A practical theology of #stayathome

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From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, I was the associate minister at St John’s Anglican Church, East Sydney, which covered Kings Cross and Darlinghurst and comprised a large percentage of inner Sydney’s street-involved population (for example, homeless people, street workers, dealers, those living with mental illness). Eight years as a youth worker, followed by three years living in Los Angeles, had offered only occasional glimpses of the plight of the homeless. Now I was on a steep learning curve. “Radio John” was a well-known and much loved character in the life at church and became one of my first—and most important—teachers from the street. During
my first three months in the parish, I presided over the 7pm congregation, an energetic and eclectic mixture of people. Quite a few people had PhDs, while an equal number were functionally illiterate. About half a dozen were journalists from radio, news, and TV, with an equal number more likely to feature in the news than to report on it. There was a growing number of people moving to the inner-city to live in its apartments and enjoy easy access to pubs, public transport, and employment. A contrasting group had drifted to the Cross because they had lost jobs, houses, or relationships and stayed for the easy access to social services and boarding houses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)38-49
Number of pages11
JournalSt. Mark's Review: A journal of Christian thought and opinion
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


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