Dear Friends,
Greetings to you all and best wishes for 2021!
Since the last e-Life of 2020 the following appointment has been announced by the Board of Anglican Care: the Reverend Jolyon White will be Director of Anglican Advocacy, a four days per week role, based in the Anglican Care offices in Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch and beginning on Tuesday 9 February 2021. This role is one outcome of a strategic review of Anglican Care during 2020 and it also means the cessation of the role of Anglican Missioner (which was held, on a part-time basis, by Jolyon through 2020).
Although the news has been in the public domain for a couple of weeks I want to acknowledge the announcement on 1 January 2021 that Bishop Paul Martin, Catholic Bishop of Christchurch, will be the Coadjutor Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Wellington. Although the latter appointment is effective immediately, we will not miss Archbishop Paul’s local presence for a while as he remains resident in Christchurch and will be the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Christchurch until such time as the Pope appoints a new Bishop. It has been a joy to collaborate with Paul through the past two years so my congratulations to Paul on his new role are tinged with some sadness at the thought of his eventual departure.
Late last week Peter Hawke, son of Mike and Patsy Hawke died suddenly in Sydney. I have received the following message from Patsy and Mike and have their permission to share it with the Diocese:
“Our dear son Peter collapsed on Friday evening  (January 15)  at the corner of Cleveland and Baptist Streets, Surry Hills, Central Sydney.  He was only a few 100 metres or so from his apartment. Two doctors who saw him collapse administered CPR, and this was continued as he was transported by ambulance to Vincent St Hospital.  However they were not able to revive him and he died that evening in hospital.  He had had an aortic dissection which proved fatal. We are planning to have a funeral for Peter here in Christchurch, in a week or so, at St Christopher’s, the church he grew up in. While we have much to be grateful for, the reality of our son Peter’s death at the age of 42 years is overwhelming and hard to comprehend. Peter had a strong Christian faith and that is a comfort for us.
Thank you for you sympathy and prayers at this difficult time.
Mike and Patsy Hawke.”
Theology House’s 2021 Lenten study Rebuilding the Ruins has left the printers and is on its way to the Anglican Centre.  The TH team will start sending orders out next week.  It is not too late to make an order (noting that Ash Wednesday this year is Wednesday 17 February). Order your copies now to avoid missing out! 
An exciting day for families is coming up on Saturday 20 February—a Big Day Out at the Waipara Adventure Centre. Details are on our Anglican Children's Ministry website under "Big Day Out" and from that page registrations for this important event can be made! The event opens at 9 am and closes at 5 pm but people may arrive and leave at any time which suits.
2020 is the 175th anniversary of the Bible Society and the NZ Bible Society is offering preachers for services in April., via this message: “In April we'll be having our 175th anniversary event in your area! As part of these celebrations, we'll be available to visit your church and encourage your congregation to engage with the Bible. One of our Bible Society team will be free to speak at your church or event on the morning of Sunday, 18th April. Just reply to this email— you'd like to take us up on this invitation and we'll be in touch to arrange our visit (get in fast, speaking engagements are limited).
Want to learn more about our 175th anniversary celebrations? Click here. In Christ, The Bible Society NZ Team.
The Reverend Maurice Gray, known to many in the Diocese, died on 12 January 2021 and his funeral service was held at Rapaki on Friday 15 January, led by Bishop Kito Pikaahu. We give thanks to God for Maurice’s life and ministry.
As the Pandemic continues to wreck havoc around the world, let’s remain vigilant and attentive to good hygiene practices and to signing in to shops, venues and our churches. We will only avoid another Lockdown by avoiding lapsing into complacency.
This Sunday our readings call us to repentance or turning our lives towards God and doing so with a sense of urgency. Talk in the Gospel reading, Mark 1:14-20, of the kingdom of God is talk, simply, of allegiance to God in Christ as Ruler of the world. There can only be one allegiance for Christians. Unfortunately recent events in the USA have highlighted that some Christians do not understand this simple demand of the gospel, that we serve only one Ruler.