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St Matthew-in-the-City celebrates being gay

187 Federal Street, AUCKLAND 1, Phone 09 379 0625 Fax 09 303 1302

23rd June 2005

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St Matthew-in-the-City celebrates being gay

Auckland’s St Matthew-in-the-City Anglican Church is home for a community of gay and lesbian Christians. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of that group, the Auckland Community Church (ACC).

Though taking its current form in 1980, this community church for gays and lesbians arose from a study group for homosexual Christians that first met at St Matthew-in-the-City in 1974. It was the first formal gathering of gay Christians in New Zealand.

The group still meets for worship in St Matthew’s every Sunday evening at 7.30pm.

“It is a time to give thanks for the immense contribution of gay and lesbian clergy and laity to the Christian community,“ says Rev Glynn Cardy, Vicar of St Matthew-in-the-City, “and to reaffirm the commitment of this Anglican congregation to a world without prejudice.

“Our 10am service on Sunday 3rd July will have as its theme, ‘Celebrating Gayness’,” says Rev Cardy. “We have invited many Auckland City community leaders, as well as the members of the Auckland Community Church, to join us.”

“I do not know of any other Anglican Church in this country who would include such a service in its 100 year celebrations,” says Dr Peter Lineham of the Auckland Community Church. “We feel very supported by this move.”

At 7.30pm that same day the Auckland Community Church will gather for its own special liturgical celebrations. Again, Auckland community leaders and clergy of all denominations in the city have been invited. The preacher will be the Very Rev’d Peter Beck, Dean of Christchurch.

“It will be a tremendous witness to the vitality of this community of gay, lesbian, transgendered, transsexual and bisexual Christians in Auckland and the many straight people we also have in our congregation,” says Lineham.

For more information about these events, phone Rev Bob Scott from the ACC at (09) 482 0614, or contact the St Matthew’s church office on (09) 379 0625.

END

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