Rev Fr Tim Mansfield has made residency at the Unitarian Church in Darlinghurst to help reconnect and develop the community’s spirituality.
A gay man himself, his new parish is part of the Apostolic Johannite Church (AJC) and runs a weekly service on Sunday nights.
While the AJC follows the traditions of the Christian faith, Mansfield said his church puts greater emphasis on the individual and group experience of the divine through regular spiritual practice and a smaller emphasis on what you have to believe to belong.
A lot of people have felt excluded from traditional churches, for their sexuality or for other reasons. I’ve been told by quite a few people that attending one of our services has healed a hurt they’ve been holding for years -” I think that’s pretty profound, he said.
AJC has provided a home for my spiritual yearning in a very deep way. I don’t have to stop asking difficult questions or take on beliefs I can’t hold with and the church challenges me in places I need to grow.
On top of the weekly service, Mansfield has started a contemplative prayer group, which focuses on learning some basic meditation techniques from the Christian tradition and practicing them together.
We’d like to share with the people of Sydney the beauty and richness of spiritual practice in the Christian tradition in a way that doesn’t demand that you have to believe a long list of things to participate, he said.
Sydney’s a big city and we’re hoping this is a good place to share our way of looking at spirituality.

info: The AJC holds a service at the Unitarian Church, 15 Francis St, Darlinghurst every Sunday at 6pm.  For more information on the faith visit www.johannite.org. More details on the Sydney parish call Rev Fr Tim Mansfield on 0403 004 499 or email him on father.mansfield@johannite.org

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