Dear Friends,

The virus is here in Christchurch city. Let’s remain vigilant, hygienic and traceable in our weekday and Sunday activities!

We held two lovely ordination services last week, for Mary-Jo Holdaway to be priested at All Saints, Methven on Friday evening and for Cameron Pickering to be priested at All Souls, Merivale-St Albans on Saturday. Thank you to all who helped with preparation and to all who participated and attended.

Friday night and Saturday through to the evening, this year’s Deeper Camp was held at Woodend, superbly organised by Sammy Mould and her team. This camp was for those in Years 7-9 with some junior leaders helping. 65 attended and the speakers were Cam Haylock, Catherine McFredries and Spanky Moore. I was able to be there for a few hours on Saturday and really enjoyed meeting campers and leaders. Fortunately a calf strain sustained in a boisterous game has healed up pretty quickly in the days since!

A few weeks ago I mentioned the serious illness of Kathy McCulloch, very long serving youth worker in Glenavy, South Canterbury. Kathy died last week and her funeral was held last Friday afternoon in Glenavy.

In the mystery of life, when one of God’s people go to the Lord, the Lord also gifts life. Later on that same Friday, Konstantin Henry Hilder was born in Timaru. Congratulations and best wishes to Konstantin’s parents, Clare and Ed Hilder (South Canterbury Youth Worker).

On Sunday morning, All Saints Day, Teresa and I joined the combined congregations of the Parish of Halswell-Prebbleton at All Saints, Prebbleton for a joyful patronal festival service.



Driving out to Prebbleton was a reminder that in Prebbleton as well as in Halswell we have areas of significant new housing developments within our Diocese.

Recently Archdeacon Mark Barlow and I met with Nikos Palaiologos  and Uleses Faau to talk about chaplaincy in Christchurch and Rolleston prisons. Soon we will be advertising for expressions of interest in appropriate ways to support their work and to enhance the contribution already made by worship teams from the Parishes of Riccarton-Spreydon and Ellesmere.

The results of the two referenda are now out (subject to final vote counting) and we are now a nation living with the right to choose to die (under certain circumstances) and (it seems) with the right to be grumpy that we are not a society willing to have marijuana legalised. In respect to the right to choose to die, the Christian community is now faced with developing pastoral responses when Christians exercise that right to choose to die, while also being vigilant about any future proposals to change the current circumstances under which that choice may be made.

This is the last time we advertise the Pandemic Fund appeal. Soon a special group set up to determine distribution of funds will meet. Thank you to all contributors.

This Sunday’s Gospel, Matthew 25:1-13, the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Bridesmaids, is a very interesting (a better description might be “enigmatic”) parable because it involves several themes (wisdom/foolishness, knowledge of Jesus, readiness for Jesus’ return). But the overall thrust of its message concerns our readiness to meet the God of Jesus Christ face to face. In making that message, the passage reminds us that ultimate questions of life and death have nothing to do with the outcome of the American election!