U2Charist Music can make a difference

Three years ago today St Matthew in the City, Auckland, New Zealand, hosted the U2charist Concert organized by Oxfam and Make Poverty History, in association with the U2 concert planned for November 2007. U2charist is a service of Holy Eucharist using the music of the Irish rock band U2.

U2charist billboard at St Matthews Auckland NZ

U2charist, held on November 17, 2006, was described by the organisers as a “rock and roll revival” with local band, The Believers, playing an extensive programme of all U2 music. Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam NZ, Dave Gibson of Elmno P, and Bono through video worked together to rally New Zealand to promote UN Development Millenium Goals. The event focused on halving extreme poverty with fair trade and reduction of debt in the world’s poorest countries, and to provide more and better aid to feed the hungry, reduce violence against women and children, prevent HIV/AIDS and treat its 11 million sufferers in Africa alone, give clean water to the world’s poorest, provide universal primary education and restore millions of refugees to safe, adequate housing.

Click on the image below to play the video.

The first U2charist was created by Sarah Dylan Breuer in 2003 for a service in Baltimore in April 2004. In 2005 the Dr. Rev. Paige Blair, Rector, St George’s Episcopal Church in York Harbor, Maine brought it to New England and then midwifed a movement that has crossed the US to Britain to Europe to Latin America to Asia to Australia and now to New Zealand.


The U2Charist advertising campaign was developed at M&C Saatchi, Auckland, by executive creative director Oliver Maisey, art director Jay Ng, copywriter Ben Pegler, producer Greer Marshall, designer Chris Redditt, with retouching done by The Doctor.