Letter from the Vicar 30 October 2016

Fr Andrew Starky small

 

Dear S. Michael’s,

I wrote to you last as we began our two weeks at the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield. It was a great privilege for a short time to share the life of this community, which involves four Offices and Mass each day. The community has a strong tradition of plainsong including psalms, canticles and office hymns, and I was able to attend one of the choir practices with the brethren. With the plainsong, I noted that the texts were all thoroughly contemporary in language. I also noted the way that they have re-configured their church so it is all one level, and the contemporary furniture, light fittings and art work fit beautifully with, and enhance, the architecture generally. The Superior, George Guiver CR, summed up their approach in his book Pursuing the Mystery with the words, ‘Truly contemporary liturgy… is characterised by being unmistakably contemporary in idiom, and undeniably of our own age, and yet there will be little in ordinary life which quite corresponds to it.’

In addition to the worship, Kathryn and I enjoyed time to read and to help in their extensive gardens and orchards, which were all bearing fruit. Kathryn particularly enjoyed being part of the mulberry harvest. I had plenty of time in the library and had some stimulating conversations with some members of the College of the Resurrection, which is on the same site and trains ordinands for the priesthood.

After our time at Mirfield we travelled to York where we stayed with Revd John and Stephanie Day. We went to York Minster on several occasions for Evensong and Sunday Mass, and we enjoyed exploring this very beautiful and historic city. John has just begun a position assisting the Archbishop of York in his diocese with mission and evangelism, and so it was very interesting to hear his account of how the Church of England is responding to the current situation. I was quite surprised at the continuing level of controversy surrounding women’s ordination, and not at all surprised by continuing debates about sexuality. However, I came away quite heartened that the Church of England seems, with the very able leadership of their two Archbishops, to be able to bear these controversies in its life, whilst still maintaining a clear focus on mission and the needs of people in general and particularly the poor.

We have spent the past weeks at Amberley, where I have been able to read and reflect further and prepare for our retreat in November in Wellington. We thank you for your prayers, and ask that you continue to uphold us in these weeks of retreat. We look forward to seeing you all on the Second Sunday of Advent. Once again my thanks for all you are doing to make this study leave possible, and know that you continue in our love and prayers.

Yours in Christ,

Fr Andrew Starky

 

Parish Notices

  • Stop Press—a true trumpet call! An opportunity that should not be missed has come with the availability of seven trumpet reed pipes in excellent condition, which could replace the existing sequence of flue pipes on the organ and increase the range of notes. The fitting will be straightforward and would be done in conjunction with a regular tuning. The total cost will be towards $2500. This was not foreseen and is therefore outside the budget. It would be a wonderful outcome if gifts for this purpose could be made to the parish.
  • Lunch at Regatta on Avon: today 12:15 pm, bookings not essential. Details Ann & Dudley Jinman.
  • Bible Study Group meets tomorrow, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
  • Meditation Group meets Tuesday 5:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215).
  • All Souls’ Day: parishioners are asked to bring a plate of finger food for supper after the 7:00 pm Mass on Wednesday.
  • Canterbury Shakespeare Society AGM: Thursday 7:30 pm in the parish lounge.
  • Poetry Book Launch: A world without maps by Jane Simpson, at Scorpio Books, Riccarton, Saturday at 2:00 pm. Details on poster.
  • Christian Theology study opportunities through Otago University: details Louise.
  • Advance Notice—Needlework Group: final meeting for the year, Christmas DVD viewing and supper, 22 November. Details to follow from Ros Calvert (322 6078).
  • Sales Table: Sundays in the hall. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
  • Marmalade available on the sales table. Empty jars to the box in the lounge please.
  • Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge.
  • Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Jill Woodside.
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts.

