A 20-year-old man has pleaded guilty to an anti-semitic and homophobic attack on New Zealand’s famous queer ‘Pink’ church. 

Trigger Warning: This story has visuals and discusses homophobic and anti-semitic slurs, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

Gloria of Greymouth, a deconsecrated church building (formerly the St Andrews Anglican church) built in 1939, was bought by poet and artist Sam Duckor-Jones. In 2021, the artist moved into the unused church building, located in Blaketown, Greymouth on New Zealand’s West Coast, painted it pink and transformed it into a performing arts venue. 

Duckor-Jones has described his vision for Gloria of Greymouth, as a “big gay pink church” filled with 40-50 “papier mache giant” parishoners. 

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Gloria of Greymouth, according to Duckor-Jones  is “a celebration of queer silliness & serious camp” and “a temple of non-denominational queer celebration”.

Vandalised With Graffiti, Rainbow Flag Burnt

Gloruia of Greymouth church in New Zealand was vandalised with homophobic and anti-semitic graffiti and the rainbow flag was burnt in the early hours of June 2, 2022.

On June 2, Duckor-Jones woke up to find that the church was vandalised with homophobic and anti-semitic graffiti and the rainbow flag was lying on the ground burnt. 

“I am glad that the project is so loved. Especially by folks here in Greymouth. So it was a great disappointment to find that she had been attacked early last Friday morning as I slept inside,” wrote Duckor-Jones, who was raised in a Jewish household.

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“All along her light pink sides were homophobic & antisemitic signs & words & messages along with christian symbols & scripture & a burned rainbow flag out the front,” said Duckor-Jones.

Hate Crime

 

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A post shared by Gloria (@gloria_of_greymouth)

The police charged a 20-year-old and a 21-year old for vandalising the church with graffiti. Two other accused are yet to be charged. 

On Wednesday Dillan Jay Pattinson (20) pleaded guilty to one charge of intentional damage, reported Stuff. According to the police, who believe it’s a “hate crime”, Pattison was one of the four people who had conspired to vandalise the building. The judge has scheduled Pattison’s sentencing in September 2022.

 

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A post shared by Gloria (@gloria_of_greymouth)

Stuff reported that Duckor-Jones was keen to be part of the restorative justice process, that involves the victim telling the offender about the impact of the crime, in a session run by a trained facilitator. The process helps the offender to take responsibility for their actions. 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

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