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Showing posts from May, 2011


 I have been taking some photographs of late and I'll share a few here.  This is a detail of the Balclutha Presbyterian Church. I liked the way the red brick contrasted so strongly with the green of the shrub, and the way the little blue shapes in the window seemed, quite accidentally, to give a nice counterpoint to the rounded shrub.  This is a detail from a boatshed near my home. The harbour was still and clear this morning, and I strolled along the shoreline looking for just this sort of shot.  The sun was reflecting of the buildings on the other other side making these dramatic stripey lines Last week I went to Doctor's Point, just North of Dunedin on another still clear Monday. This is a bit of a huckery old boat, but I liked the way thediagonals of the ropes interacted with the diagonal of the bow.   I was very taken with this little group of trees and took several shots By and large, I prefer this one with its invitation to the wide open horizon. These are quite


A lamp on the Cluth River bridge, Balclutha. Photograph taken during the creative spirituality session led by Cushla McMillan, Ministry School 2011 I spent most of last week in Balclutha with some of our Diocese's leaders at our bienniel ministry school. Balclutha is a no nonsense little working town plonked down on the banks of the Clutha river. It's the sort of place where people come to live for a while and move on, so the St. Mark's Anglican church faces the constant problem of losing its leadership. Not the Vicar, you understand. Graham Langley has been priest of the parish of Balclutha since he arrived from South Africa in 1989, but the lay leadership displays a propensity to move on which is probably unparalleled in our diocese. Despite this, Graham and his wife Rose have built a vibrant, enthusiastic, energetic community of faith whose robustness is reflected in the St. Mark's parish buildings. The church and its adjoining hall is comfortably and tastefully fur


This picture doesnt have anything to do with what follows. Its an old one and I like it. Last time I was in supervision, about a week or so ago, Paul gave me a metaphor that I have been carrying with me and thinking about ever since. He said that organisations - all of them, marriages, families, parishes, dioceses, companies, nations, whatever - were like giant jig saw puzzles, each member being a piece and each member fitting into the space that is most suited for it. Each member meshes with the pieces all around and makes a contribution to the whole pattern of the organisation. But the pieces are fluid; they are plastic; they are capable of taking on an infinite variety of shapes, like amoebas. So an organisation is like a giant jig saw puzzle made of amoebas. Change the shape of one amoeba piece and all the other pieces around it must change to accommodate the change, and the pieces that touch the newly changed pieces must in their turn change, with changes being transmitted right a

Pilgrimage 2: Gold rush

We have an uncanny power in our diocese. Wherever and whenever we hold our annual synod, it snows. And now, we have discovered, wherever and whenever we hold a leg of our pilgrimage, the weather is perfect. I am still investigating the obvious marketing opportunities this presents us, but until the deals with farmers, wedding planners, ski fields and umbrella manufacturers are finalised we put these powers to our own use. Such as this last weekend, when a few of us journeyed on pilgrimage from Milton to Lawrence, retracing the steps of those who in their quest for riches left such an imprint on the geography, architecture, culture and spirituality of New Zealand. There weren't a lot of us this time, as one of the Queen's grandsons had, apparently, chosen that Friday to get married and  there were a couple of important sporting fixtures that needed monitoring. But thirteen of us sat down to dinner in St. John's Milton and seventeen of us took a little yellow bus up the road

Gabriel's Gully

This is the place where the Otago goldrush started. There's still some gold there, but not enough to give up your day job for. Nowdays it's a secluded place at the end of a short track. There is a pond created by the frenzied search for instant riches, walking tracks and everywhere the descendants of the plants carried along as baggage by the miners for food, as raw materials and as reminders of home.