Message from the Bishop

Dear Friends,

It was good to be at St John’s College, Meadowbank, Auckland on Sunday for the Powhiri (welcoming new students, including Cassie Lee from our Diocese) and Eucharist (during which the Reverend Katene Eruera was commissioned by Archbishop Don Tamihere as Te Manakura (Principal) of the College).

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu will be the preacher at the joint Anglican-Catholic Ash Wednesday Service, 5.30 pm, Wednesday 26 February, at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral, Manchester Street, Christchurch. All most welcome. Earlier that day Archbishop John and the Reverend Margaret Sentamu will take part in Ash Wednesday services in three of our schools, and in the Transitional Cathedral’s midday Ash Wednesday Eucharist with Ashing. Following that service, weather permitting, around 1.15 pm, we are planning to offer ashing in Cathedral Square to any member of the public who wishes to be ashed.

I am pleased to announce that Peter Hurricks, Vicar of Halswell-Prebbleton, is the new chair of the Diocesan Council for World Mission. Shortly Peter will be contacting parishes about a meeting for Mission Motivators. I want to take this opportunity to thank members of the Council for their faithful service in this important role and in particular to thank Glenda Hicks for her recently concluded service as chair of the Council.

My warm thanks on our behalf as a Diocese also go to Donna Reid who has concluded her role as Diocesan Health and Safety and CYPSO Officer. Thank you Donna for your largely unseen but important work in these areas. (CYPSO = Children and Young Persons Safety Officer. Each parish has a CYPSO and the Diocesan role has included training of CYPSOs as well as working with parishes to ensure there is a CYPSO in each parish.)

Driving down Durham Street in Christchurch recently, you may have noticed a completed building on the Durham Street Methodist Church—Aldersgate site. Below we have further details of events planned over the last two weekends in February, including a formal opening on 29 February. Here is a brief excerpt: “A weekend of celebration is planned for the opening of Aldersgate | Your Meeting Place | Puari Huinga, on 28 February to 01 March.  The centre, an initiative of the Durham Street Methodist Church, seven years in the making, is built on the site of the old stone Methodist Church, which collapsed in the 2011 earthquakes.  The building will be officially opened on Saturday 29 February, when a Memorial Plaque remembering the three people killed on the site in the Earthquake of 22 February 2011 will be unveiled.”

A reminder that detailed recommendations re the Coronavirus  are on this Diocesan webpage.

Tomorrow morning  I have an opportunity to attend a presentation of the Salvation Army’s annual “State of the Nation” report (which can be found here). The state of our nation continues to be of concern. The fact that both under the recent National-led government and under the present Labour-led government, there are continuing, unresolved challenges in respect of poverty, housing, hunger and access to health care, speaks loudly to each and every one of us of the depth of the problems we face. We do have a tendency as Kiwis to assume the “gummint” will solve all social and economic problems. In fact we collectively need as a whole nation to be participants in solutions. Churches are part of that collective action, including the work within this Diocese overseen by Anglican Care and the work of the Salvation Army itself.

Thank you for your prayers during this first year of my episcopacy and for kind thoughts expressed on Sunday—the first anniversary of my ordination. Keep praying!