Letter from the People’s Warden

Dear Friends,

Christ is risen! Alleluia!
In this Easter season, we had the privilege of being present at the marriage this week
of Cassandra and Peter—a joyful celebration which involved a number of cultures—
and we support and wish them well as they set forth on their new life together. We are
most fortunate to have had this important event at S. Michael’s and it was great that
so many from our parish were able to be present.

We offer our blessings also to Stella and Alistair Kinniburgh as they set forth this
week on a new and different adventure: they are to be part of a group from New
Zealand who will be walking along one of the ancient pilgrim paths to the city of
Compostela in Spain, as they walk the Camino. They take our prayers and thoughts
for a time of refreshment and renewal, for good walking, fine weather, and safe travel.
A number of women from this parish got to know each other a bit better on Tuesday
with a wonderful visit to the home of one of our parishioners who lives in Cust. How
talented are some members of our parish and how beautiful is the countryside.

There are a number of parishioners in hospital at this time, and even more who are
waiting for medical treatment, and we pray for all who are unwell, both in hospital
and at home, and we remember and support those who care for them. The pastoral
team is currently in the process of reshaping itself and more information will be
forthcoming over future weeks.

As we make our ANZAC commemoration this week, we remember and give thanks
for the service that so many have given, and we are also mindful of those who stayed
home and kept life going during those dark times. New Zealand was changed for ever.
Few families were untouched by circumstance and loss, with some effects still being
felt even to the present day.

Today’s reading from Revelation speaks of a ‘new heaven and a new earth’ and the
end of sorrow and pain. God will transform all creation, free it from imperfection, and
renew it. We need to play our own part in this as we are guided, and not shirk our
responsibilities. Communities today, both inside and outside the Church, need our
input. We have been given the example of Jesus, who cared for all.

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Claire Preston

Letter from the Vicar

Dear Friends,

Christ is risen! Alleluia!

Welcome to S. Michael’s as we continue to celebrate the risen life of our Lord in these
great fifty days. Today marks a change in focus in the Easter season. We move from
Gospel readings which describe the appearance of the risen Christ to his disciples,
towards readings that recall the growth and development of the Church as the
disciples take up their ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. The raising of Dorcas
by the prayer of Peter is a particular example of the actions of Jesus being replicated in
the ministry of the disciples following Pentecost.

This particular Sunday traditionally develops the theme of Jesus the Good Shepherd,
who knows and cares for his sheep. The Gospel emphasises the intimate relationship
between shepherd and sheep; this is implicit in their recognition of the shepherd’s
voice. The gift received is that of eternal life. This is reflected both in the story of
Dorcas, and in the care of the great multitude who stand before the throne to be
guided towards the springs of the water of life and to be consoled from their ordeal,
which we hear of in the reading from Revelation.

As you prepare for worship today, spend some time in silence listening for the gentle
voice of the Good Shepherd.

As I mentioned last week, we are delighted that the Nuptial Mass celebrating the
marriage of Cassandra Johnson and Peter John will take place tomorrow at 2:00 pm
here at S. Michael’s. All parishioners are most welcome to attend and to join the
bridal couple for refreshments afterwards in the hall. Also the men of the parish are
invited to a party today at 4:00 pm in the parish lounge, to welcome Peter and his

Looking further ahead, I encourage you to attend one of the meetings that Bishop
Victoria has arranged prior to General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui. I am part of the
representation of the diocese this year, and these occasions will provide a good
opportunity to hear what will be discussed and for the representatives to listen to the
views expressed.

Yours in the risen Christ,

Fr. Andrew Starky

Letter from the Vicar

Dear Friends,

Christ is risen! Alleluia! Welcome to S. Michael’s as we continue to celebrate this
joyous season of the resurrection.

One of the themes running through the readings today is that of silent listening. Saul,
whilst still opposing the church, encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus in a
bright flash of light from heaven. He fell to the ground and listened as the Lord
introduced himself. In the beautiful vision given to John and recorded in the Book of
Revelation, he recounts seeing and hearing the angels and the whole company of
heaven worshipping. In the reading from the Gospel, the disciples don’t dare to ask
Jesus who he is ‘because they knew it was the Lord’.

