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.