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BBC Visits Palm Beach Integrity Group for Gay Service
Documentary Will Explore the Issue of Gay Bishops

Donald Cavanaugh
Palm Beach Correspondent

A British Broadcasting Company (BBC) production crew joined the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church’s Integrity group in Lake Worth on Oct. 9 for their monthly service and pot luck social in order to gain footage for a documentary.

BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott was accompanied by UK-based producer Christopher Landau and locally-based cameraman Cornelius Greenway as he interviewed clergy and Integrity members about their reaction to the Episcopalian church’s internal turmoil caused by the March 2004 installation of openly gay V. Gene Robinson as bishop of the New Hampshire diocese.

“We’re filming all over the world,” said Landau. “I’m not sure how Robert chose the individual parishes, but I’m told that next week we’ll be in Nigeria so he’s looking at all sides of the issue. St. Andrews has a well-recognized Integrity group. The issue has really split the church rather dramatically and we’re trying to capture all sides.”

According to Canon Richard Nolan, retired priest in residence at St. Andrews and founder of the parish’s Integrity group, Pigott spent a great deal of time interviewing him and his partner of 49 years, Robert Pingpank, who are preparing to celebrate their golden anniversary in 2005 at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City.

The documentary is scheduled to air in the United Kingdom at the end of October. According to Landau, there has not yet been a determination to air it on the BBC-World, which is broadcast by a number of PBS stations in the United States. “Watch for it though,” he said.

St. Andrews Episcopal Church, located at 100 Palmway (corner of Palmway and Lucerne) in Lake Worth is the oldest church in the city, founded in 1914. Their Integrity Fellowship was established in 2002 and integrated into the parish under the auspices of the rector, the Rev. William Hamilton.

Integrity meets on the second Saturday of each month with a service at 5pm, followed by a pot luck dinner and a speaker. To learn more about Integrity at St. Andrews, attend a Saturday service/meeting or call the parish at 561.582.6609.


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