Dear Friends,

At 10.30am, Saturday, 25 November 2023 in the Transitional Cathedral, Sammy Mould, Jo Cotton and Matt Maslin will be ordained deacons and the Reverend Dr Andrew Butcher will be ordained priest. All are welcome and clergy are asked to robe with red stoles. The preacher for this service will be the Reverend Chris Darnell, Vicar of Whitby in the Diocese of Wellington.

The Installation of our new Dean, the Reverend Ben Truman, will be at 7pm on Wednesday, 29 November 2023 in the Transitional Cathedral. All welcome. Clergy are invited to robe, red stoles.

Please pray for Brenda, Jo, Sammy, Jo, Matt, Andrew and Ben and their families as they prepare for change in their lives and ministries.

Congratulations to the Reverend Jordan Greatbatch and Natalia Soto who will be married this Saturday in St. Michael and All Angels church, Christchurch—Jordan is the Vicar of St Michael’s and All Angels’ parish, and the wedding will be conducted by the Reverend Peter Beck.

This Friday evening, 10 November, at the Hagley Oval, a T20 Cricket Match will be played, 6pm to 9pm, in honour of the late Andrew Bagshaw and his work in Ukraine. This is a free event—BYO picnic. All welcome. Donations to honour Andrew and his work can be made to the Andrew Bagshaw Memorial Trust via the Canterbury Cricket Trust, 06 0665 0264780 00, Reference: Bagshaw.

On Sunday, 12 November at 10am, we will be holding the final service, including eucharist and rite of dededication for the Church of the Ascension, 39 Major Hornbrook Road, Mt Pleasant, Christchurch (Parish of Heathcote-Mt Pleasant). This church is being prepared for sale.

Also for sale at this time are St Saviour’s church, hall and vicarage, Colombo Street (Parish of South Christchurch) and the vicarage in Hereford Street of the now dissolved Parish of St John’s, Latimer Square (i.e. the house which until recently was rented by Chapter to be the Deanery).

This past weekend, early Saturday afternoon, it was a pleasure to visit Deeper Camp at Woodend – a lovely atmosphere and neat activities for children and their families—and I thank Emma Tovey and her team for their organisation of the camp. Later on Saturday afternoon, I participated in an Investiture Service in the Transitional Cathedral for the Order of St Lazarus. Sunday morning, Teresa and I were at All Saints’ church in the Parish of Shirley for a large, combined service of its three congregations (2 x All Saints, Burwood, 1 x St Mark’s, Marshland) as we celebrated All Saints’ Day. A final event for the weekend was to join with about 80 others in the church at Rāpaki to commemorate Parihaka. There is a significant Parihaka memorial outside the church. Many of the congregation had taken part in a hikoi from Lyttelton Gaol to Rapaki earlier in the afternoon. On Sunday morning a large congregation gathered at St Mary’s, Addington for a Parihaka service followed by a hīkoi to the old Addington Gaol.

Gaza/Israel/West Bank: Day after day we are confronted with the appalling suffering this present conflict between Israel and Palestine is causing. Let’s keep praying for a ceasefire which is part of a definitive, committed pathway to a just and lasting peace. The role of the USA increasingly (in my reading) seems critical to actual change occurring so that the deaths of civilians, including children ceases. Let’s not neglect to pray for other conflicts and consequential suffering in the world. War continues between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. This past week a great multitude of Afghani refugees have been forced to leave homes in Pakistan. Ukraine seems at some kind of stalemate. Let’s also pray for our own country—that the pursuit of peace in the Middle East via legitimate protests and free speech does not lead to unnecessary conflicts within our own body politic.

Our Gospel reading this coming Sunday, Ordinary 32, is Matthew 25:1-13. There is such great atmosphere in this parable. Darkness of night, light through smoky lamps, panic when oil for the lamps run out. Are we ready for the dramatic and sudden return of our Lord Jesus Christ?