Dear Friends,
Last weekend it was good to be in South Canterbury, catching up with some of our clergy, and preaching and presiding at St John’s, Highfield, Kensington and Otipua on Sunday morning.

This coming Sunday I will be back in South Canterbury for First Things First—the 2021 South Canterbury Archdeaconry Service, 10.30 am Sunday 31 January at the Fairlie Community Centre, Main Street, Fairlie. The preacher will be our Diocesan Ministry Educator, the Reverend Stephanie Robson. The service will be followed by BYO picnic lunch on the Village Green adjacent to the Community Centre. All welcome.

The funeral service for Peter Hawke, son of the Very Reverend Mike and Patsy Hawke is at 11 am this Friday 29 January at St Christopher’s, Avonhead. All welcome. Please continue to uphold the Hawke family in your prayers.

Yesterday Archbishop Don Tamihere announced that Bishop Te Waioahau Rui (Ben) Te Haara has died. +Ben was the first Bishop of Te Tai Tokerau (Auckland/Northland area), having been ordained bishop on 7 March 1992, after serving as a priest for thirty years. He retired from his episcopal role in 2001. He will be remembered as a humble, gracious and gentlemanly minister in the church of God. One enduring legacy of his ministry is his contribution to the 1989 NZ Prayer Book. As we give thanks to God for +Ben’s life and work, let’s pray for his family as they prepare for his funeral at Te Rawhiti, Bay of Islands, later this week.


  • the Reverend Jeff Cotton will be the next Chaplain of St George’s Hospital, succeeding the Reverend Philip Robinson. Thank you Philip for your ministry as chaplain. Jeff will continue for the time-being to hold the Chaplain’s role alongside his ministry as Priest in Charge of Woodend-Pegasus.
  • During the period of Archdeacon Nick Mountfort’s study and annual leave, 1 March to end of June 2021, the Reverend Jo Latham will be Acting Archdeacon of Selwyn-Tawera.

I am looking forward to sharing in the re-opening of the administration building for St Barnabas’ Fendalton (Sunday 21 February) and the opening of the restored and extended St Peter’s Church, Upper Riccarton-Yaldhurst (Sunday 28 February). Archbishop Philip Richardson will be with us for the latter occasion. Meanwhile, those driving down Tuam Street may be noticing that work is well underway on Cardale House, where the Anglican Centre will be located from later this year. And, work on the Cathedral in the Square continues and it was a great encouragement to read in last Saturday’s Press of a further substantial donation by Philip Burdon.

Kristy Boardman, known to many of us in the Diocese through youth work and Synod representation has returned to live in Christchurch. From her new base, Kristy will continue her work as the Social Justice Unit Manager for the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. Welcome back, Kristy!

A challenge for us as a church lies in a document titled He Waka Eke Noa which is about a new concept in investment of church funds. In this concept the investment of funds seeks to go a stage beyond “ethical investment” to consider whether investment is aligned with “mission of God” objectives. For instance, instead of an investment being generally made in property, what if an investment was made in social housing? There is a lot to say on this subject and a starting point is through this link: . The document He Waka Eke Noa may be downloaded from this link. I am expecting in 2021 that each of our major boards will begin to develop an understanding of He Waka Eke Noa and from that understanding to work out what response might be made to the challenge which originates in a General Synod motion in 2018.

Last week many of us will have been very impressed if not overwhelmed during the Inauguration of President Biden by the content and delivery of a remarkable poem by Amanda Gorman ( I was particularly impressed by the gracious tone of the poem as it resolutely faced the troubling issues of the Trump Presidency, including the insurrection on 6 January. As we follow the gospel readings through these weeks of the Year of Mark—this Sunday, Mark 1:21-28—we are encountering the kingdom of God becoming a reality in the teaching and activity of Jesus. One line in Amanda’s poem is a summary of what the kingdom of God looks like or should look like in human experience of life on earth: “Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.” The whole content of the poem is deeply Christian, reflects Amanda’s faith as an active member of St Brigid’s Catholic Parish in her home city of Los Angeles and warrants further study.