Letter from the Priest-in-charge 23 October 2016

Dear Friends,

A recent article informed me that the world’s clouds are shifting, but not in a good way. This set me thinking about clouds. I remember visiting a fascinating exhibition at Te Papa in Wellington, about ten years ago, of studies of clouds by the English artist John Constable (late eighteenth to early nineteenth century). Looking westwards from the home we enjoyed for many years, close to the Southern Alps, we often saw clouds moving below the level of the mountain tops, allowing the peaks to stand out above them. It was always a lovely scene, especially when the peaks had had a dusting of snow. Invariably these clouds appeared with flat undersides. I can recall seeing this feature depicted years ago in a painting and thinking it was an artificial device of the artist, as it didn’t seem natural. However, the accuracy of such paintings can be verified almost daily. The southern part of the Port Hills, which is now our view, is often covered by cloud that looks like a blanket of cotton wool. It clings to the clefts and gives the impression of being about to cascade down the hillsides and flow across the land below.

Returning to the article which caught my attention, climate change apparently has caused cloud coverage to shift towards the poles, helping to accelerate the warming of the planet. This has caused me to reflect on the fact that, so often, when people become increasingly polarised in their views (e.g. politically, ideologically and ethically) the atmosphere of society and the world changes and things can heat up. There are those who would strongly dispute the premise that greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced to prevent further global warming!

The Church is not spared from sharply differing opinions, not just through the usual channels of theological debate but, as we have seen in recent times, from changing expectations with regard to human relationships. These are having an adverse effect on our unity in Christ. We have to be cautious not to let our judgement be clouded by prejudice or narrowly focused interpretations, as there is the potential that the issues we are trying to resolve will become irrevocably divisive. The Anglican Church has had a splendid history, on the whole, of healthy debate and a determination to find a way forward together. The yardstick, in my view, is well expressed in 1 Peter 1: 22, ‘Love one another deeply from the heart’.

May God bless you all.

Canon Craufurd Murray

Parish Notices

  • Traffic delays continue along Durham Street, parts reduced to one lane.
  • Vestry meets Tuesday, beginning with Mass at 7:00 pm.
  • School presentation evening: parishioners are invited to join the school community to hear and share ideas on strategic development. Wednesday 7:00 pm in the hall.
  • Reverse Greed—Our Food: Chris Horne and Chloe Waretini. Last of four seminars Thursday 5:30 pm at Knox Centre. See poster.
  • Retreat organised by S. Luke’s: to be conducted by Peter Williams at CSN Retreat House, 28 & 29 October. See flyer in lounge.
  • Concert organised by Bright on Vibes in aid of the Familial Trust: at S. Michael’s Saturday 7:00 pm. See poster.
  • Lunch at Regatta on Avon: next Sunday 12:15 pm. Details Ann & Dudley Jinman (347 8290).
  • New Vicar of Halswell and Prebbleton: Induction of Peter Hurricks next Sunday, 7:00 pm at S. Mary’s Halswell. (Peter is John De la Bere’s son-in-law.)
  • Bible Study Group meets next on 31 October, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
  • Christian Theology study opportunities through Otago University: details Louise.
  • Needlework Group meets monthly. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
  • Sales Table: Sundays in the hall. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
  • Marmalade available on the sales table. Empty jars to the box in the lounge please.
  • Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge.
  • Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Jill Woodside.
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.

All Souls’ Day 2 November: today is the last Sunday to check

the draft lists of names to be remembered. The main service will

be at 7:00 pm. Please be careful to add names to the right list for

the service at which you will be present. Print changes and put

your own name in brackets.

Letter from the Priest-in-charge 16 October 2016

Dear Friends,

Recently some bottles of beer with interesting names and labels turned up in the sacristy. They were provided by a good son of the Church and gifted to the clergy to mark International Buy a Priest a Beer Day. This Feast Day does not yet appear in the Church Calendar! In my days as Rector of Fountains in North Yorkshire (UK), a near-by parish with a small ancient market town—Masham, pronounced Massam —had a brewery which was one of the surviving exponents at that time of Real Ale. Its hallmark beer was ‘Old Peculier’ (note the spelling). The label on the bottle was a depiction of the 18th century seal of the Peculier of Masham. The history of the Peculier, however, goes back much further.

