Message from the Bishop

Dear Friends,

Amidst the fast changing situation in NZ re people and policies in respect of our forthcoming General Election, there are two “Issues of the Day” which are the subject of referenda: End of Life Choices Act and Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. These two issues are part of a larger mix of issues about the future well-being of our nation and our planet, all of which are important. But when referenda are proposed we can be confident that how we vote on these matters will not be subject to future change if there is a change of government in a future election. Policies connected to the economics of our nation tend to change from government to government. It matters that we make the right decision about how life ends and about whether marijuana should be available to enhance life. We will live with the decisions we make in September for a very long time.

To help our thinking through these referenda matters, Theology House and the Transitional Cathedral have been working hard on two seminars which will be presented on two successive Saturdays with a range of contributors. Fuller details are given elsewhere in this eLife but the bare details are:


Dates:  End of Life Choices Act:

Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: 

Sat. 15 Aug. 2020 

Sat. 22 Aug. 2020

Time:  10am–12 Noon
Location: Christchurch Transitional Cathedral
Format:  5 speakers presenting for approximately 15 minutes each.                                        Followed by time for Q & A

At 12 noon on Saturday 15 August, there is a March for Life, from Cathedral Square to Victoria Square, in response to the issue of abortion and specifically this year to recently passed legislation on abortion. (This event was original scheduled for late March). Further details are at .

Also in respect of the End of Life Choices Act, I am promoting some material towards a No vote, the content of which is derived from the Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki. This material is available here and may be downloaded and shared with others.

Last Saturday’s virtual General Synod session went well and we approved a significant revision to our Title D legislation on the Maintenance of Ministry Standards. This legislation will come into effect sometime in the next six months, once a new national standards office is set up with a supporting governance commission. In the meantime we remain regulated by the current Title D legislation.

Our forthcoming Diocesan Synod will not be virtual and I am looking forward to gathering face to face, beginning Thursday evening 10 September with our annual Synod service in the Transitional Cathedral, and concluding Saturday afternoon 12 September, with our business sessions taking place at St Christopher’s Avonhead. I remind you that pre Synod meetings are taking place in the week 10-14 August 2020.

Last Sunday the resignation of the Reverend Dr Meg Harvey as Vicar of the Parish of Mt Herbert was announced in the parish. Thank you Meg for your ministry in this parish. I am very glad that Meg will remain in the Diocese of Christchurch and continue in her role as Chair of the Board of Theology House.

The Reverend Shirley Greenwood has died and her funeral is at St Andrew’s, Redcliffs, 11 am, Monday 3 August 2020 – all welcome. Shirley was ordained deacon in 1982 and priest in 1983. Her much appreciated ordained ministry has been exercised in the Parish of Sumner-Redcliffs.

Please pray for the Reverend Charles Lucas, priest in the Parish of Ross-South Westland, who is in hospital in Christchurch following a car accident.

Even as I write this e-Life, you may be noticing some new media interest in the Cathedral Reinstatement Project. From the Project’s perspective we are not yet ready to “go live” with our design plans and costs because of a consenting process. When we do go live we will be making a comprehensive announcement.

Last Sunday, Teresa and I were privileged to participate in worship led by the Reverends Michael and Mary-Jo Holdaway in the Parishes of Methven and Rakaia. I confirmed three people at All Saints, Methven and baptised one person at St Patrick’s, Dorie.

At the end of the day, via Zoom, as National Episcopal Overseer for Cursillo NZ,  I was able to join a special Cursillo service hosted in the Parish of Taradale and presided over by Bishop Andrew Hedge of Waiapu. During the service we thanked and farewelled David and Glenda Prosser (Rangiora) who have jointly held the role of National Lay Director for the past three and a half years, and then commissioned Gail Spence (Taradale) as National Lay Director.

Thank you for the continuing support for our Pandemic Relief Fund. Approximately $20,000 has been contributed to date. We expect to make our first distributions in the next month or so.

Our Gospel reading this Sunday, Matthew 14:13-21—The Feeding of the Five Thousand, never fails to touch my heart. I am sure it will touch your hearts again as we hear again of the deep compassion of Jesus and of the power of God to take our meagre resources and make a great feast from them.