jump to navigation

New Year’s Honours for NZ Archbishop: The Church of England Newspaper, January 17, 2014 January 16, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags:
comments closed

The former Archbishop of New Zealand has been made a knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the Anglican Church in the New Year’s Honours List.

Ordained in 1978, the Rt. Rev. David Moxon was consecrated as Bishop of Waikato in 1993 and elected Archbishop of New Zealand in 2006 and named co-primate of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia in 2008. He resigned his see last year and was appointed by Archbishop Rowan Williams as director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s personal emissary to the Vatican.

Archbishop Moxon serves as co-chair of the third International Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and is an honorary fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford.

Census reports 17% decline in 7 years for NZ Anglicans: The Church of England Newspaper, December 20, 2013 January 5, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags:
comments closed

The number of New Zealand Anglicans has fallen by 17 per cent over the past seven years, giving the Anglican Church of Aotearoa/Polynesia the distinction of being the fastest declining member of the Anglican Communion.

Census data on Religious Affiliation released on 10 Dec 2013 by Statistics New Zealand reported Anglicans had lost their top spot as the country’s largest denomination – a position held since census figures on religion were first tabulated in New Zealand — and are now second to the Roman Catholic Church in terms of membership.

The number of Catholics fell from 508,812 in the 2006 census to 491,421 in 2013, but this total left that church with approximately 40,000 more members than the Anglican Church. During the same period Anglicans in New Zealand declined from 554,925 to 459,771, or 17 per cent. The Episcopal Church of the USA, divided by schisms and litigation, declined on 12 per cent during the same period, from 2,154,572 to 1,894,181members.

The number of those reporting “no religion” remained the largest category of respondent with the 2006 number of 1.297 million rising to 1.635 million in 2013, climbing from 32.2 per cent to 38.6 per cent of the population. In 1956 more than 90 per cent of New Zealanders identified themselves as Christian.

In his Advent letter to the church, Archbishop Phillip Richardson wrote the census figures “contains few surprises. Not even the decline in Anglican affiliation should catch us unawares. These trends liberate us from notions of self-importance and turn us back to our fundamental calling.”

He added that “they also situate our Church more on the margins of our society, where we really belong.”

“My immediate response, then, is thankfulness to God that we are being refined, called to repentance and to a refocusing of our mission,” he said adding that “following Jesus has always been fundamentally counter-cultural. And the Church has always been most authentically the Body of Christ when it is salt and leaven rather than the ‘religious’ dimension of modern society.”

“Our Church may be smaller numerically, but we may also be more authentically Christ’s Church as we recover our saltiness and become real leaven,” Archbishop Richardson said.

NZ Supreme Court permits demolition of Christchurch Cathedral: The Church of England Newspaper, December 6, 2013 December 9, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: ,
comments closed

New Zealand’s Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) which had asked the court to block the demolition of earthquake ravaged Christ Church Cathedral.

On 2 December 2013 the court held the GCBT had not shown the lower Court of Appeal decision permitting the cathedral’s demolition had been in error.

The underlying issues were of ”great general importance to the citizens of Christchurch” arising from the “history, function and iconic nature of the Cathedral. However, in this case nothing that has been raised on behalf of the applicant reaches the threshold of showing that the decisions of the courts below may be in error,” the court held. The New Zealand Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court decision allowing the Church Property Trustees (CPT) of the Diocese of Christchurch to demolish the earthquake damaged cathedral.

On 22 Feb 2011 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake toppled the 132 year old cathedral’s Gothic spire and collapsed part of the roof. Earthquakes in June and December caused further significant damage leaving the building in ruins. On 2 March 2012 the Rt Rev Victoria Matthews announced the cathedral would be demolished as rebuilding would cost NZ $50 million more than would be received from the proceeds of the insurance settlement.

The GCBT led by former MP Jim Anderton protested the decision and asked the High Court to cancel the demolition and order the church to rebuild the damaged cathedral. However High Court Justice Lester Chisholm ruled the church was entitled to deconstruct the cathedral, but only if it built a new cathedral on the same site. The GCBT challenged this decision in the Court of Appeal, and on 15 Nov 2012 the High Court issued an interim judgment halting demolition until Court of Appeal reviewed its findings. In July the Court of Appeal denied GCBT’s petition, prompting it to take its case to the Supreme Court.

No right to ordination, tribunal rules: The Church of England Newspaper, October 25, 2013 October 25, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

The Anglican Church of New Zealand is exempt from laws banning discrimination against homosexuals, the Human Rights Review Tribunal ruled last week.

On 18 October 2013 the tribunal ruled the Bishop of Auckland, the Rt. Rev. Ross Bay, had not violated the country’s Human Rights laws by refusing to allow Eugene Sisneros to begin the ordination process.

Bishop Bay had declined to permit Mr. Sisneros from entering the process because he was in a same-sex partnership, and as such, did not meet the church’s requirement that aspirants be chaste.

Mr. Sisneros, a lay employee of St. Matthews-in-the-City in Auckland, responded by filing a complaint stating he “felt totally humiliated that I had spent six years of my life in study, for a process that I was not permitted to enter because I was a gay man and in a relationship.”

New Zealand’s Human Rights Act 1993 forbids discrimination in employment on the grounds of sexual orientation. However Part 2 Section 28 of the Act permits “exceptions for purposes of religion” and allows “different treatment based on religious or ethical belief” by churches in the employment of clergy.

In its decision, the tribunal held the church did not breach the Human Rights Act because it was complying with its own exceptions, and its denial of Mr. Sisnernos’ candidacy was allowed under Section 28 of the Act. “The Human Rights Act 1993 allows exceptions to some discrimination laws, including where organised religions are following their doctrine.”

“The Tribunal is not asked to deliberate on what the rules, doctrines or established customs within the Anglican Church are, or ought to be,” it held.

Bishop Bay welcomed the ruling, telling Radio New Zealand the decision balanced individual human rights with the autonomous nature of the Church, in a way that ensures freedom of religion.

Mr. Sisneros has a right to appeal the ruling.

No right to ordination for gay man, Human Rights Tribunal rules: Anglican Ink, October 19, 2013 October 19, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Ink, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue.
Tags: ,
comments closed

The New Zealand Human Rights Review Tribunal has dismissed a complaint accusing the Bishop of Auckland of discrimination against homosexuals.

On 18 October 2013 the tribunal ruled the Bishop of Auckland, the Rt. Rev. Ross Bay, had not violated the country’s Human Rights laws by refusing to allow Eugene Sisneros to begin the ordination process on because he is in a same-sex partnership.

Mr. Sisneros, a lay employee of St. Matthews-in-the-City in Auckland, filed a complaint with the tribunal stating he “felt totally humiliated that I had spent six years of my life in study, for a process that I was not permitted to enter because I was a gay man and in a relationship,” adding “My humiliation and disappointment continue to this day.”\

Read it all at Anglican Ink.

Overseas bishop to lead loyalist faction in San Joaquin: Anglican Ink, September 29, 2013 September 30, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Ink, San Joaquin.
Tags: ,
comments closed

The Bishop of Waiapu has been tapped to be the next Provisional Bishop of San Joaquin, the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia’s press office has announced.

The Rt. Rev. David Rice is expected to take up his post following confirmation by the diocesan synod. An American expatriate, Bishop Rice was born in North Carolina and trained for the ministry at Duke University Divinity School. He was ordained deacon in 1989 and elder in 1991 in the United Methodist Church in Western North Carolina and served congregations in  the state from 1989 to 1997. From 1991-93 Bishop Rice led a congregation in New Zealand and returned to the country in 1997 to be ordained a deacon and priest in the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch.

After entering the Anglican Church the bishop served as a parish priest and was appointed Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in Dunedin in 2002.  In 2008 Bishop Rice was elected Bishop of the Diocese of Waiapu on New Zealand’s North Island.  He also was one of four candidates who stood for election as Bishop of Southwest Virginia in March 2013.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

English female priest elected bishop in New Zealand: The Church of England Newspaper, September 13, 2013 p 6. September 12, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper, Women Priests.
Tags: ,
comments closed

Bishop-elect Helen-Ann Hartley of Waikato

An English female priest has been elected Bishop of Waikato in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

The Rev. Dr. Helen-Ann Hartley will become the first woman priest ordained in the Church of England to become a bishop in the Anglican Communion. Bishop-elect Hartley will join the Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Christchurch, as one of two women bishops in New Zealand, and the provinces third female bishop.  In 1990 the Rt. Rev. Penelope Jamieson became the Communion’s first female bishop when she was elected Bishop of Dunedin.

At her election, Dr. Hartley (40) was the dean of students at St John’s College in Auckland. Ordained in 2005 in the Diocese of Oxford, she served her curacy as part of a team ministry in the diocese, before being appointed Director of Biblical Studies and a lecturer in New Testament at Ripon College, Cuddesdon.  In 2010, Dr. Hartley moved to St John’s College in Auckland to conduct research and was appointed dean in 2013.

As Bishop of Waikato, she will be one of two co-equal bishops in the Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki – sharing episcopal jurisdiction over the diocese with the Bishop of Taranaki, the Most Rev. Philip Richardson – who also serves as Archbishop of New Zealand and co-Primate of the province.

The New Zealand church’s provincial news website quoted the new bishop as saying “I am greatly looking forward to putting on my tramping shoes and gumboots, and getting to know people where they are, finding out more about the landscapes and industries that are integral to life and ministry in the diocese.

English women priest elected co-bishop in New Zealand: Anglican Ink, September 10, 2013 September 12, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Ink, Women Priests.
Tags: ,
comments closed

New Zealand has elected the first female priest of the Church of England to the episcopate. On 7 Sept 2013 the Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki elected the Rev. Dr. Helen-Ann Hartley (40) to be Bishop of Waikato.