In the 12th century, the Archbishop of York had established a Peculier Court at Masham, and its senior official or Peculier was the vicar. This ecclesiastical court gave the parish a large degree of autonomy. Probably, for that very reason, only a few peculiers were ever created. The Peculier had the authority, for example, to appoint apothecaries and midwives, and had significant independence from the jurisdiction of the Archbishop. Apparently the word ‘peculier’ is derived from a French word meaning ‘particular’ rather than ‘odd’. I remember, though, as a boy brought up on the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible, being fascinated by a couple of references in the New Testament to the followers of Jesus being called a ‘peculiar people’ (Titus 2: 14 & 1 Peter 2: 9). In more recent versions these are translated as God’s ‘own people’. But it has stirred my mind again to reflect on what it means for us to be the peculiar people of God.

An essential aspect of being God’s own people—as I emphasised not long ago at a Thursday morning Mass—is that we allow love to become the motivating principle of our lives. I added that I believe this is the greatest challenge we will all ever face. Opening ourselves to the compassionate spirit of Christ working within us and through us is nothing less than our part in the ongoing work of redemption. And this kind of love is not some impulsive or emotional reaction, rather it rests on our own deliberate choice. It is a constant commitment of the will.

I have been revisiting some of the writings of Thomas Traherne, and I appreciated his view of being redeemed as ‘recovery of vision, rather than conquest of sin’. Focusing on loving relationships, and loving and concerned actions and attitudes, is a positive way of nurturing a vision and avoids introspective preoccupation with humanity’s frailties and failings. As the Celtic spiritual tradition wisely intimates, we are still immature and striving for completion rather than hopelessly flawed by sin. Let our longing be to grow in love and rejoice that that is what makes us peculiar.

When the evening of this life comes, we shall be judged on love.

S. John of the Cross.

May God bless you all.

Canon Craufurd Murray

Parish Notices

  • Traffic delays expected along Durham Street, reducing to one lane from tomorrow.
  • Michael’s School: Term 4 begins tomorrow.
  • Feast of S. Luke: Festive Eucharist Tuesday, 6:00 pm at the Community of the Sacred Name, 300 Tuam Street. Preacher Richard Randerson. Light supper to follow.
  • Bible Study Group meets tomorrow, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
  • Women’s Fellowship: Tuesday 10:45 am in the lounge. Please bring Christmas gifts for Walsh House. Details Pat Evans wj.evans@clear.net.nz or phone 358 0127.
  • Meditation Group: Tuesday 5:15 pm in lounge. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215).
  • Anglican Care AGM: Tuesday 5:30 pm at S. Peter’s Upper Riccarton.
  • Outreach Committee: Tuesday, 7:30 pm in the parish lounge.
  • Reverse Greed—Our Water: Rhys Taylor and Tim Davie. Third of four seminars Thursday 5:30 pm at Knox Centre. See poster.
  • Strategic Planning for the School: open meeting 26 October, 7:00 pm in the hall.
  • Retreat organised by S. Luke’s: to be conducted by Peter Williams at CSN Retreat House, 28 & 29 October. See flyer in lounge.
  • New Vicar of Halswell and Prebbleton: Induction of Peter Hurricks, 30 October 7:00 pm at S. Mary’s Halswell. (Peter is John De la Bere’s son-in-law.)
  • Needlework Group meets monthly. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
  • Sales Table: Sundays in the hall. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
  • Marmalade available on the sales table. Empty jars to the box in the lounge please.
  • Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge.
  • Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Jill Woodside.
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.

All Souls’ Day 2 November: please check the draft lists of

names to be remembered. There is a list for each Mass: please use

the one for the service at which you will be present. Print changes

and put your own name in brackets.

 

Letter from the Priest-in-charge 9 October 2016

Dear Friends,

A famous storyteller once wrote of an exceedingly clever cat that terrified all the mice, as she was always a step (or paw) ahead of them. Suddenly and unexpectedly she would surprise them, causing chaos and pain. So the mice appointed a committee to find a solution for the sake of their communal health. The recommendation was this: a bell should be hung around the cat’s neck, to give advance warning of her arrival and so keep the mice safe. The idea was approved unanimously. However, as no mouse was prepared to put the bell around the cat’s neck the plan came to nothing, and violence continued to stalk their lives. Nothing was going to change without the courage to act; no protection could be offered until an effective means of monitoring the threat was implemented.

