judgement, saving acts, and grace towards humanity, is inspired by God and is our authority in matters of faith and practice.


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