Dear Friends,

Sadly, my first report to you this week is the death of the Reverend Tony Courage, who died on Saturday in Oxford, North Canterbury. Tony has been a much loved priest in our Diocese. Tony was ordained deacon in 1971 and priested in the same year, serving initially in the Canadian Anglican Church. In the Diocese of Christchurch he served in the Parishes of Geraldine (1975-77), Ashburton (1977-78), Oxford (1978-81), Ellesmere (1981-82), Kaiapoi (1982-89), New Brighton (1989-98) and then, when living in retirement in Oxford, assisting with ministry in the Oxford-Cust Parish. Funeral details will be advised next week. Please pray for the Reverend Carole Graham, Tony’s widow, as she mourns Tony’s death and prepares for the funeral service.

It was a great pleasure on Sunday morning to confirm Toupili Pamatangi at St Ambrose, Linwood-Aranui and on Sunday afternoon to baptise James Klingenberg at St Mark’s Chapel at St Margaret’s College. That same day much was happening in the Diocese and for some of the services and events we have a photo narrative at the foot of this letter. It was very pleasing to hear good reports of the Cursillo Weekend held at Blue Skies—it was good to be at the first meal of the group last Thursday evening.

At 3 pm, Sunday 20 October, in the St Peter’s Hall, Parish of Upper Riccarton-Yaldhurst, I will ordain the Reverend Kofe Havea as priest in the church of God. I am very excited, with Kofe, that the preacher will be her father, the Reverend Sosaia Fineanganofo, who is travelling to Christchurch from the United States for the occasion. Please pray for Kofe as she prepares for her ordination.

I am looking forward to preaching and presiding at the annual Eucharist for Retired Clergy and Spouses, 11 am Thursday 24 October, at St Martin’s Church, Lincoln Road (Parish of Riccarton-Spreydon) with lunch to follow in the Parish Hall—further details in a notice below.

There is a lot of good reading and superb photographs, starting with the front cover of the latest AnglicanLife which is out in churches and available for online reading on the Diocesan website this week.

We need a leader for the Diocesan AAW (Association of Anglican Women). The previous Diocesan President, Jude Mackenzie, has stepped up to be national President of AAW. First, please pray that God will raise up Jude’s successor. Secondly, if this notice and prayer request nudges you to consider asking further about the role, please get in touch via my EA, Veronica Cross .

The Statutes and Resolutions agreed to by Synod are now posted on our website.

There is, of course, much happening the world, including the news last week that there are now more Kiwis declaring they are not Christians than are Christian. I intend making comment on such matters next week.