Dear Friends,

It was a privilege to attend both the funeral for the Rev’d Dr Ted Johnston on Friday at St Peter’s, Springfield and the memorial service for Bishop John Osmers in the Transitional Cathedral on Saturday afternoon. Among tributes to +John read out by the family were those from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the former Prime Minister Helen Clark, Trevor Richards and Archbishops Desmond Tutu and Thabo Makogba.

On Sunday morning, fortunately free of any Covid restrictions on numbers, Teresa and I were part of a great congregation at St Peter’s Upper Riccarton to celebrate the church’s patronal festival and its reopening after quake repairs, strengthening and improvements. A special day for the Parish of Upper Riccarton-Yaldhurst ended with a very enjoyable festive dinner at the Riccarton Racecourse.

In clergy news this week: on Sunday morning I licensed the Rev’d Peg Riley to be the Associate Priest of the Parish of Upper Riccarton-Yaldhurst for her new ministry there as her ministry at St Margaret’s College draws to a close. We welcomed Archdeacon Nick Mountfort back from Study Leave and thanked the Rev’d Ken Light for his ministry as Priest in Charge during Nick’s absence. Later this week the Rev’d Canon Mark Chamberlain returns from Study Leave to resume duties as Vicar of Fendalton and as Vicar-General. I thank Archdeacon Mark Barlow (Deputy Vicar-General) and the Rev’d Jenny Wilkens (Priest in Charge of Fendalton) for their respective ministries of leadership and support during Mark’s absence.

This week I want to sow a thought seed  in support of the “Give One, Get One” campaign which the Anglican Missions Board is promoting. The concept for the campaign is simple, that when we receive our free Covid vaccine in NZ we donate funds so that someone else, in another part of the world, can also receive the vaccine. We will say more about this in coming weeks.

Please pray for the Rev’d Bill Gaudin as he recuperates after an operation.

This week, in the post flood clean-up period, let’s pray for parishioners in Rangitata-Mt Peel, Clayton Road, Sherwood Downs, Hororata, Windwhistle and Lake Coleridge. Further details are below.

As I move around and talk with people, I am often asked questions about how Christ Church Cathedral is progressing. Since it is very visible to all visitors to Cathedral Square that huge progress is being made through the Stabilization Phase—plastic wrapped scaffolding, cranes at work, etc—I can only surmise that the Square is not well patronized by Cantabrians on trips to the inner city. Might I encourage you to visit the Square, not only to see progress on our Cathedral but also to see the nearly completed Te Pae (convention centre) and enter into the fabulous Tūranga (library). It is exciting to see the beating heart of our city beating more strongly!

The Gospel this Sunday is Mark 6:1-13—Ordinary 14. There are many aspects to this passage. Who is Jesus? Where does his wisdom and power come from? There is a universal truism in the passage: no one knows us better than our own hometown folk and they are not easily impressed by us! What do disciples do? (Answer: they do what they see their teacher doing).