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Showing posts from August, 2017


I spent most of this week conducting a Special Character review of Craighead Diocesan School. This morning I dropped my colleague, Anne, at Timaru airport around 6.00 am and then drove South. When the sun rose, I was in my old Parish, and passed the ponds on the farm that used to belong to John and Erena Hay, so stopped briefly to take a nostalgic photo. Craighead is a simply stunning school. Tucked away in a quiet suburb of Timaru it has been a girl's school since 1911 and an Anglican one since 1926. The old buildings are tastefully and practically modernised and a confidence in the school's future has seen them continually upgraded. The guys in hi-viz vests are still putting the finishing touches to the latest iteration of that development, a new gymnasium sports fields and classroom blocks. At the heart of the school is the chapel whose dramatic modernist stained-glass window is East facing and therefore catches the rising sun every morning when the girls file in for

Patmos is Just Around The Corner

For years, I now realise, I have studied the New Testament, but not actually read it. Every time I've sat down with those familiar passages, as I have done pretty much every day for decades, it has been with a  text divided up into chapters and verses by Erasmus 1500 or so years after they were written. Every version of the Bible I own, except one, has copious footnotes and cross references to which I turn when befuddled. So now, I am reading it, not studying it, in the exception, my one version from which all that stuff has been deleted. It's just me and these old words. I'm reading each of the documents of the New Testament in one sitting, and leaving a few days between each one to give a bit of thinking space. This morning it was Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians, so Philippians will roll around on Saturday or Sunday. I'll be finished by the end of the month, I think. What has been left out by omitting the divisions in the text and the explanatory material is

Keeping Honest.

Therefore, you are without excuse, whoever you are that judge; for in that which your judge the other, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things.   St. Paul. The Epistle to the Romans .  When I was 20 or so, I rose one morning at about 10 am, more than a little worse for wear. When I eventually managed to dress and find my way outside I discovered that my motorbike was damaged. The handlebars were bent, the headlight broken and it was quite badly scraped along one side of the tank. I had no idea what had happened. The last I remembered it was late in the afternoon, and all day I had been drinking with friends in a pub in Sumner. Now it was next day and I was in my flat in St. Albans, on the other side of town, realising I had, apparently, ridden home through peak hour traffic dead drunk, coming off the bike at some stage; and I remembered nothing about any of it. Still don't. I could tell some other stories from that stage of my life, many of them

Deep Music

For He can well be loved, but he cannot be thought. By love he can be grasped and held, but by thought, neither grasped nor held.  Ada has been told that today Amma and Pappa will be here. So as soon as she wakes she pushes her little pyjama clad body behind the blind, so she can see out the window, down the drive to the road from which we will emerge. Her whole little self; her dark brown eyes sing a song of hope and expectation.  We are texted the photo and hasten our progress Northwards. Deep calls to deep.  I  awake at 6 am in the guest bedroom with the gentle rhythm of Clemency's sleeping breath playing counterpoint to the tattoo of the rain on the roof.  Through the walls I hear a conversation; the words are inaudible but the shape and timbre of the voices forms a soft melody. My son in law is making his breakfast and Noah has risen to be with him. A soft, piping of enquiry and exclamation. A muted thrum of strength constrained to gentleness. I hear nurtur