Dear Friends,

The past week has been full of services and events, in which a lovely range of people from across the Diocese have been involved, including: the funeral for the Reverend Dr Ken Booth on Friday morning, Deeper Camp at Woodend for young people and parents, with Steve and Emma Dunne speaking, a wonderful market day at the Transitional Cathedral, the 150th anniversary for All Saints, Prebbleton on Sunday morning, Confirmation for Isaiah Goodmanson and Joel Varghese at Holy Trinity, Avonside on Sunday evening, and the Induction of the Reverend Margaret Neate as Vicar of Ellesmere on Monday evening.

This week the Reverends Stephanie Robson and Chris Orczy, Jo Bean, our Communications Officer, and I are in New Plymouth for a meeting of the Tikanga Pākehā Ministry Council which is focused on development of understanding Mātauranga Māori. Yesterday was a moving and challenging day as we journeyed around historic sites in Taranaki, learning from local Māori leaders about the frankly terrible history concerning land and wars as British settlers took land and developed it in the 19th century.

I am delighted to announce that the Reverend Harry Newton will be the next Vicar of Sumner-Redcliffs. Harry is known to many in our Diocese through previous ministry here as youth worker in the Parish of Cashmere and then as curate in the Parish of Fendalton. He is currently the Vicar of Greytown in the Diocese of Wellington. Please pray for Harry and Aimee and their family as they prepare for this move in 2023.

I thank the Reverend Alexa Evenden for her work as Interim Priest in Charge of the Parish of Ellesmere.

Archdeacon Mark Chamberlain from 20 November 2022 will be Acting Archdeacon of South Canterbury for the time being. At the same time, the Reverend Ben Randall (Vicar of St Mary’s Timaru) will be Regional Dean of South Canterbury and available to assist Mark in his work as Archdeacon.

Many readers here have appreciated the tireless work of Patrick Murray as Executive Officer of Anglican Care through many years of dedicated and diligent service. Patrick will retire at the end of this year—a well-deserved retirement, but we will miss you, Patrick!

The Reverend Jill Marshall has died, and her funeral is at 2 pm Thursday 10 November in St. Andrews Church, Oxford.

Mrs Winifred Smith, widow of the late Reverend Robin Smith, has died and her funeral is at 11 am Thursday 10 November in St. Mary’s Geraldine.

This Sunday 13 November 2022, Ordinary 33 offers the gospel from Luke 21:5-19. Dark and difficult days lie ahead (as they definitely did for the hearers of Jesus when the Romans sacked Jerusalem in 70 AD). But the promise of the enabling Spirit of God is that we will be articulate and faithful witnesses, whatever befalls us.