Dear Friends,

I am delighted to announce that the Reverend Alexa Evenden will be the next Vicar of the Parish of Malvern, beginning 1 August 2023.

Last Thursday it was a privilege to share in the opening of the new City Mission building on the north side of Hereford Street, this building completing the construction programme for the City Mission and being the location for the new “supermarket” approach to making food and other grocery items available to individuals and families in need. We are grateful to Mayor Phil Mauger for opening the building and to the Reverend Puawai Wallace-Swindells (Te Waipounamu) for sharing in the blessing of the building with me.

On Friday night I was in a church, St Paul’s, Paraparaumu that I have never previously visited before, commissioning Mary Cropp as the new National Lay Director for Cursillo NZ. It was lovely to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones that evening. Then on Saturday morning I drove down to Wellington to join other General Synod representatives from our Diocese for the Tikanga Pakeha Conference—one of those perfect Wellington days when it is true that Nothing beats Wellington on a good day!

The Conference was an opportunity to express our gratitude for the leadership of Archbishop Philip Richardson who has been our senior bishop and one of our church’s primates for the past ten years. Archbishop Philip has been an excellent senior bishop for our Tikanga and contributed immensely to the life of our church as one of our Primates. His role formally concludes on 30 June 2023. For clarity I note that Archbishop Philip will continue in his role as Bishop of Waikato and Taranaki.

The Conference was also an opportunity to consider a nomination from the Pakeha house of bishops to be confirmed as our new senior bishop. The outcome of that opportunity is expressed in this formal announcement:

The Tikanga Pākehā Conference met on Saturday 10 June.
The process for the election of a next Senior Bishop Tikanga Pākehā is continuing, and it next calls for the Tikanga Pākehā Bishops to meet as a House. The first occasion they are all able to next meet is in October.

It was lovely to take part in two great services on Sunday—the St Michael’s Church School Founders’ Day service at St Michael’s and All Angels on Sunday morning and a Confirmation Service at St. Barnabas’ Church, Fendalton on Sunday evening. I thank God for Andrew, Andy, Braden, Gavin, Lucy, Nadia, Phil, Rob, and their willingness to profess their faith in Jesus Christ and to be confirmed through the laying on of hands.

Each year, about now, a New Thinkers Banquet is held—an opportunity over a meal to meet with youth and young adults to consider the importance of our Diocesan Synod and to propose a motion or two from our younger generation. This year’s banquet was held on Monday night in the Anglican Centre, and I am looking forward to the motion which is likely to be proposed.

A while back Pakistan was subject to immensely destructive flooding. In this e-Life we share the story of a response to the destruction by the Diocese of Hyderabad, funded in part by NZCMS.

Archdeacon Ben Randall is indeed our youngest archdeacon, as reported in this Timaru Herald story.

From Monday 24 to Wednesday 26 June, our Diocesan Clergy Conference takes place in College House, Waimairi Road, Christchurch. It will be special to be back in this place which is has a long association with ministry formation in our Diocese and extra-special to worship again in its Chapel of the Upper Room. I ask your prayers for this conference, that it will be a wonderful time of refreshment for all participants.

This Sunday 18 June 2023, Ordinary 11 the epistle reading is Romans 5:1-8. After four chapters of Paul arguing that something significant has changed in the way God views humanity because of the crucifixion of Jesus, “we are justified by faith,” this fifth chapter begins with the wonderful word, “Therefore.” Therefore … we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. For that peace, will we give thanks? About that peace, will we testify to the grace of God in Jesus Christ?