The Kings Cross-Darlinghurst area is an iconic part of Sydney, known for being ’colourful’, ’bohemian’, ’alternative’ and ’racy’. It has been the centre of the ’sex, drugs and rock n’roll’ subculture. Bikies, strippers, pimps, prostitutes, night clubs, and drugs are the kinds of images people often associate with Darlo and the Cross.
Our area contains some of the richest and poorest people in Sydney. Baz Luhrmann, John Laws, David Bowie and Russell Crowe either do or have lived in our area. And the Cross is the location of the Safe Injecting Centre (MSIC). There is a significant amount of social housing, and people living on the streets.
Of all the things our area is known for, love and devotion to the Lord Jesus is not one of them. And yet this is where God has called us to be His people and minister His love.
We believe God has given us the vocation of being a People of Freedom and a Presence of Blessing. Each of these words is significant.
We are a People of Freedom. We live in an area in which so many people seek for freedom (defined as the absence of restraint), but experience the dark side of that quest – addiction or (as the Bible would call it) slavery. We believe that Jesus has set us free, from guilt, from sin, from ourselves, to love other people. And we do that in community with one another.
We are a Presence of Blessing. St John’s has had a presence in this place since 1849, making it the first Christian presence in the area. It is the most (maybe the only?) conspicuous Christian presence in Darlinghurst.
During much of that time St John’s has sought to bless the local community by offering hospitality and love. St John’s has run Rough Edges, our community centre for street people, for almost three decades.
It is a unique Christian community in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.