Click on the quote below to read the article...

The Rappville Christians are now telling Sydney to go to Hell.

For a year the Paddington-based group, which formerly preached from Rappville, near Casino, has been doing good deeds in Sydney.  Members put a mural in the Devonshire Street Tunnel, did free painting and gardening and gave away money.

"But now we've had enough, we are going.  Sydney doesn't want us." the 37-year-old leader of the group, Mr David McKay, said yesterday.

A Federal Court judge had just fined him $360 for attempting to burn 100 $1 notes at Martin Place last Thursday.

"You can mutilate your Bible, disfigure your statues of Mary or Krisna, even burn tattoos into your own skin," says a poster made by the group, "but you can't treat money with anything but reverence."

The group's last deed in Sydney will be to post several hundred posters around the city headed "Sydney, Go To Hell!"

Thursday's effort to demonstrate how society has "institutionalised the idolatry" of money brouth $860 in fines ordered by a Federal Court judge yesterday and on Friday.

The six members charged went to court wearing jumpers emblazoned with a burning banknote and the words "The best things in life are free".

A charge was dismissed yesterday against a member of the group, Boyd Alfred Ellery, who tore up a $2 bank note in court earlier in teh day while awaiting penalty on a similar charge.  He was fined $100, the maximum penatly on the earlier charge.

Ellery, 24, unemployed, of Paddington, pleaded guilty at the St. James Court of Petty Sessions to willfully mutilating an Australian $2 bank note, the property of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Ms G. Inga, prosecuting, told Mr Robert Evans, SM, that while another magistrate was hearing submissions on teh Martin Place incident, Ellery took a $2 note from his pocket and tore it into small pieces.

Mr McKay says the group must sell its refrigerator and guitars to pay the fines.  Some may still be jailed as fine defaulters.

The big fines - the maximum under law - were the last straw for the Rappville Christians.

"During the past year we have been threatened and assaulted by shopkeepers, arrested by railway, State and Federal police, spat on and abused by members of the public, lectured by judges, threatened by council employees and accused of practically every heresy the churches can dream up," the group says in its resignation from Sydney.

But Mr McKay does not really expect its reception in other centres to be much different.  
"One Western city is just as good as another," he says.
Pin It
Don't have an account yet? Register Now!

Sign in to your account