Dear Friends,

On Monday morning, 17 July 2023, the Reverend Stephanie Mander will be licensed and commissioned for hew new ministry as Chaplain of Craighead Diocesan School. Archdeacon Ben Randall will lead the service for the school community and commission Stephanie on my behalf. Please pray for Stephanie as she begins her new work.

Looking a little further ahead, I will formally induct Ben as Archdeacon of South Canterbury at 5 pm Sunday 6 August 2023 in St Mary’s Church, Timaru. In the same service we will offer a liturgical welcome to the Archdeaconry of South Canterbury to Stephanie and pray for her chaplaincy ministry at Craighead. All are welcome to this service—clergy are invited to robe, red stoles.

This past weekend it was a privilege to worship in St John’s Cheviot and to fellowship with the congregation there. Recently this church has undergone extensive refurbishment and improvements. It was wonderful to see a new roof, new stucco on the walls, and to experience a renewed interior with new lighting, heating, and sound. Congratulations to all in the Parish of Cheviot under the leadership of its Vicar, the Reverend John Hearne, who have worked so hard and diligently to achieve this result.

Please pray for those who will be ordained in a few weeks’ time: Gabriele Anderson (Lincoln), Andrew Butcher (Fendalton), Simon Green (St Michaels and All Angels) will be ordained deacons at 10.30 am Saturday 29 July in the Transitional Cathedral. Our preacher will be Acting Dean Bosco Peters. The Reverend Steven Dunne (Woodend-Pegasus) will be ordained priest in Holy Innocents, Amberley, 7 pm Friday 4 August 2023. The preacher at this service will be Archdeacon Dawn Daunauda. Clergy at both services are asked to robe, wearing red stoles.

Preaching is vital to our Regeneration. Theology House is offering preaching courses starting later this month (Saturday 22 July, in Ashburton, for the first course). The lead teacher is Archdeacon Nick Mountfort. I will lead a Bible Study at the beginning of each course. Details at If you or someone you know is considering preaching or even if you are a regular preacher and want to brush up on some basics, this will be a great option.

Another quote, concerning our focus on Regeneration of the Diocese in this decade, brought back by Archdeacon Mark Chamberlain from his recent visit to the UK. This week it is:

“In order to stay the same we must change—Archbishop Stephen Cottrell.”

This Sunday 16 July 2023, Ordinary 15 the epistle reading is Romans 8:1-11. Whether we think of the work of Christ for us and in us (Romans 1-7) or the work of the Holy Spirit in us and for us (Romans 8), we are talking about the work of God who engages with humanity as Father, Son and Spirit, in order to restore broken relationship between us and God and to make each of us a whole person, destined for glory and a future in God’s presence we cannot conceive or imagine.

Recently a question was raised with me, what does “Ordinary” mean in the description of Sundays such as happens at this time of the year, and for many weeks ahead? The answer is that Ordinary Time is the church’s year which is not part of the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, or Easter. The first Sunday in Ordinary Time is the Sunday after Epiphany (6 January). “Ordinary” stems from the word “ordinal” (to do with counting) and is not a contrast to “extraordinary.” We confuse things a bit in our lectionary by referring to the Sundays in Epiphany as Sundays of Epiphany, so, this year, our first “Ordinary Sunday”, was Ordinary 5 (the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time) on Sunday 5 February. Then, after a few Ordinary Sundays, the seasons of Lent and Easter occurred, so the Sunday in Ordinary Time after Pentecost (end of Easter season) and then Trinity (a major feast) was Sunday 11 June, Ordinary 10 (the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time). See further at

This weekend is an opportunity to celebrate Matariki—a time for a new beginning, for planting crops, and for reflecting thankfully on the goodness of God our Creator. Many of our ministry units are having a Matariki celebration at this time. Teresa and I are looking forward to being at All Saints, Hokitika on Friday. If you are in the district at that time, come and join the festivities from 4.15 pm, with soup and buns (at no cost) available at 5.15 pm, and a eucharist to follow.