Dear Friends,

It was a delight to be in Hokitika on Saturday afternoon for a well-attended retirement function for the Reverend Vivien Harber. Many lovely tributes and expressions of thanks for Vivien’s ministry were made. People travelled from Motueka, Westport, Greymouth, Kaikoura, and Christchurch to join with local parishioners. There was, unsurprisingly for the Coast, an amazing afternoon tea to help our celebration of Vivien’s ministry.

On Sunday, Teresa and I participated in services in Hokitika and Hari Hari. The faithfulness of God’s people was deeply evident in both places. With interim arrangements for ministry leadership in hand until the end of this year, the Parish of Westland now seeks a full-time priest. Please join the parishioners in prayer for this new but as yet unknown minister.

The induction of the Reverend Victoria Askin as Vicar of Northwest Christchurch will take place at 7pm Wednesday 1st May in St Silas Church, Main North Road, Redwood.  All welcome. Clergy invited to robe with red stole.

As we seek the Regeneration of our Diocese in this decade, we must be a people of prayer. In this specific ‘Year of Prayer,’ we are launching the Diocesan Prayer Community on Sunday 26 May. Belonging to the Community involves a commitment to daily prayer for personal renewal and the regeneration of our Diocese. This will be a practice that many of us do already but being part of a wider community of prayer helps shape and strengthen our commitment even more. The launch will be at 10am in the Cathedral and 2pm at St Mary’s Timaru. Please consider joining. Click here to sign up.

Our Diocesan Conference this year takes place on Saturday 26 October. We have two excellent principal speakers—Bishop Eleanor Sanderson (Bishop of Hull in the UK—previously Assistant Bishop of Wellington) and Strahan Coleman (Author, Spiritual Director, Poet, and Musician). Please plan to come to the conference to be encouraged in our walk with Christ. Our venue will be the Christchurch Boys’ High School auditorium. Please mark the date now and invite a friend!

Welcome back to the Diocese of Christchurch to Mr Eddie O’Connor. Eddie was Warden of Sister Eveleen Retreat House before undertaking a ministry role in the Parish of Golden Bay in the Diocese of Nelson. Recently Eddie has returned to Christchurch and begun working as lay chaplain at Burwood Hospital. A date for his formal commissioning has not yet been set—we will advertise this in e-Life when it has been settled.

As Cathedral Reinstatement Project finds itself in the news, please continue to pray for the Project. (Thank you for your considerable prayer support in the past few weeks.) Later today I will be writing to members of Synod giving notice of a summons to an extra session of Synod in 2024 in order to specifically consider how we may further support funding for the Project. Yesterday leaders within the Project, including Steve Wakefield and myself (members of the CCRL board appointed by CPT), had opportunity to meet with the Mayor and Christchurch City Councillors in an open, livestreamed session. We were pleased with the hearing we received and the kinds of questions which were asked of us.

The Gospel for this Sunday 21 April 2024, Easter 4 (also known as Good Shepherd Sunday) is John 10:11-18. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. We are much loved by our risen Lord Jesus.