Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2012


Buildings have been the overwhelming motif of year so far. Putting them up. Caring for them. Insuring them. Thinking about knocking them down. The problem we have in the Diocese of Dunedin is  a larger number of unreinforced masonry buildings than any other diocese in the country and a decreasing pool of people willing and able to look after them all. Although we weren't directly affected by earthquakes in the past year, we have, like everyone else in the country, been affected by the consequences of Christchurch's disaster in the form of increased insurance premiums and the prospect of seismic strengthening. Our insurers, EIG Ansvar, pulled out of the New Zealand Insurance market at the end of last year and now, nearly four months later, we are still in negotiation with brokers concerning what we are to do next. Over the past few months I have learned more about insurance than I ever really wanted to know, and I won't bore you with it all here other than to state the ob

A Lenten Pilgrimage

A week or two ago I listened to a talk given by Judy Ringland-Stewart about her daily prayer walks. Every day she takes an hour or so to follow a path from the house she shares with John and their children, though the forest, along the beaches and up to the summits of  the Otago Peninsula. These daily walks are a kind of pilgrimage; an engagement with her surroundings as places of wonder and beauty in their own right but also as an encounter with God. There was a sense of passion and integrity and connection about what she was saying that made me immediately think of two things. Firstly I thought of my own almost daily walks on the same peninsula, albeit on the other side of the harbour. Clemency and I walk whenever we can for all the usual reasons: for the companionship of a shared activity for an hour or so;  for fitness and postponing the inevitable consequences of aging; for the sheer enjoyment of  this ancient, weathered, once was volcano; (the photo at the top of  this pos