Dear Friends,

Christ is risen!

It has been wonderful to receive reports of excellent services through the end of Holy Week and the beginning of the Easter Season. It was good through the weekend to participate in services in the Kokatahi and Kowhitirangi Church of St Aidan and St Columba (Maundy Thursday), All Saints, Hokitika (Good Friday) and the Transitional Cathedral (Easter Day), (see pictures later in the newsletter). Across our Diocese many people, lay and ordained have worked extra hard to prepare and to lead services—thank you!

Also working hard last week in preparation and then through the weekend in delivery were many youth leaders and camp parents as youth across our Diocese and from many churches in Canterbury and other parts of the South Island participated in Easter Camp at Spencer Park. Teresa and I really enjoyed our visit to Easter Camp on Saturday afternoon (pictures below).

The Primates of our church, Archbishops Philip, Don and Fereimi have published an Easter Message (or you can look this up in Taonga).

While on the Coast, I dedicated an ANZAC Poppy Bowl for All Saints Memorial Church, Hokitika. It was a joy to visit the carver, Jimmy Gordon’s workshop and home after the Good Friday service. Jimmy is working on completing some 200 bowls so there is a bowl for every RSA, memorial church, some marae and other special places in Aotearoa New Zealand (see pictures below).

A number of people, via social media and other media have already seen a small film about the missional work of the Parish of Woolston. The film has been produced by Frank Film and can be viewed from the Media section below.

On Friday there will be a Special e-Life which will focus solely on follow up to the recent Royal Commission Anglican Church hearings.

The Reverend Spanky Moore’s final service in the Diocese, to which all are welcome, and at which Spanky will be preacher, will be the 7pm Antioch service at St Barnabas’ Fendalton, Sunday 18 April 2021. Spanky and Sarah (and their children since birth) have been part of our Diocese for many years through the 2000s and 2010s, with influence and impact on thousands of lives. If you are able to join us that evening it would be part of a fitting tribute to Spanky and Sarah’s ministry.

I am pleased to announce a change in title and an enlargement in role for Sammy Mould who will become the Diocesan Youth and Young Adult Ministry Team Leader from 1 May 2021. Sammy has been leader of our Diocesan Youth Ministry for seven years. She has huge experience and knowledge of every facet of youth and young adult ministry in our Diocese, not least because of her close working relationship with Spanky Moore as he led our Young Adults work. In this revised and enlarged role, Sammy will be Team Leader for both youth and young adults’ ministry across our Diocese. Paul Hegglun will continue his work as Under 40s Ministry Consultant and thus continue his support for both areas of Sammy’s new role.

Other revisions within the Diocesan Ministry Team will take place in due course. Some shifts in use of funds will see the creation for the beginning of 2022 of a three year full-time role focused on assisting me in development of parishes, including a special focus on parishes unable to support a full-time stipend. We will also—in a new funding round with the St John’s College Trust Board (2022-2024)—seek new funds for young adult ministry. If we can secure those funds a new role will be developed under Sammy’s leadership. Let’s give thanks for Spanky’s ministry among us and let’s pray for Sammy as she shifts gear in May.

This weekend the AAW National Conference is being held here in Christchurch and being hosted by our Diocese AAW. This Sunday the Conference will join the 10 am congregation at the Transitional Cathedral. Our gospel reading will be John 20:19-31. Through this second half of John’s narrative of the first resurrection appearances of Jesus, we meet the famous “Doubting Thomas”, but John’s main point is that anyone and everyone can respond to the claims of Jesus Christ through belief in him, whether or not we have been privileged with direct sight of the risen Christ. Blessed indeed are those who believe without seeing!