Dear Friends,

Last year I reported on the re-opening of the Chapel of the Upper Room at College House. Last Wednesday evening it was a privilege to be back in the Chapel for a College House ANZAC service led by the Reverend Dr John Fox. Sticking with events associated with the University of Canterbury, it was also a privilege to be a guest of Arcady Hall, College House and Rutherford and Rochester Hall at the University’s 150th Anniversary Gala Dinner in Te Pae on Thursday evening. Then, at 5 pm on Saturday afternoon, we had a wonderful, well-attended Thanksgiving Service for the University at the Transitional Cathedral, led by John Fox. The text of my sermon for that service is at

On Saturday morning, the Diocesan Council for World Mission (DCWM) met with Mission Motivators at Holy Trinity, Avonside. This was an excellent occasion for the new Chair of DCWM, Bronwyn Tucker, and the new Secretary, Wayne Tucker to be introduced to the Mission Motivators and to be prayed for in their new roles. Thank you, Bronwyn and Wayne!

Teresa and I were at St. Mark’s, Sedgemere in the Parish of Ellesmere on Sunday morning for a Harvest Thanksgiving service which was very well organised by the Reverend Margaret Neate, the Vicar of Ellesmere. It was special to be in this church within a parish with six churches because in the cemetery behind St. Mark’s are buried my great-great-great grandparents, my great-great grandmother and various other Cooper relatives. Later, in the afternoon, we were at St George’s Hospital for its patronal festival service led by the Chaplain, Reverend Jeff Cotton, who preached on the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

A series of “AF8” [Alpine Fault Magnitude 8] seminars are being delivered around the South Island at this time (See AF8). On Monday night, along with a few others in leadership roles in the Diocese, I was at the seminar in Halswell. Excellently presented with superb powerpoints – the opposite of “death by powerpoint”. Take home messages for us as a Diocese: a big quake is coming, though we do not know when, we can be prepared, with “go bags”, with food and water supplies on hand for at least seven days, and with mental and emotional preparedness for severe strain on supply and communication networks.

On Saturday night (NZ time) 6 May, our Sovereign, King Charles and his wife Queen Camilla will be crowned in a service in Westminster Abbey, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. In last week’s eLife I published a couple of prayers we could be praying each day beforehand. For those wishing to have the text of the liturgy on hand when viewing or listening to the service on Sunday evening, the text (with helpful explanations) can be found here. All are welcome this coming Sunday to pray for our King and to give thanks for his coronation at the Kings Coronation Service, 5 pm Sunday 7 May 2023 at the Transitional Cathedral. Dean Lawrence Kimberley will lead the service and I will be the preacher. Two fascinating readings in relation to kingship are set down for the Coronation Service: Colossians 1:9-17 and Luke 4:16-20. In respect of the last reading, I am sure King Charles does not see himself as a messianic figure, but, as we shall see, in the service itself, he is anointed with specially consecrated and blessed oil, brought to London from Jerusalem.

All are welcome to the farewell for Dean Lawrence and Elizabeth Kimberley from their ministries at the Transitional Cathedral will be on Sunday 14 May 2023, following the 10 am Choral Eucharist.

This Sunday 7 May 2023, Easter 5 has the Gospel reading is John 14:1-14.The first six verses of this passage are often read at funerals and rightly so because Jesus is assuring his disciples that the life he offers is unquenchable – death itself cannot quench that life. But the passage as a whole, in keeping with the last testament of Jesus through John 14-16, speaks of the life of Jesus being available to disciples even though he will soon die. The disciples will continue Jesus’ mission: “the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do.”