Portraits of photographers in the Puritan church

Photograph of Trinn Suwannapha in Paddington Uniting Church

Last night ’Pong (pictured) and I went to the opening of In Your Face, an exhibition of photographs of photographers taken by other photographers showing until 4 November at Paddington Uniting Church.

This photo is not one of them, and ’Pong wasn’t one of the photographers. I just reckon this was a curious painting to hang in a church, and ’Pong liked it. So I took a photo with my pimple-cam.

Paddington Uniting Church intrigued me. Their motto is “Faith Inclusiveness Justice Creativity”, and out the front there’s a sign explaining their “progressive” mission.

We are a community of people who gather to worship God and explore our Christian faith in a critical manner relevant to our context. Conscious of the particular challenges involved in witnessing to the life of Jesus Christ in the inner city of Sydney we seek to shape our lives in the following ways.

We seek to be an open and welcoming community of al people, especially those marginalized in our society due to their sexual orientation, gender, race, age, poverty and mental or emotional well being. We look for the full participation of all people in the life of the Church.

We are committed to working for justice, particularly with those who are marginalized in the inner city, such as people without homes of those left in poverty, aboriginal people and those who suffer racial prejudice.

We seek to actively explore the resources offered through all forms of human creativity, particularly as expressed in the arts, in support of our faith and mission.

I love the fact that they’re ripped out the rows of wooden pews, and the church interior is just this big open space which they can use however they want — like to show a documentary film about their current photographic exhibition. And growing up in the Methodist tradition, I appreciated the stark simplicity of their altar — just a white cloth, and two simple candles — and the preacher’s pulpit towering dead centre over that altar, as if he’s standing in judgement over we poor sinners.

I reckon the term “neo-Protestant” might suit them, no?

Here are the photographers’ names so the search engines can find them: Kate Andrews, Any Barker, Rob Barker, Morgan Carpenter, Meredith James, Billy Law, James McManus, Tim O’Mahoney, Wing Poon, Danielle Wood

One Reply to “Portraits of photographers in the Puritan church”

  1. I really liked this manifesto too. Just sometimes the Christian churches get it right, the Uniting Church more often than most. If only Christianity could be like this more often.

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