Bishop-elect Hartley will join the Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Christchurch, as one of two women bishops in New Zealand, and the province’s third female bishop.  In 1990 the Rt. Rev. Penelope Jamieson became the Communion’s first female bishop when she was elected Bishop of Dunedin, New Zealand.

Born in Edinburgh and reared in Northeast England, at the time of her election, Dr. Hartley served as dean of students at St John’s College in Auckland. Ordained in 2005 in the Diocese of Oxford, she served her curacy as part of a rural team ministry before being appointed Director of Biblical Studies and lecturer in New Testament at Ripon College, Cuddesdon.  In 2010, Dr. Hartley and her husband, a church musician, moved to St John’s College to conduct research and she was appointed dean in 2013.

Read it all at Anglican Ink.

Auckland Synod rejects gay marriage: Anglican Ink, September 7, 2013 September 8, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Ink, Marriage.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

The Rt Rev Ross Bay, Bishop of Auckland

Lay delegates to the Auckland Synod have blocked the diocese from moving forward with gay marriages.

On 7 September 2013 delegates to the 54th meeting of the diocesan synod split over Motion 6, which would have begun the process towards gay marriage by changing the canons and creating same-sex marriage liturgies.

The bishop and assistant bishop gave their assent to the motion, while the clergy voted 80 in favor, 44 opposed and 4 abstained. However in the lay order the motion failed to break the 50 percent threshold. While 72 delegates voted in favor, 65 were opposed and 8 abstained – giving 73 “no” votes.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 78, August 9, 2013 August 10, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of North America, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican.TV, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Property Litigation, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe.

STORY INDEX:

Silly Story Month 00:00
News from Sydney 08:06
Egypt and Zanzibar 12:06
AS Haley 18:03
Peter Ould 32:42
Closing and Outtakes 40:51

Court of Appeals OKs Christchurch demolition: Church of England Newspaper, August 4, 2013 p 6. August 8, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags:
comments closed

The New Zealand Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court decision allowing the Church Property Trustees (CPT) of the Diocese of Christchurch to demolish the earthquake damaged cathedral.

On 22 Feb 2011 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake toppled the 132 year old cathedral’s Gothic spire and collapsed part of the reef. Further earthquakes in June and December caused further significant damage leaving the building in ruins. On 2 March 2012 the Rt Rev Victoria Matthews announced the cathedral would be demolished as rebuilding would cost NZ $50 million more than would be received from the proceeds of the insurance settlement.

A civic group, Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT), led by former MP Jim Anderton, protested the decision and asked the High Court to cancel the demolition and order the church to rebuild the damaged cathedral.

However High Court Justice Lester Chisholm ruled the church was entitled to deconstruct the damaged 132-year-old cathedral, but only if it built a new cathedral on the same site. The GCBT challenged this decision in the Court of Appeal, and on 15 Nov 2012 the High Court issued an interim judgment halting demolition until Court of Appeal reviewed its findings.

Bishop Matthews applauded last week’s decision, but declined to discuss future plans as several legal issues remain before the High Court, including whether all insurance proceeds must be used for rebuilding, or whether some portion of the funds may be used to build a temporary “cardboard” cathedral.

Mr Anderton said his group would consult with their solicitors to determine what options remained open to them to block demolition.

Ma Whea Commission gives interim report on same-sex blessings: The Church of England Newspaper, June 23. 2013, p 7. June 27, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: ,
comments closed

A church commission studying the question of same-sex blessings has received almost 200 submissions its chairman, former Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand, said in a video report given to the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Formed by the 2012 meeting of General Synod the Ma Whea Commission comprising Sir Anand, Justice Judith Potter, Professor Paul Trebilco,  Mele Tailai, and Sir Tamati Reedy was tasked with offering the 2014 meeting of synod a way forward in debating the issue of homosexuality.

The commission will not make recommendations on how to resolve the divisions within the church but will offer “pathways, and what may be involved in following them our remit is also aside from the matter of same-gender marriage.”

In his update Sir Anand said the commission has clarified its thinking and prepared a strucuture on “how we will canvas the scriptural and doctrinal issues, the canons, (matters of) church governance, societal attitudes, scientific research and the human rights dimensions of these matters….”

Anglican Unscripted, Episode 71, May 10. 2013 May 14, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Church of North America, Anglican.TV, Los Angeles, Property Litigation, Quincy, San Joaquin, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: , ,
comments closed


In this week’s Episode your host talk about the latest legal heartbreak in California. Also this week, there is late breaking international news about a Bishop who accidentally invokes Scripture. AU’s Legal segment covers all of the court cases in the US, and Kevin interviews David Jenkins about his lawsuit from Bishop Byrd. #AU71 Comments: AnglicanUnscripted@gmail.com

NZ human rights tribunal to review Anglican ban on gay clergy: The Church of England Newspaper, May 12, 2013 p 6 May 14, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

And unsuccessful aspirant for holy orders has filed a complaint with the New Zealand Human Rights Review Tribunal accusing the Bishop of Auckland of discrimination against homosexuals. Eugene Sisneros, an employee of St Matthew in the City in Auckland, has alleged that Bishop Ross Bay violated the country’s Human Rights laws by refusing to allow him to begin the ordination process because he is in a same-sex partnership.

In his Statement of Claim, plaintiff said he “felt totally humiliated that I had spent six years of my life in study, for a process that I was not permitted to enter because I was a gay man and in a relationship” noting: “My humiliation and disappointment continue to this day.”

New Zealand’s Human Rights Act 1993 forbids discrimination in employment on the grounds of sexual orientation. However Part 2 Section 28 of the Act permits“exceptions for purposes of religion” and allows “different treatment based on religious or ethical belief” by churches in the employment of clergy.

Bishop Bay told One News on 5 May 2013 the man had been turned away from the ordination process

“by reason of the defendant not being chaste in terms of canons of the Anglican Church.”  The New Zealand church follows the guidelines reiterated by Lambeth 1998 resolution 1.10 and understands the chaste relationship to be marriage between a man and a woman or celibacy in singleness.

In a comment posted on twitter New Zealand Anglican blogger the Rev Peter Carrell argued were the plaintiff successful in his lawsuit he had overcome the problem that “there is no mechanism to force a Bishop to ordain” someone “if the bishop does not want to do that” under the church’s canons.

Decisions reached by human rights review tribunal can be appealed to higher tribunals, but their decisions are legally enforceable.

Rebuilding options for Christchurch Cathedral unveiled:The Church of England Newspaper, April 21, 2013 6. April 24, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags:
comments closed

A straw poll of delegates to the 13 April 2013 meeting of Christchurch diocesan Synod has voted to support a proposal to rebuild the city’s earthquake ravaged Cathedral using a contemporary design.

Last week the Diocese of Christchurch and its Church Property Trustees unveiled three designs: a full restoration of the original Nineteenth century gothic cathedral, rebuilding the Cathedral according to its original specifications but using modern construction materials, or a contemporary new design.

A show of hands from the approximately 200 members of the synod presence showed overwhelming support the contemporary design due to its cheaper cost, modern look, and the symbolism of a re-born diocese.

The diocese reports the “praying hands” style Cathedral would feature a restored rose window on the western glass wall, and a glass and steel bell tower. Estimated to cost between NZ $56 million to NZ $74 million the rebuilding project is expected to take from 5 to 10 years. Earthquake insurance payments will contribute NZ $30 million towards the cost of rebuilding.

Christchurch’s Church Property Trustees will make a final decision as to the form the new Cathedral will take. It has launched a website www.cathedralconversations.org.nz  to solicit feedback and community on its wishes as well. A series of public forums led by Bishop Victoria Matthews is scheduled for the coming weeks to present options to the wider community. Comments posted at the website indicated majority of the public like the contemporary design also.

 

Easter messages from across the Communion: The Church of England Newspaper, April 7, 2013 p 6. April 9, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Church of North America, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Church of Ireland, Church of Nigeria, Church of the Province of Uganda, Church of the Province of West Africa, Scottish Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

Easter messages from the overseas leaders of the Anglican Communion sounded a common theme this year of hope and joy. While the archbishops of the church touched upon issues of local concern, each spoke to the victory of Christ over death and the grave.

The Archbishop of Uganda Stanley Ntagali urged Christians not to lose heart in the face of economic and political uncertainties. “There could be social pressures in the country and many people might have lost hope. Many people no longer trust fellow human beings, but let the risen Lord Jesus whose victory over death we are celebrating this Easter give us a new hope.”

He also warned of the dangers of alcohol. “I urge our people not to celebrate [Easter] by drinking. They should go to church and worship the Lord and return home. This a time to repent and make our homes, offices, schools and business places more enjoyable and suitable to glorify God who gave us the greatest gift of salvation through his Son Jesus Christ,” he noted.

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council, also spoke of the joy found in life in Christ. “In his resurrection from the dead there is the glorious ‘yes’ of the fulfilment, actual and yet to come, of the promises and purposes of God. Through repentance and faith we share in his risen life and at its heart, our calling is to simply say the ‘Amen’ and glorify the God who has triumphed over sin and death.”

The GAFCON leader also urged Christians to reject the “ungodly innovations” coming from Western liberal churches which seek to “substitute human effort and speculation for divine grace and revealed truth.  It is a profound contradiction to say this ‘Amen’ and then go on, as some do, to deny the real physical resurrection of Jesus.”

When Christians say ‘no’ to false teaching it is for the sake of truth. “There can be no more positive a movement than one which gives an unqualified ‘Amen’ to the fulfilment of all God promises in Jesus Christ.”

The Archbishop of West Africa Dr. Tilewa Johnson said the Christian’s response to the sufferings was to turn towards God. “Where to start? We have tools and guidelines to hand. One of the greatest tools we have is prayer. Prayer is a means of communication with God.”

“As with so many things, it requires practice. We know what it is like when we become close to another human being – a husband, wife, brother, sister or close friend. In time it is possible to read their thoughts, and know what they are going to say before they say it. It is the same with God. To sit in the presence of God – maybe in silence; maybe with a few words – it is possible increasingly to come to know God and the will of God. Gradually we know the way to go,” the Gambian archbishop said.