There has been news recently of planned changes to the law, to try to deal more effectively with family violence and domestic abuse. Although this is a timely acknowledgement of a widespread and complex problem, and it is good to see a positive step being taken, legislation in itself does not curb such violence, nor can it create the kind of society where there is respect and freedom from fear. To state an obvious truth, the kind of world we live in is made by the kind of people who live in it. We need, therefore, to avoid speaking of violence in human behaviour as if it were a force in itself: violence only breaks out when it finds a place first of all in people’s hearts and minds.

It is disturbing to see how violence has become regarded as normative in society in so many ways, and so it comes as no surprise that it has been an influential driver of many unfortunate incidents and actions. We all need to ask ourselves searching questions about how inured to, and accepting of, violence we have become. Words from the Roper Report many years ago have constantly come back to challenge me:

‘No one can afford to be complacent about the problem. Violence occurs by acts of omission and commission and we are all responsible.’

May God bless you all.

Canon Craufurd Murray

Parish Notices

 

  • S. Michael’s School is on holiday until 17 October.
  • Michaelmas Flowers: thanks to all who donated for this special occasion.
  • Parish Trust: Wednesday 5:15 pm in the parish lounge.
  • Reverse Greed—Banking and Finance: Sheena Dickson and Ekant Veer. Second of four seminars Thursday 5:30 pm at Knox Centre. See poster.
  • Justice on the Margins—Child Poverty: Rose Hodgson. Thursday 7:30 pm at Petersgate. Details Theology House (341 3399).
  • Bible Study Group meets next on 17 October, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
  • Anglican Care AGM: 18 October, 5:30 pm at S. Peter’s Upper Riccarton.
  • Feast of S. Luke: Festive Eucharist 18 October, 6:00 pm at the Community of the Sacred Name, 300 Tuam Street. Light supper to follow.
  • Laidlaw College Open Night: 18 October at 7:00 pm.
  • Outreach Committee: 18 October, 7:30 pm in the parish lounge.
  • Needlework Group meets monthly. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
  • Sales Table: Sundays in the hall. Anne would like to hear from anyone who could occasionally contribute baking. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
  • Marmalade available on the sales table. Empty jars to the box in lounge please.
  • Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in lounge.
  • Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Jill Woodside.
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.

From the Priest-in-Charge and Wardens

Dear Parishioners,

It gives us much joy to announce that the restoration and strengthening of our Old
Stone Building (OSB) will be starting over the next couple of weeks. This work is
being carried out by Naylor Love Construction under the watchful eye of the
diocesan Church Property Trust.

Stage one involves site management. In order to complete this, solid hard-ply
fencing will be erected around the OSB; site office and canteen containers will be
brought on site with supporting toilets and Health & Safety provisions.
So what does this mean for us?

1. We lose the normal Durham Street access to our car park area (east)
behind the church. This access and the area directly in front of our hall
will be cordoned off as work site access only.
2. So to access this car park from Durham Street the double gates, which
are slightly north of our current Durham Street access, will be secured
open.
3. This car parking (east) behind the church will be very restricted,
especially on weekdays, but you may park in the drop-off zone when it is
available. On Sundays it would be helpful if more could park in our
Oxford Tce car parking areas.
4. To enter or exit the hall through the front double doors, an outdoor
corridor will lead directly on to Durham Street.

These changes will occur over the next couple of weeks. We have been working
hard to ensure that the impact of these changes will be minimal to all who use our
site. Please rest assured that we will be in frequent communication with the site
management to ensure that all activities run as smoothly as possible. If you have any
concerns, please refer to the Wardens or the Priest-in-charge.

Michael Graveston (Vicar’s Warden)

Gloria Moyle (People’s Warden)

Canon Craufurd Murray (Priest-in-charge)