For over forty years Saint Mark’s has reflected its local community and had LGBTI members of the congregation. It has become a safe place for LGBTI men and women to gather for worship and build community.
In the 1980s when the first waves of the HIV-AIDS epidemic hit a ministry to those suffering from its ravages was commenced in 1986. During the late 1980s and 1990s annual AIDS Requiems were held on the evening of Melbourne Cup Day. At their peak over 500 people would gather in the church.
In 2012 a new phase began with the first Midsumma Mass held at Saint Mark’s in early February. The Mass has been held as part of the Midsumma Festival since 1996 – firstly at St Agnes’ Glenhuntly.
Visit of Bishop Gene Robinson
In May 2013 Saint Mark’s hosted Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay and partnered Anglican Bishop in the world, in one of his public engagements in Melbourne during his tour.
Watch the trailer for VICKY - THE GAY GENE COMES TO AUSTRALIA, a wonderful documentary made by film director Sasha Hadden, about Bishop Gene Robinson's visit to Australia and our church:
The LGBTI apology
In July 2014, the steeple of St Mark's was lit purple as a symbol of apology to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex community, and for the sufferers of HIV/AIDS who have also been subjected to the same ill-informed stimatisation by the church.