The Primate of All Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh said that when celebrating Easter it was “important” to “re-emphasize the incontrovertible fact that Jesus has risen from the dead and He is alive for ever. Through His resurrection power, therefore we can overcome all sorts of challenges we might have as an individual, as the Church of God and as a Nation.”

The Archbishop called on “all Christians and Nigerians as a whole to reaffirm their trust in God, and in corporate Nigeria.”

“Let us remain resolute and resilient, having our hope in the strength and power of the Almighty God. Our prayer for our country, Nigeria is that we shall overcome the present challenges of lingering insecurity: bloodshed, destruction of lives and property; poverty and political squabbles. We should keep hope alive of a corporate Nigeria,” he said.

Preaching at the Easter Vigil at the Cathedral of St. George the Martyr in Cape Town, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba told the congregation he had just returned from a retreat in “frozen rural North Wales”, staying in an attic room overlooking the Irish Sea in the mountains of Snowdonia.

“I was there to follow the 30-days Full Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola,” he explained “to explore what God was wanting to do in my life.”

But even found that the spiritual journey did not end there as God was leading him “to integrate all I’ve experienced and learnt into my ministry and life” –  “And I certainly came back to find an awful lot had been going on,’ he said.

“The over-riding lesson of my retreat is that God, in his redeeming love, is everywhere. Nothing is beyond his care, or his desire to bring healing and new life to you, to me, to everyone,” the archbishop said.

“If you truly want to know what Easter is all about, look at the places where there are tough challenges, difficult issues, hard wrestling, painful contexts – and where God’s people nonetheless dare to go, and to stay for as long as it takes, witnessing to light and hope and life.” Archbishop Makgoba said.

In in his final Easter message before he retires in July the Archbishop of Sydney Dr Peter Jensen reflected on his tenure in office. “As I think on my time as Archbishop, naturally I look back and try to judge myself – not with much success!” he says. “Like you, I have a real judge. Think how much more God, who knows all the secrets of our hearts, must be able to hold me to account. It should make us tremble.”

But Easter filled him with hope. “What happened at the first Easter reminds me of the love of God. Through the death of Jesus even I, and all of us, can have forgiveness as we turn to him in sorrow and trust him for our lives” he says.

“Our failures are not the last word over our lives. And, through the resurrection of Jesus I have a great and undeserved hope of my own resurrection and future,” Dr. Jensen said.

Archbishop-elect Philip Richardson of New Zealand reminded Kiwi Christians that “life comes out of death; the horror of crucifixion bears the fruit of redeemed and renewed humanity; the worst that we are capable of becomes the access way to that intimacy of relationship with God that Christ makes possible; it is in the bowl and towel of the servant that true power is expressed; it is in losing ourselves that we are found.”

The “heart of the message of Easter,” he observed was not the “passion or the suffering, but the resurrection.”

“As Martin Luther King rightly reminded us, ‘Hate begets hate, anger begets anger, killing only begets more killing. The only thing that can turn an enemy into a friend is the power of love’,” he said.

In a joint message released with the leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church of Canada celebrated the bonds of friendship between the two denominations and also urged Christians to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem”.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori the Episcopal Church stated: “Easter celebrates the victory of light and life over darkness and death.  God re-creates and redeems all life from dead, dry, and destroyed bones.  We are released from the bonds of self-obsession, addiction, and whatever would steal away the radical freedom of God-with-us.”

At Easter “our lives re-center in what is most holy and creative, the new thing God is continually doing in our midst,” she said, “practicing vulnerability toward the need and hunger of others around us” thereby cultivating “compassionate hearts.  We join in baptismal rebirth in the midst of Jesus’ own passing-over.”

The Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, writing from Juba where he was standing holy week with Archbishop Daniel Deng of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, wrote: “This Easter I am looking back,” he said – “I am asking, ‘What does it all mean?’ Whether in Juba or in Pittsburgh – and wherever you find yourself – what I testify is that the Gospel is my strength and my song, and that Jesus has become my salvation.”

“Easter is the day that lights and gives meaning to all the others, wherever I – we – spend it and with whomever I – we – spend it.  The tomb is empty.  The world, the flesh and the devil are defeated.  Jesus is alive.  In Him, the alien becomes familiar, loss becomes gain, sorrow becomes joy, and death becomes life.  This Easter I am also looking around and looking ahead,” Archbishop Robert Duncan wrote.

The Archbishop of Armagh Dr. Richard Clarke said what Ireland need this Easter was “confidence – a full–blooded confidence – that we actually want to allow Christ to run loose and dangerous in the world around us. We need to recover that spirited confidence to assert that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is not our private property as churchy people, but is truly for the whole of society and the entire world.”

Dr. Barry Morgan the Archbishop of Wales in his Easter sermon preached at Llandaff Cathedral stated that: “If you wanted to sum up God’s work, He is a God who is in the rescue business.  That is the root meaning of the word ‘salvation’ – it means being saved from something or someone.”

“Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we too as members of His body, are rescued from sin, despair, meaninglessness, disaster, and death,” he said, adding that “this offer of rescue, of salvation, by Jesus, is for all people not just for the select few – a bit like being rescued by a lifeboat.   When a life-station receives a distress signal, no enquiry is made about the social status of those who need rescuing, or whether they can pay for the service, or whether they are at fault for having got themselves into danger in the first place by being careless in going out without life jackets when a storm was forecast.  Lifeboats simply go to the rescue.”

The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church Bishop David Chillingworth of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane stated: “We greet with joy the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We look forward to welcoming many people to worship in our churches at Easter.  We hope and pray that they will experience joy and hope in our congregations.

“As disciples of Jesus Christ, we believe that we are people of the resurrection.  We are Easter people – shaped in our baptism through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We feel deeply the pain of the world and its people.  We bring compassion and care to the ministry which we exercise in our service of others.  We have a passion for justice.  We are also people of hope.  Because of the resurrection, we believe that good will triumph over evil and life over death.”

New Archbishop for New Zealand: The Church of England Newspaper, April 7, 2013 p 4. April 9, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags:
comments closed

Archbishop Philip Richardson of New Zealand

The Anglican Church of New Zealand has elected the Rt Rev Philip Richardson, Bishop of Taranaki, as its new Archbishop. On 23 March 2013 representatives of the church’s seven dioceses affirmed the choice of the House of Bishops made last week

Archbishop Richardson (55) will continue as Bishop of Taranaki and take office as archbishop on 1 May 2013 and will be one of three co-primates of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, welcomed the news. In 2012 Dr. Sentamu helped consecrate St. Mary’s Cathedral in New Plymouth. He applauded the Diocese of Taranaki’s ministry “in which the breath of life from God is shared, and our common humanity is affirmed.”

“Bishop Philip’s ministry is built on this same understanding, that we are all equally valued and loved in the eyes of God,” he said.

In a statement released after selection the new archbishop said his top priorities would be to help the church work together for the common good, to advocate for people on the margins, and to help the church “deepen its discipleship”.  Citing Archbishop William Temple, Archbishop Richardson said: “The church really does exist for those who are outside itself.”

“We’re not a club. We are people who are committed to building communities which are healthy. Life giving, just communities where everyone has a place, where every individual has the ability to live full and meaningful lives.”

Philip Richardson was born in Devonport, New Zealand in 1958, and was educated at Rangitoto College. He earned a BA and B.Theol from Otago University and undertook additional studies at Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary in South India and at St John’s College in Auckland.

Ordained a priest in 1982, he served as a parish priest before he was appointed warden of Selwyn College at the University of Otago in 1992. In 1999, at the age of 40, he was elected as Bishop of Taranaki.

Member of the church’s liberal wing told the National they hope the new archbishop will back gay marriage the Anglican Church in New Zealand. While Archbishop Richardson has not taken a public stand on the legalization of gay marriage, the Rev Glynn Cardy, vicar of St Matthews-in-the-City church in Auckland, said: “Knowing his position on other issues in the church, which is quite broad-minded, I would expect Bishop Philip would go with the majority on this issue in New Zealand. :

“My own feeling is that he will not try to block change in this area but he doesn’t have the power to make it happen tomorrow,” Mr. Cardy said.

Ex-priest claims abuse whistleblowers shunned by Australian church: The Church of England Newspaper, March 24, 2013, p 7. March 26, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: ,
comments closed

A former Anglican priest testified last week before a Victorian parliamentary inquiry that he had been ostracized by the church after reporting incidents of clergy sexual child abuse.

Fr. Paul Walliker, who now serves as a priest of the Antiochian Orthodox archdiocese of Australia, said whistle blowers were shunned by the Anglican church. “The support we received from the diocese was zip, zero, zilch,” he told the committee taking evidence at the Bendigo town hall.

On 13 March 2013 Fr. Walliker said he had helped five women press charges against the Rev. Alan Sapsford, however the abuse claims were not believed by many members of the congregation.

“I received death threats. My family was harassed. People abused me in the street,” he told the parliamentary inquiry.  “I lost money, I had to sell my house and had to move. I had to pay for counselling for my daughters.”

While the “support we received from the diocese was nothing.”

In 2003 the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s 7:30 Report claimed Mr. Sapsford, who was a parish rector in Seymour from 1966 to 1996 and archdeacon of the diocese of Wangaratta, had sexually abused over 30 boys and a number of women while serving at the parish.

After one of his victims, who later became an Anglican priest informed the church of the abuse, Mr. Sapsford confessed his guilt in a letter to Bishop Paul Richardson of the Diocese of Wangaratta.

Fr Walliker said Bishop Richardson withdrew Mr. Sapsford’s licence and allowed him to retire due to ill-health. Archbishop Keith Rayner subsequently gave him a limited licence to officiate in Melbourne. In September 2002, Mr. Sapsford was arrested and charged with child abuse. He died in March 2003 before his case went to trial.

