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Showing posts from January, 2015


Recently I deconsecrated the church of the Holy Trinity in Lawrence. This small brick church is very pretty and contains some remarkable objects. A small pipe organ for example, and a beautiful brass altar cross given by the second bishop of Dunedin, Isaac Richards, in memory of his two sons killed in the first world war. But most interesting is the font. This is a plain piece of worked limestone about a metre high. Around the base is an inscription in Latin, the translation of which is "Jesus is the name which is above all names". It has a wooden lid and the bowl is lined with a light metal, perhaps zinc. It is quite unremarkable except for one thing: its age. This font is about a thousand years old. It is Norman, and would have been made in England or France at about the time of the  conquest in 1066, when the new regime in England had a flurry of church building as part of their colonising strategy. The bowl and base are made from Caen stone, a French limestone in com

Co-operative loopholes.

I was intrigued to read Bosco Peter's Liturgy website this morning and see this post . Basically Bosco is saying that Anglican Priests serving in Co-operating Parishes (those in which several denominations join together as one congregation) give precedent for people who wish to circumvent the constitution of the Anglican church by, for example, performing a blessing service for a same sex couple. As bishop my heart sinks a little when Bosco opens this can of worms - or more exactly draws attention to a can of worms that has been open since the early 1970s - but as a priest and a Christian and a human being I loudly applaud him. My first two parishes (Waihao and St. Francis', Hillcrest) were both Cooperating Parishes combining Presbyterian, Anglican and Methodist elements in one church. At a congregational, everyday level these worked pretty well. At an administrative level they were a nightmare, and my failure to live with the difficulties imposed on us by our parent denom


I don't like giving photos twee titles. In fact I hate that practice with a passion. But, against all my instincts I call this Birds with Truck, because although the truck is obvious the birds aren't and I want people to see them . This is a crop from a bigger picture. When I took it with a long lens I was  interested in the sky and I didn't notice the birds. Turns out they are the best bit . And none of this has anything in the slightest to do with what follows Sunday. I was up at dawn and got my duty to God and his church finished early. Other people in our house, having just come back from Christchurch late last night, rose later. They were wandering round in dressing gowns and making coffee, so I took Noah outside. I let him go where he wanted and do whatever he wished while I played guardian angel. He kicked a ball, pushed his car around for a bit and then made a beeline for the gate while I hovered. "Door, door," he said, rattling the gate. His intenti


Remember going to the movies in the old days? Before the feature they had the shorts: little cartoons or documentary films or trailers for the next feature or an episode of a Hopalong Cassidy serial. Well here's the blog equivalent: a few little items which don't really deserve a whole post to themselves The Hobbit.  I went to see the third Hobbit movie the other night. Well, I'd seen the other two, so I  had to, really.  Martin Freeman is an excellent actor and the visual effects were pretty good, but as I was expecting, this was one of the most forgettable movies I've ever seen, so 6 lines is about as much of a review as it deserves. In brief: 144 minutes. No memorable characters. No plot.  Basically the 2 hours and 24 minutes went like this: A dragon sets fire to a town. A bloke shoots it. There's this humungous pile of gold. A whole lot of people fight over it. The good guys win. The end. (c) Somebody other than me Music . My daughter Catherine left f

East West...

  On any pilgrimage, the return journey is as important as the long soulful slog to the holy destination. To reach the goal and savour it is all we focus on as we march imperceptibly onwards. But once there, we turn and retrace our steps, hurriedly and practically. We return to our ordinary lives and the journey back is a transition, a moving back from one reality to another; we move from the holy to the mundane in a little anti pilgrimage.   So on boxing day we headed South, past Kawakawa with its famous toilets .  When I first met Clemency she sang in a folk group with Paula Feather. Paula's sister lived with Friedensreich Hundertwasser , the Austrian artist who once lived in Kawakawa and built the town's loos. With a close personal link like that (I'm astounded I wasn't mentioned in his will), of course we had to stop and take a look. I felt a little odd walking into a public toilet with a large and obvious camera, but the place was crowded and everyone wa