Dear Friends,

On my first day back at work, this message is focused on Lenten studies, events coming up, and some prayer requests.

This year’s Lenten Studies book, A Holy Church: Becoming the Communities We are Called to Be, has been printed and is being distributed to those who have already ordered copies. The studies this book enables us to undertake are part of the Diocese’s response to the Royal Commission on Abuse. If you have not ordered a copy or copies for your small group, it is not too late to do so. Head to to make your order. Note that the book this year is styled in such a way that it could be worked through in any six-week period of time.

Events: all are welcome. (Clergy are invited to robe, alb and red stole for the two inductions and the commissioning advertised below).

5 pm Thursday 19 January, All Saints church lounge, Hokitika, Poutini Ngai Tahu historian Paul Madgwick will speak on A History of the Māori Church in Westland. Shared finger food and fellowship to follow.

4 pm Sunday 22 January St John’s Highfield, Timaru: Induction of the Reverend Lucy Flatt as Vicar of Highfield, Kensington and Otipua. Preacher: The Reverend Toby Behan, Vicar of Rangiora.

7 pm Thursday 26 January Holy Trinity Avonside: Induction of the Reverend Lisa MacInnes as Vicar of Avonside. Preacher: Bishop Peter Carrell.

7.30 pm Friday 27 January St Barnabas Fendalton: Commissioning of Dr Andrew Butcher as Senior Associate Lay Minister for the Parish of Fendalton. (A late withdrawal of the intended preacher means we cannot announce who the preacher is this week.)

10.30 am Sunday 29 January Craighead School Auditorium: Combined South Canterbury Anglican Churches Service. Preacher: Bishop Peter Carrell.

7.30 pm Thursday 2 February 2023, Transitional Cathedral, come to An Evening with Bishop John Bluck, who will speak on Becoming Pakeha: A Work in Progress. This event has been organised by Te Raranga, the leading network of churches in Christchurch.

Prayer requests: please pray for:

The Reverends Lucy Flatt, Lisa MacInnes and Dr Andrew Butcher and their families, as they prepare to begin their respective new appointments in our Diocese.

The Reverend Jo Latham who begins a course of chemotherapy very soon. Pray for complete healing for Jo. Pray for the Parish of Northwest Christchurch as they support Jo and continue the mission and ministry of God in that place.

Andrew Bagshaw, a volunteer aid worker who has been missing in Ukraine since Friday 6 January 2023, and for the Bagshaw family as they seek news of their son and brother.

Finally, this Sunday 22 January 2023, Christmas, the gospel is Matthew 4:12-23. If the mission of Jesus—its message and its scope—is our mission, what does that mean for us as followers of Jesus, as the Body of Christ in 2023?