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St Matthew’s to launch book:“A Place on the Edge"

10th May 2005


St Matthew’s to launch book: “A Place on the Edge”

Q: What do the Springbok Tour protests; Auckland’s first gay church and Nelson Mandela have in common?
A: They all feature in the story of St Matthew-in-the-City.

With such colourful moments in its history, St Matthew-in-the-City Anglican Church is deserving of the title of a new book just published for its centenary, titled “A Place on the Edge”.

Written by Auckland journalist Jack Leigh and published by Random House New Zealand, the lively history of the iconic stone church will be officially launched by the former Governor-General, Sir Paul Reeves, at St Matthew’s on Wednesday, 18th May at 6.00pm. All are welcome to attend.

The book traces the history of the church from the time it was just a vision in the mind of Bishop Selwyn in 1843, through its construction in 1905, to its succession of interesting and controversial vicars who led the church through the turbulent times of the 20th century.

Highlights in the book include the story of Rev John Mullane, who allowed the church crypt to be used by the planners of the Springbok Tour protests in 1981. It was this action that brought former South African president Nelson Mandela to speak at the church in 1995 to express thanks for the church’s support for the anti-apartheid movement.

The foreword, written by Sir Paul Reeves, describes it as ‘a good book that sees people for what they are.’

“Wars, depressions, economic booms and busts, social unrest, St Matthew’s has been through the lot,” writes Reeves. “Aucklanders have a sense that this church belongs to them. It all adds up to something that is rich, diverse and challenging.”

The book will be available through the church for the price of $39.95.

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