The committee is investigating the response of religious and other non-government groups to the criminal abuse of children. It has received over 300 submissions and heard testimony from more than 90 witnesses.  Its report is due in September 2013.

NZ gay marriage commission formed: The Church of England Newspaper, March 3, 2013 p 7. March 23, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper, Hymnody/Liturgy, Marriage.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

The Standing Committee of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has chartered a theological commission to study gay marriage.

Last week the committee directed the church’s provincial secretary the Rev. Michael Hughes to write to the secretaries of the three branches of the church asking them “to consider and report” on the question “what is a theological rationale for a Christian approach to the blessing and marriage of people in permanent, faithful same gender relationships given the implications thereof on the ordination of people in same gender relationships.”

The three branches: Maori, Pacific Islander and Europeans/Asians, were asked to name three scholars to the commission who were asked to report back to the Standing Committee by year’s end.

The theological commission’s work will also be used to inform the Commission on the Ordination and Blessing of People in Same Sex Relationships (Ma Whea Commission) formed in November 2011 that was asked to provide a “summary of the biblical and theological work done by our Church on the issues surrounding Christian ethics, human sexuality and the blessing and ordination of people in same sex relationships, including missiological, doctrinal, canonical, cultural and pastoral issues.”

The Ma Whae Commission was also charged with finding a way to overcome the veto power to changes in church doctrine granted to each of the three branches and examine “the principles of Anglican ecclesiology and, in light of our diversity, the ecclesial possibilities for ways forward for our Three Tikanga Church”, the implications of the adoption of same-sex blessings to the church’s relations to the wider Anglican Communion, and to address the issue of “what care and protection there would be for those who could be marginalized” by the changes.

The Ma Whae Commission has been asked to report its findings to the General Synod/te Hinota Whanui by 2014.

Election schedule set for next Archbishop of New Zealand: The Church of England Newspaper, February 17, 2013, p. 6. March 15, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags:
comments closed

The New Zealand House of Bishops have written to the church asking for their prayers as they begin the process of electing a new archbishop to succeed Dr. David Moxon, who steps down in April to become the director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.

Under New Zealand’s tripartite ecclesial structure, the church is divided into racial or cultural groups: Pacific Islander, Maori and Europeans/others.  Dr. Moxon’s successor will become the head of the Tikanga Pakeha, the diocesan structure for the country’s European and Asian immigrant population.

Eight bishops from the New Zealand dioceses will meet on 18 March 2013 in Wellington to nominate from amongst themselves a senior bishop, who will become the new archbishop. On 23 March an Inter-Diocesan Conference will be convened in Wellington with one clergy, lay and episcopal representative from each diocese to confirm the election.

In an email released after their meeting in Dunedin last month, the bishops wrote: “The Senior Bishop’s role is an important one. As part of the shared primacy s/he will be a focus of unity for the whole church. S/he, along with the other archbishops, will represent our church to the world wide Anglican communion and represent the communion to us.

“S/he will be one of the major instruments whereby our church is represented to the government and to our country. S/he will lead Tikanga Pakeha as it continues to refine and establish its role within our three tikanga church.

The bishops asked the church to “pray for wisdom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in making this important decision” as “this decision will have a great influence on the immediate direction of Tikanga Pakeha.”

Anglican Unscripted Episode 59: December 7, 2012 December 7, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican.TV, ARCIC, Church of England, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed


This first week of Advent George and Kevin discuss the latest news from the Diocese of South Carolina and the unlawful actions of the Presiding Bishop. Your two favorite commentators also tackle the final Advent letter from Archbishop Rowan Williams and they share some sage advice for Bishop Justin Welby. Sadly, our third story was removed during editing in reaction to the tragedy today in London with the suicide of the Kate Middleton’s Nurse. Comments to AnglicanUnscripted@gmail.com #AU59

Also: Please keep AU Contributor Allan Haley in your prayers this week as he and his family are grieving the death of Allan’s sister.

Christchurch Cathedral demolition approved: The Church of England Newspaper, November 25, 2012 p 6. November 29, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: ,
comments closed

A New Zealand court has turned back a legal challenge from an architectural preservation group that sought to block the demolition of earthquake-ravaged Christchurch Cathedral.

On 15 November the court rejected the petition of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, which had asked the court to stop demolition as the Cathedral was protected by an act of Parliament and could not be torn down without government sanction.

However, Justice Lester Chisholm ruled the Cathedral could be demolished, if a new Cathedral was constructed in its place. “Unless the terms of the Cathedral trust are varied, either the structure that remains will have to be repaired or it will have to be replaced by another Cathedral.

“While there must be a cathedral on the site, it does not necessarily have to replicate the Cathedral as it stood before the earthquakes occurred,” the court held.’

In an email to members of her diocese, Bishop Victoria Matthews wrote: “We have permission to deconstruct the old Cathedral and build a new Cathedral in the Square, and we are expected to use reasonable speed in doing so.

“The major deciding point seems to be the difference between building a Cathedral on the present site versus re-constructing the present Cathedral on the present site,” she said, adding “it is a 200-paragraph decision and I will bring to your attention further details at a later time.”

On 22 February 2011 the city of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island was badly damaged by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. The Cathedral’s tower collapsed and the walls and masonry were badly damaged, while the rose window above the altar was destroyed in a June aftershock.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Christchurch Cathedral is coming down: Anglican Ink, November 15, 2012 November 15, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Ink.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

A New Zealand court has turned back a legal challenge from an architectural preservation group that sought to block the demolition of Christchurch Cathedral.

On 15 Nov 2012 the court rejected the petition of  the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust brought against the trustees of the property, the Church Property Trust (CPT) that argued the earthquake ravaged cathedral could not be torn down as it was protected by an act of Parliament that protected historic church buildings.

Justice Lester Chisholm held the cathedral could be demolished, if a new cathedral was constructed in its place. “Unless the terms of the Cathedral trust are varied, either the structure that remains will have to be repaired or it will have to be replaced by another Cathedral.”\

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Separation of Church and State for Fiji: The Church of England Newspaper, October 14, 2012 p 6. October 19, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

Commodore Frank Bainimarama

The separation of church and state proposed in Fiji’s new constitution will not be challenged by the Diocese of Polynesia.

A Constitution Commission led by Prof. Yash Ghai has initiated a public review for the proposed constitution, soliciting comments from civic society leaders, and has also sought to explain to the predominantly Christian nation what separation means.  ”This doesn’t mean that the State is anti-religion but just a feeling that the function and responsibility of religion of beliefs within societies should be separated from the functions and policies of the institution of the State,” he told the Fiji Times.

The Vicar General of the Diocese of Polynesia, the Rt. Rev. Apimeleki Qiliho told The Church of England Newspaper the diocese had not made a formal submission to the commission.

In 2006 Commodore Frank Bainimarama led a military counter coup that toppled a civilian coup.  The country’s Court of Appeal in 2009 ruled the coup illegal, prompting President Josefa Iloilo to dismiss the court and abrogate the constitution.  Commodore Bainimarama announced that a new constitution would be presented to the country in 2013 that would guarantee the separation of church and state remove the ethnic-based seats in parliament, lower the age of voting to 18, and create an upper house, or senate, for parliament.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

New Zealand diocese mulls closing half its parishes: The Church of England Newspaper, September 27, 2012 September 27, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: ,
comments closed

The altar of St Paul’s Cathedral, Dunedin New Zealand

Empty pews, rising costs and a cash shortfall has led the Diocese of Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island to consider a plan put forward by Bishop Kelvin Wright to close half the diocese’s parishes.

Delegates to the diocese’s synod held on 15 Sept 2012 accepted a draft plan for study that would reduce the number of congregations from 32 to 15 and cut the number of stipendiary parochial clergy from 20 to 17. The diocese’s administrative offices would also be reorganized and redundant churches closed.

In a May 2012 letter to his diocese subsequently posted on his blog, Dr. Wright warned the diocese was “two years out from a crisis.”

“For many years, the diocese has been in decline on any parameter that could be named … attendances, numbers of families served and the real level of giving have all been steadily dropping over the years to the point where several of our parishes are on the very edge of ceasing to exist altogether,” he wrote.

The diocese’s 32 parishes supported 60 churches, many of which had been damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.  Insurance costs had risen by 60 per cent in the aftermath of the earthquake and each building required an inspection that would cost upwards of £1500, while one church needed £100,000 in repairs to remain open.

“We’ve got to ask the hard questions. These people go to church for spiritual and social reasons. They did not sign up to be the custodians of historical buildings,” the bishop said, but noted the cash crunch may be a “blessing in disguise” as once congregations are free from the cost of maintaining crumbling buildings “they may be stronger for it.”

“We are about two years out from a crisis, but we’ve got to make the changes now while we’ve still got a bit of wiggle room,” the bishop said.

The Dunedin synod accepted the bishop’s proposal for reorganization and has asked parish councils to offer their responses within the next sixty days. A committee will then begin work on a restructuring plan for the diocese. Considered one of New Zealand’s more progressive dioceses, Dunedin elected the first diocesan woman bishop in the Anglican Communion in 1990, Dr. Penelope Jamieson. In 2006 her successor, Bishop George Connor, ordained New Zealand’s first openly gay clergyman, the Rev. Juan Kinnear.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Bishop runs off with school chaplain: The Church of England Newspaper, September 16, 2012 p 4. September 15, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

Dr. Tom Brown

The New Zealand bishop who surrendered his licence to officiate as a priest last month has moved in with the wife of a clergyman.  The Rt. Rev. Thomas Brown, the former Bishop of Wellington told the Dominion Post he was leaving the ministry in order “to be loyal to the church and maintain the church’s integrity”.

“I’ve stepped back from an involvement in the church for personal reasons. I volunteered to give back my licence, it was not taken from me,” he said, adding that “I think that under the circumstances it was appropriate that I stand down and have a period of sabbatical or time out, and the present bishop accepted that.”

