The newly appointed vicar of Auckland's Anglican church St Matthew-in-the-City has called on the church to approve same-sex marriages and ordination of gay vicars.
Reverend Dr Helen Jacobi, in her sermon on Sunday, spoke to the church's two-yearly General Synod, being held this week.
Rev Jacobi said the Synod had a clear choice, "they can and try and keep the church locked in the 1950s or the 1850s, thinking they can stop the movement for justice and inclusion of our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers which our hearts yearn to see''.
"Or they can come out from behind their fears and prejudices and welcome all equally behind the altar, in the pulpit, and at the altar to be married.''
Rev Jacobi said Ms Matthew's had long had its doors wide open, and "we are richer for it''.
"We call today on our leaders to step up, to be without fear and to allow the voice of the Shepherd to call them forward. The time of waiting is over, we will wait no longer.''
The Anglican Synod is being held in Waitangi from today. Church leaders are to discuss a report from a commission on gay marriage and ordination chaired by former Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand.
The report, released by the church last month, presented 10 options, including keeping the status quo, accepting same sex relationships, or postponing the decision.
Members of St Matthew's and other churches and clergy will attend the Synod in Waitangi to show their support for change.