As we come in to Mass or Evensong each week it is a time to still ourselves. We live in
a world of chatter and it can be hard simply to listen for the still small voice of silence.
When we come into S. Michael’s we enter a place dedicated to just that purpose, and
before our worship begins we have the opportunity to be still in the presence of God.
During the course of the Mass we also enjoy particular times of silence together as a
congregation, such as in preparation for confession, after the sermon and following
Communion. The most solemn silence comes at the end of the Prayer of Great
Thanksgiving. Here the silence shows our reverence for his Mystical Presence on the
altar, “The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.”
On Tuesday 12 April at 6:00 pm there will be a Mass at S. Michael’s to celebrate ten
years of the liturgy.co.nz website. This website has become renowned both nationally
and internationally and Fr Bosco Peters will preside in this Mass to give thanks for all
it has contributed to the Church over these years. Please bring a plate of food to share
following the Mass.

We are delighted that the Nuptial Mass for Cassandra Johnson and Peter John will take
place at S. Michael’s on Monday 18 April at 2:00 pm. All parishioners are most
welcome to attend and to join the bridal couple for refreshments afterwards in the hall.
The party given by the women of the parish for Cassandra, organised by Jill Woodside
and held at the Ellis’s home last Saturday, was greatly appreciated. The men of the
parish are now invited to a party next Sunday, 4:00 pm in the parish lounge, to
welcome Peter John and his best man. See details on the back page.

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Fr. Andrew Starky

Letter from the Vicar 3 April 2016

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends


Christ is risen! Alleluia!


Welcome to S. Michael’s as we continue the joyful celebration of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Easter, at fifty days, is the longest season in the Church’s calendar, which emphasises the importance of the resurrection as the central tenet of the Christian faith.

We begin the season by reading the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ appearances to his disciples. This week we hear of his appearance on the evening of that first day, and the subsequent appearance when Thomas was with the disciples. We might wonder why Thomas was not with the disciples on that first occasion. Perhaps he had to duck out for some food, or perhaps he was beginning to waver in his commitment to the band of disciples. The disciples who were there repeated the words of Mary Magdalene to him, “We have seen the Lord.” This wasn’t enough for Thomas. He wanted the first-hand experience of the risen Jesus that he had missed by being away.

This is a reminder to us that continuing to meet together Sunday by Sunday needs to be our priority whenever possible. Each time we meet, the Lord is present to us in his body and blood: each time we meet he shows us something of himself that is unique. We discover this also reflected in the body of people who are present, which is unique in time and space.

I was very pleased with the series of Lent Studies which we held on Sundays following Mass. The notes of all the talks are now available at the back of the church, and if they run out please ask for more copies from the office. We hope to make the recordings available as well. Also the sermons from Maundy Thursday to Easter Day are available from Louise at the office and will be on the website.

As has been advised, the Annual General Meeting has been postponed until Sunday 1 May. This was because we realised there was a prior booking in the hall on the originally proposed date. This gives a little more time for reports, but please get them to Louise as soon as possible, by the end of this week at the latest.

This evening we celebrate the first Evensong of The Annunciation of our Saviour to the Blessed Virgin Mary before the principal feast, which will be celebrated with a Mass at 10:00 am tomorrow.

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


Fr Andrew Starky


Parish Notices


  • Easter Flowers: sincere thanks for this year’s very generous donations.
  • Sales Table: in the hall on Sundays after Mass. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
  • You are invited to a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
  • Meditation Group meets on Tuesday at 5:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
  • Needlework Group meets Tuesday, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
  • Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
  • Canterbury Shakespeare Society meets on Thursday, 7:30 pm in the parish lounge. Details John De la Bere (981 7582).
  • Reports for the Parish AGM on 1 May: to Louise by 8 April
  • Michael’s School is on holiday from Friday until 2 May.
  • Saturday Breakfast: 9 April, 9:45 am in the parish lounge. Details Anne Ladd.
  • Bible Study Group resumes on 18 April. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
  • Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge. Koha to parish.
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.