Letter from the Vicar – 12 March 2017

Dear Friends,


Welcome to S. Michael’s as we continue our journey in Lent. Today we hear the Gospel story of the Transfiguration. This seems a marked contrast to last week’s Gospel story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. If last week’s focus was on sin and temptation, this week’s is on the vision of God’s transforming holiness that Jesus holds before us in his transfiguration. Perhaps this physical phenomenon may seem well beyond our experience, but it is, in fact, our intention each time we celebrate the Mass. When the priest says, “Lift up your hearts,” and we respond,

“We lift them to the Lord,” we open ourselves to this possibility and pray to make it our own.

During Lent the Parish of St Mathew’s Westminster in the Church of England is sending out daily podcasts. These are a video clip lasting a minute or involving a reading of poetry or prose associated with Lent. I can recommend these to you and you can contact them at lent@stmw.org to sign up.

There are many things at S. Michael’s that contribute to the beauty and reverence of our worship and that require the sharing of skills and knowledge. One very important area is the church linen. We are offering a workshop on 21 March 7:30–9:00 pm in the parish lounge about the care and presentation of the church linen, and how to set up for the liturgy. All are welcome to attend.

It has been marvelous to see how the new Earthquake Memorial has quickly become a focus for visitors from our city and beyond. This has brought more people into S. Michael’s already. We continue to be in the midst of road works on Durham and Lichfield Streets. The work to re-configure Oxford Terrace is also about to begin. This will involve, in the first instance, the closing of Oxford Terrace at the Durham Street end, and the creation of two way traffic in and out to S. Michael’s from Montreal Street. We propose, also, to open the access from our car-park on to Tuam Street to make it easier for people to exit to the south and east. Those wanting to exit and travel north will be able to drive west along Oxford Terrace and turn right on to Montreal Street. You will find full details on the enclosed insert. At this stage there are no changes happening to the Durham Street access and parking area. Whilst all this is trying our patience at this time I do believe that the intended result will be a great enhancement for the immediate environment of S. Michael’s.


Yours in Christ,

Father Andrew Starky


  • Lenten Appeal for Anglican Missions: envelopes available at the back of the church.
  • Youth Group: Do you know anyone who would like to join our Youth Group? We have two groups on Wednesdays—Year 7/8 (4:00–5:30 pm) and Year 9 and above (5:00–6:30 pm). Details from Shaun Graveston.
  • Young Adult Gathering: today 2:00 pm at Beat Street Cafe. Invitation to join a group from S. Michael’s meeting with other young people (Year 13+) for fun, discussion, fellowship and faith exploration. Details Alice Bates.
  • Bible Study Group: Mondays 7:15 pm in the school. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
  • Meditation Group: Wednesdays 12:00–12:30 pm in the Pilgrims’ Chapel. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
  • Sales Table: Sundays in the hall after Mass. Raffle tickets, $2 each or 3 for $5, available Sundays in the hall, weekdays from the office. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
  • Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge. Koha to parish.
  • Needlework Group: meets monthly in the lounge. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
  • Voices of Aotearoa—Fiona Farrell: 22 March 7:00 pm at Mary Potter Centre.
  • Ordination to the Priesthood: Ben Randall, 25 March 5:00 pm at the Cathedral.
  • HeadSpace 2017: 30 March from 9:00 am. Details from Alice and on poster.
  • Euthanasia Seminar: 1 April 9:30 am at the Cathedral. See poster for details.
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.