Message from the Bishop

Dear Friends,

It was a pleasure to host John Sentamu, Archbishop of York and the Reverend Margaret Sentamu last week. As reported last Wednesday there was a warm powhiri and generous morning tea at Te Waipounamu, Ferry Road, on Tuesday morning. Tuesday evening ++John and Margaret spoke to senior Diocesan leaders on “Being Anglican”. Ash Wednesday included visits to three of our Anglican schools, the Midday Eucharist at the Transitional Cathedral, offering “Ashes to Go” in Cathedral Square and, finally, in the early evening, the joint Catholic-Anglican Ash Wednesday service at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral during which ++John preached to an overflowing congregation.

Further pleasures in the same week for Teresa and me were commissioning services for Michael and Mary-Jo Holdaway (Parishes of Methven and Rakaia) and Elspeth Wingham (Parish of Glenmark-Waikari), the dedication service for the new Durham St Methodist Church, a fundraising dinner for the City Mission and a Confirmation Service with nine confirmed at St Martin’s (Parish of Riccarton-Spreydon) followed by a baptism by immersion in a nearby swimming pool.

In other developments for the Parish of Riccarton-Spreydon, it is good to report that on Friday the purchase was completed of a large house on Riccarton Road, near Puriri Street, which will be a base for future mission outreach in Riccarton. As the Parish prepares to welcome the Reverend Victoria Askin as its new 0.5 FTE Associate Priest, I am pleased to report that Victoria will also be 0.5 FTE Chaplain at Lincoln University.

All are welcome at 5 pm Evensong in the Transitional Cathedral this Sunday 7 March for the Commissioning of Mr Gareth Bezett as Director of Theology House. Gareth will be preaching. Clergy are invited to robe, red stoles and, noting it is Evensong, surplice and cassock if you have them, otherwise alb.

Recently Jill Maslin concluded 10 years as Ministry Enabler for the (Local Shared Ministry) Parish of Marchwiel, Timaru. Thank you Jill for your faithful, loving ministry in this role. Archdeacon Indrea Alexander appropriately said at Jill’s farewell that Jill had “held God’s people in her heart” (referring to the lyrics of the song, “I the Lord of Sea and Sky”) and done so with “love, wisdom and compassion.” (Archdeacon Indrea will be the Interim Enabler until a new appointment is made.)

This year at our General Election we will have opportunity to vote on referenda concerning marijuana and euthanasia. Is there a demand within our Diocese for an event (or two) which engaged with the questions being put in the referenda? That is, what might Anglican Christians reasonably, biblically and traditionally think about these issues? If you are keen to see some kind of public forum for engagement with these issues please let your vicar or priest-in-charge or archdeacon know and they will feed that interest back to my office ( ).

A couple of weekends before the Election, and the weekend before Synod, the 2020 Diocesan Cursillo Weekend will take place (3-6 September). Cursillo (“short course”) is a way of deepening discipleship which has influenced the lives of many disciples in our Diocese over the past few decades. If you would like to learn more about this Weekend and how to register interest for it, please contact Veronica Cross, and we will forward contact details to you.

Congratulations to the Frank family (Tim is Vicar of Papanui) on the birth of Sebastian Daniel Frank Navarro, on 2 March 2020. Yudy, Sebastian’s mother, and baby are doing well.

We continue to monitor developments re the Coronavirus, noting that the first confirmed case has occurred in New Zealand. At this point in time there is no need to change the advice already given at Nevertheless I observe here that aspects of the advice are under review and discussion as hygiene in respect of “sipping” and “dipping” are considered. If there is one piece of advice we could all take to heart, whether we are considering worshipping together, going to work, attending school or watching the next Crusaders’ game, it is this: If Unwell, Stay at Home.

The latest Standing Committee Snippets are available on our Diocesan website and can be seen here. I will be trying to communicate these Snippets to you every three months or so.



PS: For a Trumpian take on Pauline theology, this Tweeted video by a young theologian called Taylor Lock is very witty: .