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Showing posts from May, 2016


A beautiful morning on El Camino Santiago Today I wrote to Archbishop Phillip and informed him of my intention to resign as Bishop of Dunedin on Easter Monday, April 17 2017. I also informed our Diocesan Registrar and the Diocesan Council. I am giving this amount of notice because we need to make some very important decisions as a diocese.  In my opinion (and actually, in this matter my opinion isn't the one that counts, but still...) the diocese should not be subject to a long interregnum and to make an appointment as soon after my departure as possible we would need to set processes in motion in the not too distant future. Further, some very careful thought needs to be given as to how we will pay for episcopal ministry in the future and maybe some hard choices and some innovations may need to be made. Clemency and I drove to Invercargill and back on Sunday for Evening Church in All Saints Gladstone. The church was pleasantly full and the service was pleasantly informal. As


My daughter Catherine gave me a late birthday present today: a sensory deprivation session at FloatFix . It's not something I would have chosen myself, but she knows I practice meditation, and she is prone to thinking outside the square... WAY outside the square... so the little gift voucher arrived a month or so ago, and today I used it. The idea is to float, in the dark, wearing earplugs, in a tank of water that is saturated with epsom salts and heated to body temperature. In that environment you are almost weightless and, without any sensory input, able to relax in a way not possible anywhere else. And after a week of General Synod, well, this morning relaxing seemed a pretty good idea. FloatFix is at the very bottom of Hanover St., nearly next door to Anglican Family Care. I arrived on time at 9.30, and was pleased to see that it all looked modern and clean and well laid out. A helpful bloke showed me to a  smallish room in which there was a shower and a sci-fi looking

Pulling Together

Every morning at General Synod, at about sunrise, I went for a walk, with my camera, along the beautiful Napier foreshore.  Our church, the Anglican Church, is peculiarly English, and that is a good thing, even for someone like me born as far from England as it's possible to get. England, when the Reformation came knocking at the door, had a long history of accommodating difference and combining constituent parts into a greater whole. England itself was an amalgam of many smaller kingdoms, cobbled together for pragmatism's sake. And consider, also,  the English language: that hotchpotch of Norman French, and Viking, and Germanic, and Latin, and goodness knows what else, that has been brewed together over the years, and been stirred and sifted by Cranmer and Shakespeare, to result in one of the world's great treasures, the official language of 60 different nations and the unofficial Lingua Franca of the world. So there are no surprises then that the English, faced

2 More Years

An autumn leaf, the evidence of the death whereby the grapevine lives and bears fruit There are 31,102 verses in the Bible, or at least in the Protestant version of it which the conservative section of our church recognises. Of these, there are 6 verses which explicitly condemn homosexual practice. The best scholars in the Christian world have pointed out the ambiguity of even these scraps of scripture, but this does not prevent their becoming the basis of an antipathy to contemporary same gender sexuality which I was repeatedly told, during General Synod, was "First Order". I'm not sure what "First Order" means exactly, but I was told that this is a "Salvation Matter". So, presumably, holding a proper view on homosexuality is right up there in importance with belief in the doctrines I would consider foundational for the Christian faith: namely the Holy Trinity, Incarnation and Resurrection. In any event, antipathy to homosexuality has already


On Wednesdays we have a Eucharist in the office. Anybody who wants to come is welcome to join us, but mostly it is just Ginny, Debbie, Alec and me. Today I was a minute or two early. I sat at the low round table,where the wine and the bread had been placed amongst the pamphlets and educational brochures, and flicked idly through the prayer book I had taken at random from the box. I realised that this was one of my own - or to be honest, one of Clemency's - that had somehow got mixed into the office stock. It looked like it had hardly ever been used, but tucked into the funeral service was a little sheaf of papers: my notes from a funeral I had conducted in Hamilton in 1994. 22 years ago a baby had died. She was only 18 days old. There was an outline of the eulogy I delivered, and the name of the hymn we sang. There was a sheet taken from a letter pad on which I had made notes during my conversation with her family. And there was another sheet, written in an unfamiliar woman