The bishop’s 7 Aug 2012 decision to withdraw from the ministry came amidst reports he had separated from his wife, Dwyllis.  “I have a private life and I’m endeavouring to get on with that to deal with the difficulty of separating from my wife,” the former bishop told the Post.

It has since been revealed that Bishop Brown has begun a relationship with the chaplain of Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, the Rev Canon Kate Carey-Smith.  Canon Carey-Smith, whose husband, the Rev. Chris Carey-Smith is chaplain at St Mark’s Church School, resigned from her position on 3 Aug.

The new Bishop of Wellington, Justin Duckworth last month told reporters: “The breakdown of any marriage is always deeply sad for all involved.”  He has declined to comment further.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

NZ bishop surrenders his licence: The Church of England Newspaper, September 9, 2012 p 6 September 13, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: ,
comments closed

The newly retired Bishop of Wellington (New Zealand) has surrendered his licence to function as priest in the Anglican Church of Aoteroa, New Zealand and Polynesia.  The church has declined to comment on Bishop Tom Brown’s 7 August 2012 decision to leave the ministry, which comes in the midst of his separation from his wife, Dwyllis.

Bishop Brown, who was elected bishop in 1998 and retired in March, told The Dominion Post last week he voluntarily gave up his right to officiate “to be loyal to the church and maintain the church’s integrity”.

“I’ve stepped back from an involvement in the church for personal reasons. I volunteered to give back my licence, it was not taken from me.”

“I think that under the circumstances it was appropriate that I stand down and have a period of sabbatical or time out, and the present bishop accepted that.”

The former Bishop of Wellington, Dr. Tom Brown

“I have a private life and I’m endeavouring to get on with that to deal with the difficulty of separating from my wife,” the former bishop said.

The new Bishop of Wellington, Justin Duckworth told reporters: “The breakdown of any marriage is always deeply sad for all involved,” but declined to comment further.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Christchurch Cathedral plans rejected: The Church of England Newspaper, August 12, 2012 p 6. August 16, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

The Bishop of Christchurch, the Rt Rev Victoria Matthews, has rejected as unsafe and expensive a proposal to rebuild the city’s earthquake-damaged cathedral.

Last week, Bishop Matthews said she was not persuaded by the arguments put forth by the Great Christchurch Building Trust that there were feasible alternatives to demolishing the cathedral and that it could be restored.

The difference in cost would “probably be about $15 million, and it’s very interesting in post-earthquake Christchurch we talk about millions like we once talked about hundreds. But when you think about $15 million it could do a great deal of good in other places,” the Bishop said.

No decision had yet been made on the final design of the new cathedral, Bishop Matthews said, but it would not be a replica or a radical departure in style from the Gothic cathedral but a reconstruction.

On 22 February 2011 the city of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island was badly damaged by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. The cathedral’s tower collapsed and the walls and masonry were badly damaged, while the rose window above the altar was destroyed in a June aftershock.

At a 28 October press conference the Bishop and Dean announced the cathedral would be deconsecrated in preparation for rebuilding. Bishop Matthews said the new cathedral would never look “exactly as it used to”, but would be a “mix of old and new”.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

NZ Synod to study “nature of marriage”: The Church of England Newspaper, July 22, 2012 p 7. July 26, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags:
comments closed

The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has declined to endorse a motion calling for church blessings of same-sex partnerships, voting instead to commence a two year study on the “nature of marriage.”

On 10 July 2012, the synod meeting in Fiji adopted a motion proposed by the Rev Glynn Cardy that “asks Episcopal Units to hold conversations in our church and with the wider community about the nature of marriage.”

The motion was adopted without opposition, and followed a lengthy debate on the institution of marriage.  A proponent of church-blessings for gay marriage, Mr. Glynn had argued that “marriage in the Bible is not restricted to one man and one woman – or in fact to any one model.”

Bisho Kelvin Wright of Dunedin urged the church rethink its stance on marriage as society had moved on from the traditional view espoused in church teaching.  “We are still in the wedding business – but confused about it,” the bishop said, adding: “What are we doing here? We need to have a look again at what marriage is.”

A commission will explore the pastoral, theological, social and Scriptural dimensions of marriage and report back to the next meeting of General Synod in 2014.  Motion 21 put forward by the Diocese of Waiapu asking the synod to “move forward with the provision of an authorized rite for the blessing of same-gender relationship” was turned aside by the 160 members of the AZNP synod in favour of the study motion, observers tell CEN.

New Zealand rejects Anglican Covenant — U.S. likely to follow: The Church of England Newspaper, July 15, 2012 July 15, 2012

Posted by geoconger in 77th General Convention, Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Covenant, Church of England Newspaper, The Episcopal Church.
comments closed

The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has declined to endorse the Anglican Covenant.  Delegates to the synod meeting in Fiji on 9 July voiced objections to the disciplinary provisions in the proposed pan-Anglican agreement and disquiet with the centralization of authority in London, but resolved to remain a part of the wider Anglican Communion.

The 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church meeting in Indianapolis from 5-12 July is also expected to reject the Anglican Covenant.  Testimony at committee hearings as well as sentiment amongst the deputies has been in favor of rejecting the covenant.

On 9 July the ANZP synod voted to amend a motion that stated the church “Declines to adopt the proposed Anglican Covenant” with a broader statement explaining its rejection.

In language supported by Archbishop David Moxon, the church said it was “unable to adopt the proposed Anglican Covenant due to concerns about aspects of Section 4, but subscribes to Sections 1, 2, and 3 as currently drafted as a useful starting point for consideration of our Anglican understanding of the church.

A second clause was amended to state the church “affirms the commitment of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia to the life of the Anglican Communion, including the roles and responsibilities of the four Instruments of Communion as they currently operate.

The Anglican Taonga described the amendments as “subtle” and characterized the debate over the meaning of the phrase as nuanced.  The proposer of the original amendment, former ACC representative Antony Fitchett told the synod the “stated purpose of the Covenant is to enable ‘fuller ecclesial communion’.”

It was an “interesting concept that one achieves communion by ex-communication” of those who do not share the views of the majority he argued.

Dr. Fitchett’s views were akin to those voiced by those opposed to the adoption of the Anglican Covenant.  At hearings held on 6 July 2012 at the 77th General Convention in Indianapolis, a majority of speakers urged rejection of the Covenant.

The Rev. Malcolm French of the Anglican Church of Canada, and moderator of the No-Anglican Covenant coalition stated “Anglicanism was born out of the rejection of foreign prelates.”  He urged the Episcopal Church to preserve its autonomy and not surrender it to an unaccountable overseas body.

Mrs. Lelanda Lee, Deputy from Colorado, urged the committee to follow the course taken by the Church of England and “just say no,” while Mrs. Mary Roehrich, Deputy from Pittsburgh stated she believed that the current draft of the covenant “would serve to divide the church, not unite it.”

Prof. Ben King of the University of the South urged the committee not to reject the covenant out right, but to find a way to continue the discussion without acceding to the agreement.

The Episcopal Church “needs to support the covenant” so as to support “our liberal friends in Africa,” he said. Archbishops Thabo Makgoba of Southern Africa and Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean would be left in an “awkward position” of endorsing the covenant in the face of its rejection by the “conservative African churches.”

We must “stand with them” in this fight, he said.

The committee is expected to release its recommendations on the Covenant to the Convention for vote this week.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

New Zealand and US churches to vote on gay marriage: The Church of England Newspaper, July 15, 2012. July 15, 2012

Posted by geoconger in 77th General Convention, Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: ,
comments closed

The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and the General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the USA are set to debate resolutions authorizing rites for the blessing of gay marriages at their respective meetings this week.

Meeting in Fiji the 160 bishops and delegates to the ANZP synod will review three motions on gay marriage, gay liturgies and diocesan autonomy.  Motion 20 brought by members of the Diocese of Waiapu entitled “Episcopal autonomy in discernment for ordination” asks the church to permit local dioceses to set their own standards for ordination.

The diocese was concerned that there had been pressure to “withhold discernment for ordination because of a person’s sexual orientation and the living out of their orientation.”  The motion asked that dioceses be permitted to decide the worthiness of potential ministers, allowing a local option for gay clergy.

Delegates from Waiapu also put forward Motion 21 asking the synod to “move forward with the provision of an authorized rite for the blessing of same-gender relationship” as well.  Passage of the two motions is uncertain, observers of the proceedings tell The Church of England Newspaper.

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church is reviewing a series of resolutions on gay marriage.  While the debate in committee has been spirited, the weight of opinion within the convention appears to favor authorization of trial rites for the blessing of same-sex unions.

On 6 July the House of Bishops rejected a proposal brought by the Diocese of Maryland to begin the six year process for revising the Book of Common Prayer to create gender neutral marriage rites.  While Bishop Mary Glasspool of Los Angeles urged the church to move ahead, the bishops gave their backing to a resolution that calls for a task force to study the theology of marriage and report back in 2015.

However, the principle vehicle to introduce same-sex unions for the Episcopal Church at the 77th General Convention meeting 5-12 July in Indianapolis is Resolution A049 “Authorize Liturgical Resources for Blessing Same-Gender Relationships.”

A vote on the resolution is scheduled for later this week.  While A049 is likely to garner a majority of votes in the two Houses of General Convention – bishops and deputies – it is not likely to be approved.  While a revision to the marriage liturgy in the Prayer Book requires support by two successive meetings of General Convention by both bishops and deputies, a trial rite can be passed at one meeting.  However, the rules governing resolutions proposing the adoption of trial rites have special terms.  In the House of Bishops a majority of all bishops entitled to vote – both serving and retired – must endorse the measure.  Those bishops not present at the meeting must still be counted in calculating what constitutes a majority.

With approximately 305 members, A049 must secure 153 votes in the House of Bishops to be adopted.  As of 7 July 2012, 167 bishops were present at the 77th General Convention, meaning 15 bishops voting against the measure can block implementation of trial rites for the blessing of same-sex marriage.

