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Prayers in NZ cathedrals for Melbourne

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/12/2016

Anglican cathedrals in New Zealand have offered prayers for Melbourne and its people as part of Christmas services.

St Paul's Cathedral was one of the Melbourne landmarks that was a target of a thwarted terrorist attack planned for Christmas Day.

Four men have been charged with preparing or planning a terrorist act over the alleged plot targeting Flinders Street Station, Federation Square and St Paul's Cathedral.

Archbishop of New Zealand Philip Richardson contacted Archbishop Philip Freier, the Primate of Australia and Archbishop of Melbourne, when news broke of the thwarted attack.

The Dean of Auckland, Jo Kelly-Moore, says there is a close relationship with St Paul's cathedral and Dean Andreas Loewe of Melbourne whom she has been in ongoing contact with.

Church spokesman Jayson Rhodes said the prayers were given in the Christmas services in New Zealand. There are seven Anglican cathedrals in New Zealand.

Dean Jo Kelly-Moore says the cathedrals are sacred places that seek to tell of peace, hope and reconciliation.

"We minister in cathedrals that are preparing to tell the story of the birth of Christ. It is chilling to imagine how a gathering for such a story could be the target of terrorists," she says.

About 1500 people filled St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon for a Christmas Eve service.

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