Message from the Bishop

Dear Friends,

I am looking forward to sharing with Archbishop Philip Richardson in the consecration of All Souls, Merivale-St Albans at 10 am this Saturday morning. All welcome. Clergy: alb and white stole. It is not often that we consecrate a new church in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

At 7 pm on Sunday evening 15 December, at St John’s Rangiora, I will commission Dawn Daunauda as Archdeacon for North Canterbury. Again, all welcome. Clergy: alb and red stole.

I am very pleased to announce that Emma Tovey, our interim Children’s Ministry Developer has been appointed to be the Diocesan Children’s Ministry Developer, effective 3 February 2020. I am delighted that Emma’s work is gaining traction in more and more parishes. At the heart of Regeneration of our Diocese is our work with the youngest generations.

I have really enjoyed working with Roger Sutton over the past year, both as a Church Property Trustee (a role concluded at our recent Synod) and as our Anglican Missioner. Recently Roger came to see me about a change of role. While reluctant to see Roger leave us, I am pleased that he will work again in an area for which he has a special set of skills and experiences. This is the announcement that Anglican Care are making today:

“Anglican Care is sad to announce that Roger Sutton will be leaving us as Anglican Missioner in January 2020. We have enjoyed working with Roger over the last twelve months as he took up the role as Anglican Missioner and brought to that role his own energy and a fresh approach to this new role. Roger has developed projects in the wider community and with our parishes that contribute directly to the lives of those we serve. Roger is moving on to a role in the Energy sector which is his passion and we know he will bring to that work his desire to make changes that will benefit real people’s lives as well as marshalling business and innovation.

We wish Roger well in his new role, knowing we will remain connected and committed to the same things, love of God, service to those in need and in our work following Christ by making real changes in the way we live and share our lives together in community.
We give thanks to God for our time working with Roger and our prayers and blessings go with him on his journey.

Moka Ritchie (Chair, Anglican Care)”

Last weekend we had a lovely 150th anniversary service on Saturday morning at Holy Innocents, Mt Peel. As Teresa and I travelled over the Upper Rangitata bridge we noticed the level of the river was high. When we arrived at the church we heard that it there had been thunderstorms and rain through the night in South Canterbury. The river kept rising and by lunch time we heard that both Rangitata bridges were closed. How to get back to Christchurch for a Baptism and Confirmation service at St Mark’s, Opawa-St Martins the next morning? We are very grateful to have been offered seats in a helicopter on Saturday afternoon. It was a delight on Sunday morning to be with Vicar Ben Truman as he baptised Serena and Zara, and then for me to confirm Caitlyn, Charlotte, Johannah, Meredith and Serena.

The damage through the weekend to South Canterbury and South Westland is a reminder in itself that Aotearoa New Zealand is a beautiful yet dangerous country. Tragically, since the weekend, this mix of beauty and danger has manifested itself in the deaths and critical injuries to visitors to Whakaari/White Island. A prayer composed since the tragedy which may be of use in services this weekend can be downloaded here.

Anglican school visits have been a pleasure seeing wonderful effort, gifts and talents rewarded through prizes, and hearing outstanding music and song. At this year’s end I want to thank leadership in our Anglican schools through principals, chaplains, and Board chairs and to acknowledge the service of staff and parents in a variety of ways which contribute to schools being communities of faith, learning and care. It is invidious to single out any one of the wonderful people involved in our schools but I am going to risk it by acknowledging, with both gratitude and admiration, Wayne Pahl, who retires after 28 years as Deputy Principal of Craighead Diocesan School, including three periods as Acting Principal. In a very fine tribute to Wayne, Principal Lindy Graham announced that Wayne’s portrait will hang in the school as the “15th principal” of Craighead.

It is lovely to have Gareth Bezett working within the Anglican Centre as our new Director of Theology House. Recently within this weekly message I promoted the Theology House Lenten Study book for 2020Life in the Garden written by Dorothy Innes and Tom Innes. The book is now printed and available for distribution. It is superb! (I can say that now that I have neither written it nor published it.) The illustrative photographs are outstanding. But I commend the book for its contents: as the planet heats up, as natural disasters beset Australia and New Zealand, we need a re-set on our relationship to the world. This book will help that re-set. (See to order your copies today).

A little while ago I asked for prayer for Paul Heard, former Vicar of Sumner-Redcliffs, and friend to many of us. I ask that prayer for Paul continues as he battles serious illness.

As we continue through the season of Advent, let’s be prayerful – thankful for the coming of Christ, interceding for the coming of the kingdom.