Cardboard cathedral under construction in Christchurch: The Church of England Newspaper, May 13, 2012 p 7. May 21, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

An artists rendition of the cardboard cathedral. Photo: Christchurch Cathedral

Construction has begun on Christchurch’s “cardboard cathedral” – a transitional A-frame church built from 104 tubes of cardboard.

On 22 April 2012 a groundbreaking ceremony was held in Christchurch on the site of the new cathedral. “It’s a time of celebration and joy and we are full of hope,” Bishop Victoria Matthews told the congregation.

Expected to cast in excess of £2.75 million, the 700 seat church replaces the city’s Gothic cathedral which was heavily damaged in the 22 Feb 2011 earthquake. Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the building has life expectancy of at least 20 years – and will house the cathedral congregation for the next ten years while a permanent replacement is built.

“Christchurch is moving forward,” the chairman of the cathedral’s rebuilding campaign, Richard Gray, said. The eco-friendly cathedral demonstrated that “people are finding solutions that are not only innovative but environment-friendly,” he added.

The phased demolition of the old cathedral has prompted protests from civil activists, however. On 26 April 2012 Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee stated that all the papers held by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) would be released to the public.

Preservationists have challenged the diocese’s plans to demolish the cathedral and have called for the church to be rebuilt. Mr. Brownlee said there was a “range of views on the very difficult decision the Anglican Church has made about the future of its cathedral, and given the significance of the building this issue is of huge concern to many people in the community.”

However, a “demolition permit has been issued to deal with the dangerously unstable tower and further permits will be issued to partially deconstruct the building,” the minister said.  Construction on the cardboard cathedral is expected to be completed by Christmas 2012.

Bishop joins Auckland picket line in labour dispute: The Church of England Newspaper, March 16, 2012 p 6. March 22, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

Church leaders in New Zealand have joined dockworkers on the picket line in an industrial dispute over work rules between the Maritime Union of New Zealand and the Ports of Auckland.

On 12 March 2012 the chairman of the Anglican Church’s Social Justice Commission, Bishop Muru Walters said the Ports’ decision to quit negotiations and sack its unionized workers was unacceptable as it put profits over people.

“There are many bottom lines in business,” the bishop said. “One of the most important is the welfare of workers. We are quick enough to highlight labour market atrocities oversees, but less quick to notice them in our own back yard.”

MUNZ and port management have been negotiating over management proposals to introduce flexible work schedules. Unions have objected to these proposals, a fact sheet released by the Social Justice Commission says, because these changes “will lead to a casualised workforce and loose a guaranteed hours of work for a permanent full time staff member.”

“Port workers want to be valued for the work they do, have income security and to be treated fairly. Being a casual worker means that you aren’t guaranteed work or income. The Port’s expectation is that workers would wait at home and wait to be called in,” the fact sheet said.

However, a press release from the Ports stated the negotiations had failed. There had been “no change in the Union’s position on the fundamental issues: the Port’s ability to operate flexibly in response to changing customer demands, and its right to have other stevedoring companies working at the container terminal.”

The Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops of Auckland have offered to mediate the dispute, but management has so far declined their offer. “After six months of intensive negotiations, and nine offers from the company, it is unfortunate the Union has gone backwards rather than presenting some constructive, forward thinking proposals that will bring this issue to a close,” port CEO Tony Gibson said.

Bishop Walters, the Maori bishop for the region, said he would join the picket lines.

“I am a bishop from the north. When people in the north hurt, I hurt. When their security is put under threat, so is mine. I will stand in solidarity with the workers on the picket line. We need to remember that people are the most important thing: the security of families and especially children.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Christchurch Cathedral to be demolished: The Church of England Newspaper, March 9, 2012, p 7. March 15, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

The Diocese of Christchurch in New Zealand reports that it will level its earthquake ravaged cathedral, bringing its walls down to a height of two to three meters. However, Bishop Victoria Matthews announced that the cathedral’s footprint would remain untouched and no wrecking balls would be used in the demolition.

Speaking to the press on 2 March 2012, Bishop Matthews said that safety and cost considerations were driving the diocese’s plans. “This is now a very dangerous building that needs to be made safe,” she told reporters, adding that the top priority was to “ensure people working on-site are safe.”

It is not feasible to rebuild the cathedral as it was, she said. “Currently, the Church Property Trust has estimated a $20-$30 million shortfall over the whole Anglican Diocese, which does not include the potential cost of any future damage.”

“In regard to the cathedral specifically, the sums are staggering,” the bishop said.

“A replica cathedral has been ruled out due to an estimated $100 million shortfall, while a new build incorporating some of the old would incur a shortfall of up to $50 million,” Bishop Matthews said.

“I am sad to have to relay this decision but I believe it is the way forward,” she added.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 31: March 6, 2012 March 6, 2012

Posted by geoconger in AMiA, Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Church of Rwanda, Anglican.TV.
Tags: ,
comments closed


From Natural Disasters to International turmoil your Anglican Unscripted hosts Kevin and George cover it all. There is also updated AMiA and PEARUSA News and AS Haley reflects on what happens when you lose in court. This episode starts with a great adventure in Texas and finishes with a new segment called Mailbag. Please reply to anglicanunscripted@gmail.com.

Christchurch cathedral in media storm: The Church of England Newspaper, December 16, 2011 p 6. December 19, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

Dean Beck and Bishop Matthews at the service of deconsecration

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Reports of the Bishop and Dean of Christchurch have fallen out over the future of the city’s earthquake ravaged cathedral are overblown, Bishop Victoria Matthews tells The Church of England Newspaper.

On 11 Dec 2011, the Press newspaper reported that relations between Bishop Matthews and Dean Peter Beck of Christ Church Cathedral “had become strained, to the point where Beck had taken advice from an employment lawyer.”  It further stated the dean had announced on 7 Dec that he would be resigning after nine years in office to enter politics, running for a vacant seat on the Christchurch City Council.

The Press reported the bishop and dean “disagreed on the vexed and complex issue of what to do about the severely damaged cathedral” with the bishop favouring “demolishing the cathedral and building a new church, either on the same site or elsewhere” while the dean “wants to repair the cathedral and restore it to its former glory.”

On 22 Feb the city of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island was badly damaged by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.  The cathedral’s tower collapsed and the walls and masonry were badly damaged, while the rose window above the altar was destroyed in a June aftershock.

At a 28 Oct press conference the bishop and dean announced the cathedral would be deconsecrated in preparation for rebuilding.  Bishop Matthews said the new cathedral would never look “exactly as it used to”, but would be a “mix of old and new”.

The demolition work would “gives us time to explore further options about what we’ll be doing to build a new cathedral – as the bishop says, a mix of old and new,” Dean Beck told reporters.

However, the Press reported relations have since soured.  In a 9 Dec letter to the Press, a canon almoner at the cathedral, Mr. Haydn Rawstron accused Bishop Matthews of “flying in the face of public opinion” over the rebuilding plans and suggested she step down over her “serious errors of judgment.”

Bishop Matthews told CEN the controversy had turned into a “media mess.”

“I returned home on the weekend from Seoul South Korea and the meeting of the Inter Anglican Commission on Unity Faith and Order, to find that the Press newspaper and others were into an extraordinary misrepresentation of what is happening in the diocese,” Bishop Matthews said.

She noted that the “reports in the local media suggest the dean and I disagree totally about what the new cathedral should look like.  We do not disagree about this, and I think it is fair to say that we are both open to various possibilities.”

She added the dean, “who has always had a lively political interest and voice, and who has previously considered entering local politics, now has resigned to run in a by election for a city council seat.”

Dean Beck “has my gratitude for his time” as leader of the cathedral, she said.  But his resignation should not be construed as being a result of an internal conflict as “he had already said that he would not be dean to see the new cathedral completed due to his age.”

Diocesan press officer Philip Baldwin told the Press that those who believe the bishop wants to demolish the cathedral were mistaken. “They have not listened to what the bishop has said. She has said over and over again that we are going to proceed very slowly, very cautiously with any demolition work.”

Church backing for proportional representation referendum in New Zealand: The Church of England Newspaper, November 25, 2011 November 28, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
Tags:
comments closed

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Anglican Church leaders in New Zealand have given their backing to the proportional voting system for electing members of Parliament and have urged voters to register their support in this week’s national referendum.

In 1993 New Zealand adopted a mixed member proportional (MMP) voting system modeled upon the German Bundestag’s system for electing Members of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives. Voters were asked to choose between the MMP system and the traditional first past the post (FPP) used by most Commonwealth countries.  MMP won the 1993 referendum, polling 54 per cent to FPP’s 46 per cent.

A non-binding referendum is scheduled for this week’s general election, the sixth under the MMP system, asking voters if they wish to keep MMP or adopt another system.  An MMP election in New Zealand gives voters two votes: one for a party and one for a candidate.  The party votes determine what share of the 120 seats each party gets in Parliament, while votes for MP’s from the country’s 70 electoral districts are determined by a FPP method.

In a statement released last week, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia endorsed the MMP system, saying it had worked for the Anglican Church in New Zealand and should work for the national government.

“We believe that the referendum on MMP offers an opportunity for affirmation of the principle that, in a democracy like ours, there needs to be provision for minority groups to be included in the formation and exercise of government. The voices of all significant political groups in this country need the opportunity to work in various forms of partnership and collation following the electoral process. We hold this view because we have valued this kind of power sharing and partnership within our own constitution and church government.”

“We strongly encourage consideration of the various proportional representation models available in the referendum, acknowledging the democratic value of MMP as it has developed so far in New Zealand,” the church said.

Advocates for the MMP system, led by the Campaign for MMP group, have argued the system promotes minority representation and allows parliament to reflect the makeup of the community.

Opponents led by the Vote for Change coalition have urged voters to rescind MMP.  They argue the current system promotes inefficient government and gives more power to political parties who are not answerable to voters.

