Dear Friends,

The first message in this week’s e-Life is from Dean Lawrence above. I am very grateful to Lawrence and Elizabeth for their tireless work for the Cathedral, in many and varied ways. I look forward to being able to say more when we have a farewell occasion for Lawrence and Elizabeth at a time/date yet to be confirmed.

I am delighted that the Reverend Stephanie Mander (formerly Robson) has been appointed Chaplain of Craighead Diocesan School from the beginning of Term 3, 2023. Please pray for Stephanie as she prepares for this role and establishes herself in Timaru.

Jo Bean is going to leave her role as Communications Officer for the Diocese in at Easter in order to start working in Term 2 in her “dream job” as a Speech and Drama teacher at Medbury School. Jo has served the Diocese in many aspects of communication and publication since January, 2018. We will miss her work greatly and her joyful presence in the Anglican Centre immensely. Our very best wishes to you, Jo, as you take up your new challenge.

Last Sunday morning it was a privilege to be at the Rapaki marae and to assist Bishop Richard Wallace in the ordination to the diaconate of Maui Stewart and Puawai Swindell. [See photo later in this newsletter.] On Sunday evening, Teresa and I were at Evensong in the Transitional Cathedral where the excellent preacher was Pastor Donald Scott, leader of Te Raranga. This was the last sermon in the Embracing Justice series which Dean Lawrence organised for Lent 2023.

Taonga has published an article about the first Cathedral service held since 2011, on Tuesday 21 May, when some of us were able to gather back in the Cathedral in the Square.

At 4pm, this Saturday 1 April, the Reverend Harry Newton will be inducted as the new Vicar of Sumner-Redcliffs in the Sumner Anglican Church, Nayland St, Sumner. All are welcome. Clergy are invited to robe with red stoles. Please note that Sumner that afternoon will be full of people (due to a surfing event) and it would be advisable to travel in good time to secure a car park near(ish) to the church. Carpooling would be a good idea! We have been advised that the following may be best: rather than heading through the village and turning into Nayland St, turn off onto the Esplanade and then into Hardwicke St as an alternative route. Please pray for Harry and Aimee and their children as they settle during this week into life in Sumner-Redcliffs.

On Tuesday 4 April, we are holding two Chrism Services with Renewal of Ordination Vows in the Diocese. The first is 11am, at St Christopher’s, Avonhead. The second  is at 5pm, at St Albans, Pleasant Point, South Canterbury. I am looking forward to both services.

  • At the morning service in Christchurch, we will also install our most recently appointed Archdeacon, the Reverend Megan Herles-Mooar as Archdeacon of Christchurch. Members of the Christchurch Archdeaconry, and of Megan’s Merivale-St Albans Parish are most welcome to attend the Chrism Service, but please communicate with Veronica Cross, if you wish to stay for lunch afterwards.
  • Also at this 11am service we will thank the Reverend Lynnette Lightfoot for her work through the past four years as Chaplain to the Retired Clergy, Spouses and Widows. Thank you, Lynnette, for your faithful and diligent work with this important community in our Diocese. Additionally, I am pleased to announce that from 1 May 2023, the new Chaplain to the Retired Clergy, Spouses and Widows will be the Reverend John de Senna. Thank you, John, for taking up this role.

Thank you all for your ongoing support for the the Cyclone Gabrielle Appeal. (Note that these donations will be receipted and are eligible for tax rebates). As of this morning, the amount raised via this appeal was over $335,000. Work is beginning this week on distribution of these funds. Thank you to everyone in the Diocese who has contributed to the appeal.

I have received the following message from the Reverend Sepiuta Hala’api’api, Diocesan Secretary and Registrar of the Diocese of Polynesia:

“On behalf of The Archbishop, The Most Reverend Sione Silongo Uluilakepa, and the Diocese of Polynesia, we humbly extend our sincere gratitude to your Diocese for your continual support, your gifts and prayers and especially the presence of your Vicar General, Mark Barlow, and The Reverends Kofekakala and Feteleni Havea, on behalf of The Diocese of Christchurch, at the Episcopal Ordination programme of our 8th Bishop of Polynesia.”

Congratulations to Bishop David Coles on your 80th birthday, celebrated last weekend!

Please read an important article updating readers on changes made to Ministry Standards for our church that has recently been published.

Have you heard about Cursillo but never been to a weekend? The next Cursillo (or “short course”) in our Diocese is Thursday evening 11 May to Sunday afternoon 13 May 2023. For more details, please contact Mike Morley-Bunker, .

Recently I have been informed that the Reverend David Farmer, along with members of the Tai Tapu congregation in the Parish of Lincoln, will disaffiliate from the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, by the end of April 2023. They intend to establish a new church, and they will seek affiliation with the Confessing Church of Anglicans, Aotearoa New Zealand. Please pray for Archdeacon Mark Barlow, Vicar of Lincoln, as new arrangements are made for regular worship to continue in St Paul’s, Tai Tapu.

This Sunday 2 April 2023, Lent 6, (also known as Palm Sunday) many churches in our Diocese will focus on Jesus entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11) but the lectionary provides for two gospel readings so that Matthew 21:1-11 is read at the beginning of the service and the reading of the whole “passion of Christ”, Matthew 26:14-27:66, occurs at the usual place where the gospel is read. Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week, the final days of our Lenten journey with Jesus to the cross. What has been significant for each of us as we have prayed, studied and reflected through this season? What has died within us? What would we like Jesus to bring to new life?

Looking for Holy Week and Easter services when travelling in our Diocese? Click on our website for details about services at a church near to you.