Dear Friends,

It was a joy at the weekend to share in a Diocesan Discernment Weekend at Sister Eveleen Retreat House with my ordination advisors (Dr Averil Worner, Mr Peter Cattell, the Reverend Jenny Wilkens, the Venerable Nicky Lee, the Very Reverend Ben Truman). Six candidates for discernment shared in the weekend and it was a pleasure to work with them. In due course, as decisions about future next steps are firmed up, I will share names with you. In the meantime, please pray for the six as they continue their ministry journeys.

Tomorrow is Ascension Day—the feast day when we celebrate an important stage in the ministry journey of Jesus himself: Incarnation, Baptism, Ministry and Mission, Death, Resurrection and Ascension. Rightly or wrongly, many churches celebrate Ascension Day by transferring it to the following Sunday. Mid Canterbury is a notable exception to that tendency in the Diocese since it is holding an Ascension Day service at 6 pm Thursday 9 May in St Stephen’s Church, Ashburton, with a ‘bring and share’ tea to follow. The Gospel for this Sunday 12 May 2024, Easter 7/Sunday after Ascension if Ascension is transferred is Luke 24:44-53. This reading, and its counterpart in Acts 1, present us with not only the Ascension of Jesus but also with Jesus as the Commissioner of his disciples (then, but also now) to continue his work in the world—proclaiming the good news of salvation to the whole world.

As we continue the work of Jesus in the world today, I am conscious that there are some hard circumstances for a number of our ministry units and that in such circumstances God’s people are being faithful, hardworking and persistent in believing that better days are coming for the church. Thank you for all you are doing.

Yesterday it was announced that that Mr Joe Eccleton, currently Principal of Cashmere High School, will be the next Executive Principal of Christ’s College, from the beginning of Term 4, 2024. Please pray for Joe and his family as he prepares for this role—and for Cashmere High School as they now seek a new principal.

Next week I look forward to ordaining as priests the Reverend Gabriele Anderson, at 7 pmThursday 16 May, 2024, in St. Stephen’s Church, Lincoln and the Reverend Simon Green, 7 pm, Friday 17 May, 2024 in St Michael’s and All Angels Church, Oxford Terrace, Christchurch. All are welcome to these services. Clergy are requested to robe: alb and red stoles.

Conversation about the Treaty of Waitangi is happening all around us. Right now, there is an opportunity for faith communities to upskill on Te Tiriti o Waitangi so the church can participate meaningfully in the conversations ahead for Aotearoa New Zealand. Common Grace Aotearoa in partnership with Karuwhā Trust and Te Manu Hononga—the Sir Paul Reeves Centre have curated a two-part video workshop for communities of faith. ‘Belonging in this land: Treaty basics from a Christian perspective’is an opportunity for faith communities to explore the story of the Treaty of Waitangi over two 90-minute video sessions. The trailer is now available to watch and to share, and since May 6th, the full resource has gone live for registered hosts, featuring author of Huia Come Home and Dean of Taranaki Cathedral, Jay Ruka and former Anglican Archbishop David Moxon to help us understand our history and what role the Treaty plays in our faith and daily life today. We are encouraging churches and small groups to sign up to host at Common Grace Aotearoa invites you to share their Facebook post here. Further details from Kate Day | Co-Director Common Grace Aotearoa, Ph: 022 315 6499 | W:

Thank you for praying for the Cathedral Reinstatement Project. As we move on from the announcement on 6 April 2024 of a new revised cost for completion, and as the initial news items about this announcement fall away, the Project leadership team continues to work on ways and means of moving forward. Simultaneously, we are preparing within the Diocese for a special session of Synod on Saturday 22 June 2024 which will focus on our Diocesan contribution to the funding pathway we seek towards completion.