New Zealand’s friendliest church welcomes new converts
NEW ZEALAND (AP) For a country where more than 90 percent of adults are atheists, New Zealand has a friendly new church that prays and teaches in the open air.
St. Anthony’s Episcopal Church in Auckland is one of the first churches in the world to offer services in the privacy of its churchyard.
The New Zealand Episcopal Church of Christ opened in June.
The church offers a wide range of services for the entire congregation, from worship to service.
“We try to be open and welcoming,” church director Jocelyn Fergusson said.
“We try and have a little bit of fun with our service.
We try to make sure the people come together and enjoy each other’s company.”
The church, which is known as a friendliest place in the country, also has a sanctuary for worship and retreats.
It opened with more than 2,000 people, including a group of people who grew up in New Zealand and live in the U.S.
Fergussan said the idea of having a sanctuary outside of the building was important to her.
“It’s an open space and it’s a safe space,” she said.
“If you have people coming from the outside, it can be a very scary space.
We’re trying to make that safe space where you can relax and talk.”
Fergisson said she has heard from people from around the world who have expressed interest in attending the service.
She also said she hopes that the church will help bring more people into Christ, who may not have ever considered religion.
“I don’t think the fact that we have a sanctuary makes it any less important,” she explained.
“It makes us feel good and it makes us really welcome.
We want people to come and see us.”
The New Zealand government said the new church has helped bring in people who otherwise might not have thought of coming to New Zealand.
The country has a population of about 3 million, with about 8.3 million people living in a total of about 2.5 million churches.
There are more than 200 New Zealand-based churches, and there are many more overseas.
The New York-based Episcopal Church is the oldest Christian denomination in the United States.
It has more than 30,000 members.