Socialite sings hymns to Hillsong

The poster adorning shopping malls across suburban Sydney showing the perennial party girl Katie Fischer knitting seems incongruous given her reputation for painting the town red. But James Packer‘s former fiancee admits she is a changed woman, or rather the socialite who found God.

For months Sydney’s cocktail circuit has been intrigued by gossip that Fischer had joined the congregation of Hillsong Church. From her Los Angeles home this week she said joining the hand-clappers had been “the best thing I’ve ever done”.

“I’m a proud parishioner. I love going there,” Fischer, the daughter of the Liberal MP Pru Goward said, initially reluctant to talk but later enthusing about the merits of Hillsong. “I did have a different view of Hillsong before I went there, like a lot of people do, and that’s regrettable. There is so much that I got out of it, I never really saw Christianity embodied the way it has been at Hillsong.” Having just returned from a convention conducted by the US celebrity evangelist Joyce Meyer, Fischer – who had previously immersed her self in meditation and studied with new-age gurus – said she had not spoken about her faith in detail because she did not want to “come across flippant”.

“Everyone knows I like to make fun comments and be cavalier and glib. While I want to keep my fun nature, I don’t represent the church. I don’t work for them, I don’t do PR for them and they haven’t asked me to. I’m just a parishioner.

“I publicly explored a lot of different belief systems and I don’t want to look like I’m being superficial about this. There was a void in my life and it has been filled €¦ I didn’t have a lot of discipline for a long time. The paradox is the discipline has now given me a lot more freedom.”

As for the Packer wedding: “When people ask me to comment I jokingly ask them to show me what [Packer’s former wife] Jodhi Meares has said €¦ but seriously, like all newlyweds, I wish them all the best.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday July 28, 2007.
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