The vote on MMP is scheduled for 26 November 2011.

Maori synod rejects Anglican Covenant: The Church of England Newspaper, November 11, 2011 p 6. November 15, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Covenant, Church of England Newspaper.
comments closed

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The synod of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa – the Maori strand of the Anglican Church in Aoteaora, New Zealand and Polynesia (ANZP) – has rejected the Anglican Covenant.

The 5 November 2011 vote by the biennial runanganui (synod) meeting in Ohinemutu, New Zeland of the five Maori hui amorangi (episcopal units) passed a motion asking the 2012 ANZP General Synod: “To reject the Anglican Covenant.”

But it also asked the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) to “affirm that full membership of the Anglican Communion is not conditional on adoption of the proposed Covenant.”

Last week’s vote by the Maori churches likely sounds the political death knell for the Covenant in the ANZP. The dioceses of Christchurch, Wellington, Nelson and Waikato-Taranaki have expressed qualified support, while Auckland, Waiapu and Dunedin have rejected it. The Diocese of Polynesia has not expressed an opinion on the Covenant – an agreement sponsored by the Archbishop of Canterbury that would set the parameters of Anglican doctrine and discipline.

Delegates to the May 2010 meeting of the ANZP General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui endorsed the first three sections of the Covenant, but adopted a resolution asking for an opinion from the Standing Committee of the ACC on the “appropriateness of the provisions of Clause 4.2.8 of the proposed Covenant,” which excludes all provinces that have not adopted the Covenant from decision-making about exclusion of provinces. No response has been forthcoming from London, however.

The Maori church took issue with the disciplinary provisions of the Covenant, with the resolution noting that “Clause 4.2 of the proposed Covenant contains provisions which are contrary to our understanding of Anglican ecclesiology, to our understanding of the way of Christ, and to justice, and is unacceptable to this Runanganui.”

Speakers in support of the motion to reject argued the Covenant was un-Anglican. According to an account of the debate prepared by Anglican Taonga, the mover of the resolution, Archdeacon Turi Hollis said “the proposed Covenant is trying to impose on us something that should be based on relationship.”

The Rev Don Tamihere urged rejection also. “We are being asked to sign over our sovereignty, our rangatiratanga to an overseas group … to a standing committee over whom we have no choice or control. And they have the power to recommend punishment.”

If the 2012 General Synod adopts the Covenant, it must come before the synod a second time in 2014 as a change to the Church’s constitution for adoption. However, under the current organisational structure, each Tikanga or section of the Church: Maori, Polynesia, Church of New Zealand, has the ability to veto legislation for the whole – making it highly unlikely the Covenant will pass in light of last week’s vote.

Christ Church Cathedral coming down: The Church of England Newspaper, November 4, 2011 p 6. November 5, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: ,
comments closed

Christ Church Cathedral before the earthquake

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Earthquake damaged Christ Church Cathedral in New Zealand will be deconsecrated and portions of the gothic structure pulled down, Bishop Victoria Matthews announced last week.

Speaking to a press conference last week Bishop Matthews said the diocese was exploring its options, including leveling the 130-year old Gothic cathedral which will be deconsecrated on 9 Nov.

“This has been a difficult decision for all involved, as no one loves the cathedral as much as we do,” the bishop said on 27 Oct 2011.  “However, this is the next step towards a decision about the future of the cathedral, which will combine the old and the new.”

The decision on how to proceed “follows a challenging and complex assessment process, including review and input by a range of involved and interested persons to identify options and risks, along with consideration of expert analysis and technical reports,” she said.

It will cost upwards of £2 million to demolish the cathedral, which was badly damaged on 22 Feb 2011 by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake and aftershock in June.

After the building has been stabilised and the rubble removed, the bishop and cathedral chapter will consider several options including demolishing the whole building or demolishing from 20 to 70 per cent of the existing structure.

Insurance will cover only 70 per cent of the rebuilding costs, the bishop said, leaving a shortfall of £15 to £25 million in the cost of rebuilding.

Dean Peter Beck stated the new cathedral will be a “mixture of old and new” styles.  He added that a final decision will be made after demolition.  “That gives us time to explore further options about what we will be doing to build a new cathedral,” he said.

Dunedin dean jailed for theft: The Church of England Newspaper, Oct 21, 2011 p 7. October 24, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper, Corruption.
Tags:
comments closed

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The former Dean of Dunedin has been sentenced to three years, two months’ imprisonment for fraud by a New Zealand court.

On 6 Oct 2011 the Auckland District Court ordered the Rev. Jonathan Kirkpatrick  be jailed and to pay a fine of $20,000.  In August, Mr. Kirkpatrick, who served as head of the business innovation centre at the Auckland University of Technology, pled guilty to 82 counts of theft.

Court documents show Mr. Kirkpatrick began stealing from the university shortly after his appointment in 2002 by generating false invoices from companies he controlled, bilking AUT out of almost £330,000.

The Diocese of Auckland suspended Mr. Kirkpatrick following his arrest from his post of Priest in Charge at St Alban’s Church in Balmoral in central Auckland.  The Bishop of Auckland has withdrawn the licence of the 53 year old priest, who served as Dean of Dunedin before his move to Auckland.

Prosecuting attorney, Rachael Reed told the court “this is a man who should have no need to steal but who obviously had taste beyond his salaried means.”  The proceeds of his crimes were spent on luxurious living, she said.

However the court did learn that Mr. Kirkpatrick was a good corporate citizen.  To facilitate his thefts, he generated false invoices from companies he controlled and then authorized payments from the university’s account.  Judge A.A. Sinclair noted it was an unusual situation in that the defendant had paid income and sales taxes via his companies on the money he stole.

3 NZ no’s for the Anglican Covenant: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 9, 2011 p 7. September 11, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Covenant, Church of England Newspaper.
comments closed

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Three New Zealand dioceses have voted in favour of autonomy over communion and rejected the Anglican Covenant as being un-Anglican.

The Sept 2 votes by Auckland and Waiapu and the June 11 vote by the Maori Amorangi, or episcopal unit, the Te Hui Amorangi o Te Tairawhiti urged the church’s General Synod to reject the proposed agreement to define the limits of Anglican faith and order.

However, all three affirmed their desire to remain full members of the Communion even if they did not sign off on the document—a stance at odds with Archbishop Rowan Williams 2009 statement that a two-tiered communion, one for those who had adopted the covenant and one for those who had not, might well emerge.

Acting in response to a request the General Synod to review the covenant, the Te Hui Amorangi o Te Tairawhiti stated on June 11 the document was un-Anglican.

It offered “us nothing new or more compelling than the Spiritual Covenant that we already have with each other through faith in Jesus Christ;” while the disciplinary provisions of the covenant’s Section 4 “go against our Gospel imperative to ‘love one another’.”

The motion, which received unanimous support, endorsed the decision taken by “our sister Amorangi, Te Hui Amorangi o Te Manawa o Te Wheke,” to rejected the covenant as it “does not reflect our understanding of being Anglican in these Islands.”

New Zealand Archbishop David Moxon’s diocese of Waiapu diocese rejected the proposed covenant at their Sept 2 synod.  The motion adopted by the synod stated: “The Diocese of Waiapu affirms its desire to remain a member of the Anglican Communion, valuing highly our common faith, mission, tradition and liturgy. We do not believe that the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant will enhance the life of the Communion and request that the General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui declines to sign the Covenant.”

On Sept 2, the Auckland synod passed a motion noting that the General Synod had “approved in principle Sections 1-3 of the proposed Anglican Covenant, and asked Episcopal Units to respond to its 2012 Session” resolved that Sections 1 and 2 “may be considered to be a useful starting point for consideration of our Anglican understanding of the Church.”

It further stated that Section 3 contained an “acceptable description of the basis for relationships between the churches of the Anglican Communion,” but held that Section 4 contained “provisions which are contrary to our understanding of Anglican ecclesiology, to our understanding of the way of Christ, and to justice, and is unacceptable to this Synod.”

Auckland further asked the General Synod to direct its representatives to the Anglican Consultative Council to bring a motion affirming that “full membership of the Anglican Communion is not conditional on adoption of the proposed Covenant.”

In a letter sent to US Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori during the Episcopal Church’s July 2009 General Convention, Dr. Rowan Williams stated there might be a “two-tier” or “two-track” model for the church with one track for those who affirmed the communion’s “covenantal structure,” and another with “fewer formal expectations” for those who valued autonomy.

“It helps to be clear about these possible futures, however much we think them less than ideal, and to speak about them not in apocalyptic terms of schism and excommunication but plainly as what they are — two styles of being Anglican, whose mutual relation will certainly need working out,” Dr Williams wrote.

Former NZ Governor General, Archbishop Paul Reeves dead at 78: The Church of England Newspaper, Aug 19, 2011 p 6. August 21, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags:
comments closed

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The former primate of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Archbishop Paul Reeves, has died.  On Aug 14 the archbishop’s family released a statement that the former primate and Governor General of New Zealand had died of cancer in Auckland.  He was 78.

Of Maori descent, Archbishop Reeves was ordained deacon in 1958 in New Zealand and studied at St Peter’s College, Oxford from 1959 to 1961.  Ordained to the priesthood in 1960, he served as an assistant curate at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin in Oxford, and as curate at Kirkley St Peter from 1961 to 1963 and at St Mary the Virgin in Lewisham from 1963-1964.

Returning to New Zealand in 1964, he served as Vicar of Okato St Paul from 1964 to 1966, as lecturer in Church History at St John’s College in Auckland from 1966-1969, and as Director of Education for the Diocese of Auckland from 1969 to 1971 before being elected Bishop of Waiapu in 1971.

In 1979 he was translated to Auckland, and was elected Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand in 1980; retiring as bishop and primate in 1985.  He later served as the Anglican Observer to the United Nations from 1990 to 1993.

