Metropolitan Community Church pastor the Reverend Gavin Ward will serve his last day on January 31. Ward will leave the gay and lesbian-positive church after just nine months of service.

He remained tight-lipped about the reason for his decision, but the internal politics of the organisation — which led to a split in 2008, with a number of congregants moving to the new Crave church started by the Reverend Karl Hand — may have something to do with it.

“I just felt that the fit at MCC Sydney wasn’t working for me, and it was time to move on,” Ward said. “I find it very sad, because I started with quite high hopes.

“I don’t hold any grudges against anyone there. There are certainly plenty of lovely people at the church. I just felt for myself it wasn’t working and I would be better off somewhere else, and that they would be better off with someone else as well.”

He assured congregants that services would continue.

“I’ve spent January working with the church to make sure it can continue and function when I’m not there — strategic things to ensure that the services are going to be covered and that the doors are going to stay open.

“The church is certainly still going to be in a position to keep running when I do go, so people should keep coming.

“There are a lot of things that could be said, I guess, but I feel that the church is going to be left in a position where it is viable for the future.

“It is a healthy place and encouraging for a new pastor. I don’t think it’s a failed church or a failed cause or anything like that. I see MCC very much as having a valid ministry.”

The MCC board will begin a search for a replacement pastor.

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