NEWCASTLE'S newest church lacked theological depth and pandered to consumerism, Anglican Bishop of Newcastle Brian Farran said yesterday.
Bishop Farran made the comments to The Herald after the morning's inaugural service of Globe Church, Newcastle, at Broadmeadow's Hunter School of Performing Arts.
About 350 people attended the service, which included sound and lighting effects, video footage of global events, singing and a rock band.
Globe lead pastor Kirk McAtear said he did not want to engage in a public dispute and yesterday's launch was simply the beginning of regular Sunday services for a new congregation in a long-established Christian denomination, not the creation of a new denomination.
Pastor McAtear said Globe Church, Newcastle, was a new campus of Gateshead's Globe Church, Eastlakes, which was part of Australia's fastest growing denomination, Australian Christian Churches, a sister church of Sydney's Hillsong Church.
Dr Farran said: "They are welcome to start a new church in Newcastle but I see it like extending the supermarket.
"There appears to be enough denominations in Newcastle already and it seems strange to set up another one at a time when churches are working towards unity.
"I think there is a legitimate place in developing music to celebrate God but there is more to Christian faith than blessing material prosperity and I think they have too readily accepted Australia's consumer culture . . ."
Pastor McAtear said: "Our church is about making life better for everyone.
"It's a message that has been around for a long time and we're using technology and music to make it real, to make it relevant, for this generation.
"Our style has a lot of passion and we hope we're developing a positive and friendly atmosphere in which everyone feels welcome."