Dear Friends,

The Reverend Ross Allen died peacefully on Monday morning 7 August 2023. In retirement years, Ross and Hilary have been much loved members of the Cathedral congregation. Ross was ordained deacon and priest in 1963 and served curacies in Timaru and Geraldine before becoming Priest Assistant in Papanui, 1966-68, focusing on planting a new church in Bishopdale. From 1969-75, Ross served with NZCMS in Singapore, as Vicar of the Church of the Ascension and Chaplain to St. Andrew’s School. Returning to our Diocese, Ross was successively Vicar of the Parishes of Amberley, Shirley, and Cashmere Hills. From 1990 until retirement in 2000, Ross was Archdeacon of Irakehu. Several locum ministries were a feature of retirement years—along with travel and many games of golf. We have many reasons to be grateful to God for Ross’s long ministry among us. On a personal note, Ross was my training vicar when I was first ordained and served as his curate in Shirley, 1987-1989. He was kind, patient, and wise. There was much laughter. I could not have had a better trainer.

Ross’s funeral will be at 1.30 pm Wednesday 16 August 2023 in the Transitional Cathedral. Please pray for Hilary and their families as they prepare for this service and mourn his loss. Clergy are invited to robe for the service, with purple stoles.

We had a very full Holy Innocents church, Amberley for the Reverend Steve Dunne’s ordination as a priest on Friday night. A big thank you to the Reverend Meg Harvey, Vicar of Amberley for making the church and hall available. Please pray for Steve and Emma and their family as they continue in ministry in Woodend-Pegasus, with Steve now Priest in Charge of this parish.

Then on Sunday evening, at St Mary’s, Timaru, we had an excellent service for the installation of the Reverend Ben Randall as Archdeacon of South Canterbury and liturgical welcome to South Canterbury for the Reverend Stephanie Robson as Chaplain of Craighead Diocesan School. Much thanks to the people of St. Mary’s who made this service possible—including a large choir which sang beautifully.

This week our annual Pre-Synod meetings have begun (Rangiora, Fendalton). They conclude next week (Temuka, Zoom). Thank you to Edwin Boyce, our Diocesan Manager and to Lynda Alexander, our Diocesan Financial Manager, for their presentations to each of the meetings and for local archdeacons and vicars for hosting these important gatherings.

Tomorrow, 10 August, is the last day in office for the Very Reverend Lawrence Kimberley as Dean of Christ Church Cathedral. I want to reiterate here the expressions of thanksgiving made at the farewell service in May for the respective ministries of Dean Lawrence and Elizabeth: thank you, Lawrence and Elizabeth, for your contribution to the Cathedral and to the Diocese. We wish you every blessing for the next chapter in your lives.

The Reverend Jo LathamVicar of the Parish of Northwest Christchurch, has given notice of her intention to resign from her role, having reached the age of retirement. Jo began her ministry in the then Parish of Belfast-Redwood in 2000. Twenty-four years later we will have an opportunity to acknowledge her faithful and always joyful service in this role—time and date to be confirmed but likely a Sunday afternoon service in late November or early December so that colleagues and friends from outside the parish can join parishioners in thanksgiving and farewell.

This Sunday 13 August 2023, is Ordinary 19. The gospel reading is Matthew 14:22-33. Peter stands here for all individuals walking in the way of Jesus who take brave steps of faith in the face of life’s storms and then lose sight of Jesus and are overwhelmed by the storms. Step forward all those who have succeeded where Peter failed … The good news is that Jesus is ever at hand to save us, ever gentle when encouraging us to increase our little faith.