Dear Friends,

I write with a mixture of news, with a special prompt to do so following the Government announcement yesterday re Covid.

Appointment: I am delighted that the Reverend Peter Beck will be the Interim Priest in Charge of the Parish of Christchurch St Michael’s and All Angels, upon the conclusion of Fr Chris Orczy’s ministry as Vicar, in February 2022.

Death: The Reverend Roger Couper, former Headmaster of The Cathedral Grammar School (1984-2001) has died, in Auckland. Our prayers are for Sally and their daughters and extended family at this time. Roger was a much loved HM of the School.

Vaccination of children (5-11 years): Yesterday the Government announced that children aged 5-11 years can be vaccinated from the middle of January 2022. This is not a mandatory requirement and parents and guardians will need to make decisions on their children’s behalf. The implications of this decision for My Vaccine Pass services need careful weighing up. I do not propose to issue any new advice until late January or early February 2022. This means that we continue to welcome unvaccinated children to My Vaccine Pass services, as we do presently, until any new advice is issued.

Correction to notice: last week in eLife we said that there would be a service for both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons in the Transitional Cathedral on Boxing Day at 12.15 pm. The correct time for this service on Boxing Day is 8 am.

We remain in challenging times: I wish each reader the best Christmas possible under the circumstances.