The Last Leg

Bay of Islands. Shot taken from the same boat that will transport us to Oihi Bay

On Thursday at 6 am we'll be leaving for the Bay of Islands. We're crossing with the caravan on the 6:30 am Ferry from Picton to Wellington on Friday and, on Friday night, we should be in Auckland  where we'll meet Catherine, newly arrived from England. We'll be in Waitangi on Saturday and take part in the service at Oihi Bay on Sunday morning. Then there is the most leisurely lead up to Christmas I will have experienced since 1979, before we are part of the huge gathering at the Marsden Cross on Christmas Day.

This is the last leg of our Diocesan Pilgrimage. In this last fortnightof Advent we will complete by car the journey we made by foot and bicycle way back in Lent. It's important for me to carry Te Harinui to Waitangi and to Oihi Bay.

I am so looking forward to being on the open road with the whole length of the country before me; to see my lovely girl again; to be in the Bay of Islands and to see old and dear friends. More so, I want to be there and carry my diocese to this once in a lifetime celebration; to acknowledge Marsden and Ruatara and the three vulnerable little families, the Kendals, Halls and Kings, who, 200 years ago,  made such an extraordinary act of courage and faith.

But before then there is so much to be done. There is the family Christmas stuff - presents and cards and letters - which I haven't even begun to think about yet. There are some pressing diocesan matters; I'll be spending most of the day at my computer. There is the rest of the years work to be shoehorned into the next five days as well as preparing the house for those who will be here and packing the caravan and planning for an as yet undecided route home.

 We'll meander from Waitangi to Wellington visiting various friends and relatives, cross Cook Straight on New Years Eve, spend some time in Nelson where my sister has lent us her lovely house and then home via the West Coast (?) a week or so into January, to be ready for my first diocesan appointment of the year, in Lawrence on the 11th.

 Stewart Island, March 13 2014

Marsden Cross, our destination for Christmas Day


Dear Bishop Kelvin, please bear our love. our aroha, to our dear friends in the North. For those of us who would find it difficult to attend the Celebrations; will you be our representative?

Our Prayers will go with you.

Fr. Ron, SMAA