Letter from the Vicar 25 October 2015

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Mass today. On Friday afternoon at S. Michael’s we hosted a moving commemoration of the centenary of the sinking of the transport ship Marquette in the Aegean Sea by a German submarine on 23 October 1915. We were honoured to have the Governor-General Sir Jerry and Lady Janine Mataparae and many other distinguished guests, as well as about one hundred family members of those who died. Following the service the Governor-General laid a wreath at the Calvary.

At the time the Marquette tragedy added to the grief of a nation still reeling from heavy losses at Gallipoli. Among the fatalities were thirty-two New Zealanders, including ten nurses—making 23 October the deadliest day in the history of this country’s military nursing. The sinking caused great public outrage because the nurses should have been safely transported on a hospital ship, and one was available. The death of the nurses was felt particularly strongly in the South Island, where the majority of them had lived or nursed. The Nurses’ Memorial Chapel, which stands beside the Christchurch Hospital and still awaits restoration following the earthquakes, is dedicated to their memory.

As we remember those nurses we also hear the words of comfort from Jeremiah. His words remind us that people still gather for nursing and medical care, the blind, the lame, those with children and those preparing to give birth. They come often in great distress, yet the care they receive is of the highest standard. As I move around the hospitals I am constantly impressed by the standard of nursing care, and we have much to be thankful for. Nevertheless, the reports in recent days suggesting inadequate funding of our Hospital Board are concerning. The reality is that following the earthquakes many people have experienced illnesses, both physical and mental, that have been exacerbated by the stress they have been under. Attending to this is every bit as important as fixing houses and rebuilding the CBD.

All Souls’ Day: Monday 2 November, Masses at 10:00 am and 7:00 pm. These are important pastoral Masses at which we offer the comfort of the resurrection hope to those who mourn, as we pray for the souls that are dear to the heart of this parish. Both Masses include the reading of the names of the departed. Please check the draft copies today and make any corrections or additions. Print the name, with your own name in brackets. Please use the list for the Mass you will be attending. There is also a list of names for which we have no contact person—put your name beside any of these that you wish to see retained. The lists are long as we include those whose funerals have been here in recent years, as well as former parishioners and immediate family or close friends.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky

Parish Notices

Help for the City Mission: the Mission has called for a clothing and furniture drive to replenish stock in their Op Shops, as they are desperately short of all basic household items for people in need. These can be collected (365 0635) or taken to 276 Hereford St or any Great Opportunity Shop.
Sales Table: in the hall after Mass. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
Taizé: Ginny Comery’s daughter Liz will be coming to play the flute at tonight’s service. All welcome.
• There is a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
• The Bible Study Group meets tomorrow 7:15 pm in the staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
• The Vestry meets on Tuesday, beginning with Mass at 7:00 pm.
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
Meditation Group meets next on 9 November, not 2 November (All Souls’). Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
Celebrating the Gospel in the Market Place: Mark Powell, CEO The Warehouse, speaks at Evening Prayer at the Cathedral today 4:30 pm, followed by discussion with Bishop Victoria and Ngaire Button. Details Michael Graveston.
Te Waiora Annual Thanksgiving Service: next Sunday, 2:30 pm Darfield Baptist Church, 15 Greendale Road. Speaker Revd Kevin Tapper.
Organ/Guitar Recital: Eric and Mark Apperley. Next Sunday, 3:00 pm at S. Michael’s. Koha to the Organ Fund.
Convenor required (male or female) for the flower-arranging group. This involves compiling and emailing the roster twice a year (model provided), notifying the Trumpet three times a year about donations for festivals, and being the contact person for the parish office. Details Jill Woodside (338 9590).
• The Needlework Group meets monthly, details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
Book Swap: modern books available for exchange, Sundays in the parish hall and weekdays in the lounge. Koha to parish funds.
Inasmuch Basket: please continue to support the City Mission with groceries etc.