Dear Friends,

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

As part of the ‘Year of Prayer’ we are launching the Diocesan Prayer Community on Sunday 26 May. Belonging to the Community involves a commitment to daily prayer for personal renewal and the regeneration of our Diocese. This will be a practice that many of us do already but being part of a wider community of prayer helps shape and strengthen our commitment even more. The launch will be at 10am in the Cathedral and 2pm at St Mary’s Timaru. Almost 50 people have already signed up, but our goal is to have 4 people from each ministry unit—220 by the end of the year! Please consider joining. Click here to sign up.

I am looking forward to the Diocesan Conference later this year and I hope you are too! It will take place on Saturday 26 October. We have secured two excellent principal speakers—Bishop Eleanor Sanderson (Bishop of Hull in the UK—previously Assistant Bishop of Wellington) and Strahan Coleman (Author, Spiritual Director, Poet, and Musician). This will be a tremendous opportunity for us all to be encouraged in our walk with Christ. The venue is the stunning Christchurch Boys’ High School auditorium. Please mark the date now and invite a friend!

The Reverend Jolyon White, Director of Anglican Advocacy, has shifted office, from the City Mission to the Anglican Centre. As we make some changes to the structure of Anglican Care, it has been agreed by the Anglican Care Trust Board and Standing Committee, that Jolyon’s work will be funded by Anglican Care but overseen by me as Bishop of Christchurch. Jolyon’s initial work in the Diocese from 2010 was in a joint Diocesan-Anglican Care role, then subsequently in a wholly Anglican Care role. The new arrangement is a further variation on the same theme, which is advocacy for justice in our society, anchored into the life of our Diocese. I am very pleased to be working closely with Jolyon again.

This Saturday morning in St Paul’s Cathedral, Wellington, the Reverend Ana Fletcher will be ordained bishop and installed as Assistant Bishop of Wellington. The service will be livestreamed at Please pray for Ana and her husband Paul and their family as they prepare for Ana’s ordination and installation. I am unable to be at the service in Wellington (see next paragraph) and so I am delighted that our Deputy Vicar-General, Archdeacon Indrea Alexander (Ashburton) and the Reverend Lucy Flatt (Highfield, Kensington and Otipua) will be able to be present at the ordination service.

My prior commitment this weekend is to be in the Parish of Westland, including participation in a retirement function on Saturday afternoon for the Reverend Vivien Harber, who concludes a long period of stipendiary ministry in Westland. It is always good to be in Westland and if you are over that way, please join us for the function at 2 pm Saturday or for the Sunday morning service in All Saints, Hokitika at 9.30 am or the 1 pm afternoon service at Hari Hari Community Hall.

The programme for this year’s Clergy Conference, 10-12 June, in Methven, is coming together well. I am very pleased that (by then) Bishop Ana Fletcher will be our main guest speaker. Details about the conference will be sent out soon.

On Sunday we were at the Transitional Cathedral so I could speak to each of the three congregations about the situation the Cathedral Reinstatement Project finds itself in (as announced via a Special e-Life last Saturday 6 April 2024). Across the whole Diocese as the announcement has been received there has been a wonderful response of prayer, supportive messages and donations—thank you. All such support is appreciated, and especially the fact that a lot of praying is taking place.

We face a very challenging situation which is not helped by a large amount of presumption in comments being made that the problem is now the Diocese’s to solve. As a Diocese we have given a significant amount of funding to the Project, and I am committed to finding some more funds. But in 2017, when we voted for reinstatement, as a way forward out of controversy we did not create, we voted for fund-raising to complete the reinstatement of the Cathedral—funds to be raised from the community of people at large in Christchurch and beyond who wanted to see the Cathedral reinstated, including the NZ Government and the City Council. We can and I hope will contribute further funds, but it is to that same broad community of people that we must look for the bulk of the means by which to finish what has been started.

The Gospel for this Sunday 14 April 2024, Easter 3 is Luke 24:36b-48. Luke nails at least one important point about the risen Jesus here—perhaps to counter some sceptical views: the risen Jesus the disciples encountered was not a ghost. What else do we learn from this passage about the risen Jesus and how does it encourage us to live as the resurrection people of God today?