Dear Friends,

I am looking forward to ordaining two new priests later this week: Mary-Jo Holdaway (7 pm Friday 30 October, All Saints, Methven) and Cameron Pickering (4.30 pm Saturday 31 October, All Souls, Merivale-St Albans). All are welcome. Clergy, please wear albs and red stoles. Pray for Mary-Jo and Cameron as they are on retreat this week and for Archdeacon Nick Mountfort the retreat leader.

Mary-Jo will serve as a priest in the Parishes of Methven and Rakaia. Cameron Pickering will serve as a priest for a month in the Parish of Merivale-St Albans. On 1 December Cameron will transfer to the Transitional Cathedral to continue his curacy training there. I know Cameron will be much missed in Merivale-St Albans and will be much appreciated at the Transitional Cathedral.

Last Wednesday, noting various election results leading to changes in the regions of our Diocese, I omitted to congratulate Nicola Grigg on becoming the new MP for Selwyn. Congratulations, Nicola!

Later that day we shared the Concept Design and Estimated Cost  for the Cathedral Reinstatement Project with members of Synod. On Thursday 22 October we went public with the design and cost.  We are grateful for helpful coverage through NZ news organisations. If you missed reports at the time, please catch up at This is a significant moment in the project to reinstate the Cathedral and represents many hours spent by boards, committees, staff and volunteers working through the past few years towards this announcement. Thank you to everyone who has worked towards this day.

Each year we host a eucharist and a lunch for Retired Clergy, Widows and Widowers. This year’s occasion was also last Thursday and we were magnificently welcomed and hosted at St Martin’s, Riccarton-Spreydon. A big thank you to the St Martin’s catering team!

The Cathedral Reinstatement Project is obviously our largest and most expensive Earthquake Recovery Project. But there have been many other Recovery Projects, most of which have been concluded, and some of which are only now getting underway. This week I want to highlight the Parish of Aranui. The Reverend Anne Russell-Brighty reports, “At St Ambrose we are celebrating the fact that the building EQ repairs are finally underway—the fencing went up on Tuesday!   We are still offering our community services and worship from the rear of the building.  We are appreciating very good support from CPT and the diocesan team.  Thank you.”

We are now closing the Mirpurkhas Hostel Appeal. Linda Dear, Anglican Missions Board, writes, “As you know the appeal for the Mirpurkhas Hostel has been hugely successful raising over $26,000 to date. The appeal has now been active for around 3 months and in consultation with NZCMS we are suggesting bringing it to a close.” Any funds received after the cessation of advertising will, nevertheless, be passed on to the Hostel. Thank you to all contributors.

Last weekend, Teresa and I were delighted to be able to stay with Bishop David and Joy Coles in the newly purchased vicarage for the Parish of Akaroa and Banks Peninsula. On Sunday morning we joined David and Joy and the combined Presbyterian and Anglican congregations for worship in Trinity Presbyterian Church in Akaroa—our first occasion in this church and a lovely opportunity to meet up with old and new friends in Christ.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the imminent formal establishment of the Community of St Mark during a conference to be held here in Christchurch, 6-7 November, at St Christopher’s Church, Avonhead. (Conference Details can be seen hereGeneral information about the Community can be downloaded here). Here I want to briefly address two questions which arise about the Community. (1) Joining the Community means staying in our church, not leaving it. (2) Although the 2018 General Synod decisions regarding blessing of same-sex marriages included legislation to permit establishment of such communities, this does not mean the distinctive character of the Community concerns sexuality. Please read the information about the Community to see what binds this Community together.

This week I want to introduce one of our ordinands who heads to St John’s College next year. Eddie Bijl is an actor and married to Ripeka (also an actor). They are involved in the Parish of Fendalton. One project they are working on, before moving to Auckland, is a production of Shakespeare’s much loved comedy As You Like It, 9-13 December at Mona Vale. Tickets are obtainable through Eventfinda,

This weekend includes celebrations of All Souls and All Saints. As we remember those who have gone before us, those whom we love who have died in the course of this past year, let’s be confident that in both death and life, God is Lord of all and God’s great purpose for creation is that all things will be united in God (Ephesians 1:10). We are in communion now and always with all the saints!

Nga mihi nui,