Last Friday in some 55 locations around New Zealand, a Groundswell of farmers and supporters protested about various regulatory matters relating to Climate Change which are a heavy burden to bear. The same weekend the South Island had a second “red warning” weather event within two months which saw devastating flooding, mostly in Buller and Marlborough. On the one hand, our climate is changing, we have a global emergency on our hands and a responsibility to do what we humanly can to minimise the change. On the other hand, it is entirely fair of the farming community to ask whether they are being asked to bear a disproportionate share of that responsibility. Why should we expect the Selwyn River to be swimmable if the Avon River is not also swimmable? It has been disappointing to me since Friday to read on social media jibes against the farming community. We are not a Team of Five Million if we turn on each other.
The flooding at the weekend will be especially challenging for the town of Westport—one of my favourite places to visit—because the damage to houses, even if quickly fixed, raises questions about future proofing against further catastrophic flooding. Climate Change will not be fixed quickly and further “red warning” weather events will occur repeatedly in our islands in future years. Please pray for Matt Watts, Vicar of Buller, and other church and community leaders as they respond to the devastation of last weekend.
I am grateful that the Reverend Jenny Wilkens will be Acting Archdeacon of Christchurch through to the end of August while Archdeacon Helen Roud is on study leave. The Reverend Dr Meg Harvey will be Priest in Charge of Addington during this period. I am grateful for the work of Meg and of the Reverend Peter Williams at St Michael and All Angels and St Michael’s Church School during the Reverend Chris Orczy’s study leave through the past few months.
You may have seen a recent Stuff article about social impact investing—an article which paints churches in our country in a very good light. I want our Diocese to also take up the challenge of social impact investing but would like this to be a work we do after we have completed the Earthquake Recovery Project (exclusive of the Cathedral Project). In other words, 2022 is a year for consideration of this important challenge to how we invest our funds, both as a Diocese, as ministry units and as associated entities. I am please to observe that Anglican Care in our Diocese already has social impact investments underway.
In just under a month the third Anglo-Catholic Hui will be held here in Christchurch at St Michael’s and All Angels. There is a warm welcome on the Hui’s website:
“This year’s Hui, through the theme ‘Food for the Journey’, will help us to use the resources of the catholic tradition of Anglicanism as a positive force for the Gospel and as a model for effective mission in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia today.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. John 6:51
The Hui will be built around a daily Mass, (opening Mass at 6.00pm Thursday, August 12, closing Mass at 12.30pm Saturday, August 14) and four presentations by our keynote speaker, Fr Richard Peers, Sub-dean of Christ Church, Oxford, UK. You are warmly invited to participate. Haere mai koutou, huihui tātou, everyone welcome. Please spread the word.”
I am glad to spread the word here. Why not sign up? I will be there and look forward to you being there also.
Sadly, we received notice today of the death of the Rev’d Bernie Cox yesterday (Tuesday 20th July) from his family. Details of the funeral are below. Please pray for his children—Paul, Helen and John.
This coming Sunday, Ordinary 17, the Gospel is John 6:1-21, which narrates both the Feeding of the Five Thousand and Jesus Walks on Water. There is a lot going on here; indeed the remainder of John 6 is a profound sermon by Jesus on the spiritual meaning of the feeding of the crowd with physical bread. Two thousand years of sermons on this chapter have not exhausted the depth of its significance for our union with Christ.
To the Family and friends of Bernie Cox,
It’s with much sadness that we write to advise you of Bernie’s death. He passed away peacefully at Lady Wigram Hospital on Tuesday the 20th of July 2021.
His funeral will be held at All Saints Garrison Church Burnham Military Camp at One O’clock on Friday the 23rd of July.
An afternoon tea will follow after the service at the Burnham Officers Mess
You are welcome to join us to celebrate Bernie’s life.
The funeral will be live screened. The link is attached below.
If you would like to attend, please could you respond by email to Bernie’s email address firstname.lastname@example.org
This assists your getting into the Burnham Military Camp.
Love to you all with kind regards,
Paul, Helen and John.
Here is the link to the live stream of the funeral for Bernard Sheffield Cox:
https://youtu.be/tejLW59NJa4 or to use the QR Code