Message from the Bishop

Dear Friends,

On Sunday I found I had to do what I had said others should do: to not go to church if unwell! Fortunately it was not a confirmation Sunday. The occasion was a service at St Mark’s Opawa-St Martin’s to mark 70 years of licensed lay ministry for Keith Chapman, who served initially in the Diocese of Dunedin and then for 57 years in our Diocese, 50 of those years in the Parish of Opawa. Thank you, Keith! I am very grateful to Teresa who not only presented a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the Diocese but also preached my sermon.

This coming Sunday is a further opportunity to hear an excellent speaker at Evensong at the Transitional Cathedral with a seminar to follow.  A light supper is available following the seminar.  Sunday 28 June’s preacher is the Rev’d Assoc Prof Christopher Holmes, University of Otago, speaking on “‘Give light to my eyes:’ The Psalms and the Life of Faith.” All welcome. This event is jointly organised by Theology House and the Transitional Cathedral.

We are getting ever closer to this year’s Synod (10-12 September). This week we are able to give notice of times and locations for our pre Synod meetings in August, which we seek to complete within one week. Details are given below in e-Life.

Sundays in July are thematic—last week we highlighted Social Services Sunday (26 July). This week we highlight Refugee Sunday (5 July) with this note from Christian World Service:

Refugee Sunday:  Christian World Service has produced worship resources including PowerPoint material and Biblical reflection for Refugee Sunday on July 5.  The resources feature the story of Osama who found it hard to live without music in Lebanon where he had taken refuge.  The numbers of refugees and displaced people rose to 79.5 million last year.  Falling incomes and aid combined with the spread of Covid-19 are making life hard for most refugee communities.  This year Operation Refugee is running until Monday November 30 with new opportunities for parish activities.  CWS is asking for your prayers and support.

Our Archbishops are delighted to announce that Mr Michael Hartfield will be the new National Director for the Anglican Missions Board. Michael has served the Missions Board for some time as the Operations Manager, and has been Acting National Director over recent months. Michael will be speaking at our Synod, late on Saturday morning 12 September.

Short on reading material? Don Battley has written and published No Way Back: A Personal History of Charismatic Renewal in the New Zealand Anglican Church (On-line price $30-00 plus P & P $5-50. Order by email to  and he will post to you with an invoice for you to deposit payment to his bank account.) This book may also be borrowed from the Theology House library.

The Gospel reading this Sunday is Matthew 10:42-44, one of the shorter gospel readings in the triennial Revised Common Lectionary. Ian Paul digs deep into this passage on his blog Psephizo. Ian writes about the disciples being the presence of Jesus. Let’s put that another way: you and I, when we walk into a shop, visit another home, welcome someone into our home, write a letter to the newspaper, join a protest march, make some soup for a sick friend, etc, are the presence of Jesus today in the world. That is awesome—awesome privilege and awesome responsibility. Ian writes, “the presence and power of Jesus are made real in his followers.” May it be so for each of us.


Pre-Synod Meetings—August 11-14 2020

Date Time Venue
Tue. 11 Aug. 5:30-6:00 pm Refreshments
6:00-8:00 pm Meeting
St Peters Church Hall,
192 King St, Temuka
Wed 12 Aug.     7:00-9:00 pm     St Christophers Church,
244 Avonhead Road, Christchurch
Thu. 11 Aug.     7:00-9:00 pm     Holy innocents Church Hall,
7 Church Street, Amberley
Fri. 14 Aug. 10:00am-12:00 pm Zoom meeting-91076823286
This meeting is primarily for West Coast Synod Representatives but is open to all who may want to join the meeting.