Dear Friends,

I received a very warm welcome in the Diocese of Wellington on Saturday when I travelled to Waikanae for the ordination of Rosie Fyfe as a deacon. It was a blessing to be part of the service which was the final event for a joint Diocesan family ministry and NZCMS and Anglican Missions Board conference. A double blessing was being able to meet up with many friends in Christ including some from Christchurch who had travelled up for the conference.

Speaking of Rosie, the commissioning for Rosie as new National Director of NZCMS is at 7 pm, Saturday 9 November 2019, at St Christopher’s Avonhead. All are welcome to this event which I will be taking part in and which will be led by Bishop Richard Ellena, President of NZCMS.

This coming Sunday I look forward to sharing with many of you in the ordination of Kofe Havea as a
priest—3 pm Sunday 20 October, at St Peter’s Hall, Church Corner, all welcome, clergy please robe, red stoles
. Let’s give a warm welcome to Kofe’s family and friends who are traveling to Christchurch for this special event. Kofe is on retreat as I write—pray for her!

Last Sunday morning it was a privilege to be at St John’s Woolston, to share in celebrating their 162nd anniversary as a parish. After a significant disaffiliation nearly one year ago, remaining parishioners with the support first of the Reverend John Sheaf and now of the Reverends Justine and Bob Tremewan have been working hard on ministry and mission in Woolston and God is blessing the congregation with an increase in numbers.

Cutting patronal festival cakes at St John’s Woolston (including Archdeacon Katrina Hill, Co-Priests-in-Charge, Bob and Justine Tremewan).

Yesterday it was good to be part of a very well attended funeral for the late Reverend Tony Courage at the Transitional Cathedral. Please continue to uphold the Venerable Carole Graham, Tony’s widow, in your prayers.

Amidst terrible news such as the dreadful unfolding of events since President Trump gave the greenlight to Turkey to begin its onslaught against the Kurds, fascinating news from the weekend in respect of local elections and last weekend’s rugby news, we could lose sight of significant local needs. Our City Mission is appealing urgently for food supplies for their foodbank which is running perilously low as rising needs are being met. Items we could usefully donate include:

  • Baked Beans
  • Spaghetti
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Tinned meat e.g. tuna, chicken
  • Noodles
  • Pasta
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Pasta sauce
  • Sanitary items
  • Toothbrushes/toothpaste
  • Tea and coffee
These items can be delivered to the City Mission at 276 Hereford St, Christchurch (between Barbadoes St and Fitzgerald Avenue).

We have been doing some considerable work on re-shaping ministry and mission in the north-eastern quadrant of Christchurch. The full extent of this re-shaping will become apparent in June next year when I anticipate a motion being submitted for Synod 2020 in respect of some changes to parish boundaries with two reshaped parishes for that quadrant being formed. In the meantime I am delighted to inform you that I have appointed the Reverend Carolyn Robertson to be Interim Priest in Charge of the Parish of Shirley (succeeding Archdeacon Katrina Hill who has held this post- thank you Katrina!). Carolyn will hold this post concurrent with her position as priest in the Parish of East Christchurch with special responsibility for Burwood and Marshland. Between myself and Standing Committee, using new statutory powers passed at Synod 2019, we have appointed new wardens and a vestry for the Parish of Shirley. Carolyn and the new vestry will be working with me and Archdeacon Katrina Hill and the Vestry of the Parish of East Christchurch on the proposal which will go to Synod next year.

A month or so ago I gave an early notice about “Bike to Church Sunday” which is nearly upon us, Sunday 27 October. Would you consider biking to church or walking to church (if a reasonable thing to do for you) on that Sunday which the Christian environmental organisation A Rocha is promoting as “Care of Creation” Sunday. It would be a small gesture, sure, but a visible sign of our commitment to resisting climate change, something our Synod recently resolved that we would do.

Three advanced notices for important events in late November, early December: Toby Behan’s induction as Vicar of Rangiora will be 7 pm Thursday 28 November, at St John’s Rangiora; the ordination of deacons will be 1 pm Saturday 30 November in the Transitional Cathedral; and the induction of Sampson Knight as Vicar of Spreydon-Riccarton will be 3 pm Sunday 1 December 2019. All welcome.

Whether we are reflecting on the cruel debacle of Trump’s policy over northern Syria, or working to save our planet, or encouraging regenerative growth in our parishes, let’s remember that a critical theme in all Christian motivation is achievement of justice—fair dealings in all human relationships and that a vital tool to aid us in this work is prayer. Both themes, justice and prayer are bound together in this week’s intriguing gospel reading, Luke 18:1-8.

And, whatever the result from Japan in the early hours of Sunday morning, I ask you to remember the entreaty in Hebrews 10:25!