Upon his retirement from church office, New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange recommended Archbishop Reeves be appointed Governor General of New Zealand, and was appointed by the Queen as the 15th Governor General of the country on Nov 22, 1985.  He as made a Knight Bachelor in the 1985 honours list and was awarded the GCMG in 1985 and GVCO in 1986.

As Governor General, Sir Paul clashed with Prime Minister Lange over his government’s moves away from the socialist policies of his predecessors and after his retirement from public office backed the campaign to make New Zealand a republic.

The current prime minister, John Key released a statement noting Sir Paul’s life was “one spent giving … His contribution was enormous and New Zealand is a poorer place for his passing.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams said: “Sir Paul was one of the great statesmen of the Anglican Communion, and someone whom I was most happy to count as a personal friend. My heart goes out to his family as they mourn his passing, and we give thanks to God for the life and work of Sir Paul.”

The Archbishop of York will attend the state funeral scheduled for Aug 18 in Auckland.

NZ dean pleads guilty to fraud charges: The Church of England Newspaper, Aug 12, 2011 p 7. August 17, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper, Corruption.
Tags:
comments closed

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The former Dean of Dunedin has announced he will enter a guilty plea to 82 counts of theft from the Auckland University of Technology.

The Rev. Jonathan Kirkpatrick, who was head of the university’s business innovation centre, told reporters after his Aug 4 arraignment that he was “not looking forward to dragging it out” and had admitted the truth of the prosecution’s case.

Court documents alleged Mr. Kirkpatrick began stealing from the university shortly after his appointment in 2002 by generating false invoices from companies he controlled, bilking AUT out of almost £330,000.

The Diocese of Auckland has suspended Mr. Kirkpatrick from his post of Priest in Charge at St Alban’s Church in Balmoral in central Auckland.  Further ecclesiastical disciplinary proceedings are expected against the 53 year old priest, who was one of the Anglican Church’s leading gay campaigners in New Zealand.

In a statement issued by university vice-chancellor Derek McCormack, AUT said the thefts “relate to money in the research and development field” and were not from “student fees. Nevertheless, AUT is largely a student and taxpayer-funded organisation and remains accountable to the highest accounting standards.”

The case has been adjourned for two-weeks to permit a full accounting by the university.

Police probe of former dean on fraud charges: The Church of England Newspaper, Aug 5, 2011 p 5. August 9, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags:
comments closed

The Rev. Jonathan Kirkpatrick

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The former Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in Dunedin, New Zealand is the subject of a police inquiry and has been accused of diverting funds from the Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

The Rev. Jonathan Kirkpatrick resigned from his post as chief executive of the AUT Business Innovation Centre after more than £250,000 went missing from the school’s accounts.  Mr. Kirkpatrick had been serving as priest in charge of St Albans church in Balmoral, but a spokesman for the Diocese of Auckland told the New Zealand Herald the priest no longer exercised “any role of responsibility in the church.”

A well known gay rights activist in the New Zealand church, Mr. Kirkpatrick was the partner of NZ Labour MP Tim Barnett for 18 years and had been a vocal supporter of changing the church’s teachings on morals and marriage.

Last week the University released a statement saying that “as a consequence of AUT’s investigations into the accounting discrepancies, Mr. Jonathan Kirkpatrick has resigned. The matter is now under police investigation.”

The police have confirmed that an investigation is underway, but have declined to comment on their inquiries.

Cardboard cathedral planned for Christchurch: The Church of England Newspaper, Aug 5, 2011 p 4. August 8, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: ,
comments closed

A model of the cardboard cathedral, (Anglican Taonga photo)

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Diocese of Christchurch has unveiled plans to build a cardboard cathedral as a temporary replacement for its earthquake damaged Victorian-era central church.  On July 30 the Dean of Christchurch, the Very Rev. Peter Beck unveiled plans for the 700-seat church which will be constructed of cardboard tubing and recycled paper and serve as a temporary home for the congregation while a new permanent cathedral is built.

Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the A-frame building will be made of cardboard tubing and polycarbonate and will have shipping containers for a foundation.  Christchurch may get an interim cathedral made of cardboard as soon as February next year.  The dean hopes the temporary structure will be completed in time for the first anniversary of the Feb 22 earthquake.

The £2.15 million structure will be portable and has a life-expectancy of 15 years.   The location for the cardboard cathedral has yet to be chosen, but Dean Beck hopes it will be located within the heavily damaged central business district and be seen as “offering a sign of hope and confidence and a thing of beauty in the midst of all the desolation.”

Mr. Ban told the gathering cardboard was an ideal building material as it was “readily available, recyclable and surprisingly strong.”

Christchurch cathedral is falling down: The Church of England Newspaper, June 24, 2011 p 6. June 25, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
comments closed

Christchurch Cathedral's Rose Window, destroyed in last week's earthquake

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Christchurch Cathedral in New Zealand may have to be demolished, Bishop Victoria Matthews reports. The 13 June magnitude 6.0 earthquake toppled the 130-year-old cathedral’s west wall and shattered its stained glass Rose Window.

The cathedral’s spire collapsed in the 22 February, 2011 earthquake and the latest tremor has rendered the building structurally unsafe.

“We know some of it will have to come down because of the damage, but whether we have to take the whole thing down is still a live question,” Bishop Matthews told the Christchurch Press.

The city’s 1905 Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament was also badly damaged in last week’s earthquake after arches supporting its surviving copper-clad dome were undermined. Surveyors will have to determine whether it too must come down, a cathedral spokesman said.

The two cathedrals lay in the central business district “red zone,” the epicenter of the February earthquake. The Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island has been hit by a series of major earthquakes over the last nine months. On 4 September, 2010 a magnitude 7.0 quake struck east of the city and on 22 February, 2011 a 6.3 earthquake rocked the city’s central business district killing 181.

Ballarat bishop battle ends: The Church of England Newspaper, June 17, 2011 p 8. June 21, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper.
comments closed

Bishop Garry Weatherill of Ballarat

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Australia and New Zealand have seen changes in several top clergy posts over the last week. Elections for an assistant bishop for Auckland were held, the curtain has finally come down on the saga of the battling bishop of Ballarat, while Australia’s first senior female cathedral dean has resigned after a dispute with her bishop.

On June 9 the Rt. Rev. Garry Weatherill, Bishop of Willochra in South Australia was named Bishop of Ballarat. In a statement issued upon his appointment, Bishop Weatherill acknowledged the diocese had “been through a dark time, but I hope and pray that together we can be authentic disciples and apostles of Jesus and continue to build on all the good of previous years.”

On June 19, 2010 Bishop Michael Hough of Ballarat told his diocesan synod he would step down as bishop at year’s end, and would begin an immediate sick leave. The bishop of the rural diocese west of Melbourne had been under investigation by the Episcopal Standards Commission since July 2009, facing allegations of bullying his clergy. The Ballarat dispute, which had seen the diocese shrink by almost half, ended on a dramatic note. In his final sermon on Dec 19, Bishop Hough attacked his critics, likening them to the “evil one.”

To make sure the congregation understood him, the bishop placed a ceramic chalice in a bag, placed it on the altar, and then smashed it with a hammer. The act symbolized the destruction wrought by his enemies, Bishop Hough said. The bishop sacked the interim vicar-general of the diocese, appointing a supporter to the post. His emailed announcement came at 10:03 in the evening, one hour and fifty-seven minutes before he left office.

The following day, Archbishop Philip Freier of Melbourne, the Metropolitan of the province, sent his own email to the clergy, effectively countermanding Bishop Hough’s last act. Bishop Weatherill has served as Bishop of Willochra for ten years and will assume office in November.

The Dean of Adelaide, Dr. Sarah Macneil, told the congregation of St. Peter’s Cathedral on June 5 she was resigning as she could “no longer work with integrity at diocesan level.” A onetime member of the Australian diplomatic corps, Dr. Macneil declined to elaborate on the reason she was resigning less than two years after her appointment as South Australia’s first female Dean – and the first woman to be appointed to the post in an Australian capital city.

In a statement given to the Adelaide Advertiser, Archbishop Jeffrey Driver confirmed the dean was leaving the diocese. “Whether in her role as acting administrator in my absence, serving as a Governor of St Peters College, or building relationships while working on many projects, Sarah has served the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide with grace and enthusiasm,” the archbishop said.

On June 11, the Diocese of Auckland held a special session of synod to elect an assistant bishop for the diocese. The name of the individual elected by the synod will now be passed to the church’s house of bishops. Once a majority give their assent, the name of the new bishop will be announced.

Third earthquake hits Christchurch: The Church of England Newspaper, June 14, 2011 June 14, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
comments closed

A photo from the parish website of St John's Latimer Square after the Feb earthquake

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Christchurch has been rocked by a third major earthquake in nine months.  On June 13 at 14:40 local time (2:40 GMT) a magnitude 6.0 earthquake, with an epicenter eight miles north east of the city’s center damaged several buildings and injured a number of people.

No fatalities have been reported in this latest earthquake, but the Fire Service reported rescuing two people trapped in St John’s Anglican Church in Latimer Square—a church badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake.

The tremors, which began at 13:00 and culminated in the 14:40 earthquake forced the evacuation of Police headquarters, as well as the offices of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, the center of operations for recovery from the February disaster.

Two people are in Christchurch Hospital with serious injuries, while 44 others were treated and discharged, said a spokesman for the Canterbury District Health Board. A number of buildings in the city’s central business district have been damaged, with some collapsing, including empty buildings scheduled for demolition in the wake of the February quake.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority reports extensive damage in the eastern suburbs and on the hills suburbs of Sumner and Redcliffs.  The Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island has been hit by a series of major earthquakes over the last nine months.  On September 4, 2010 a magnitude 7.0 quake struck east of the city and on Feb 22, 2011 a 6.3 earthquake rocked the city’s central business district killing 181.

Legality of Anglican Covenant in doubt: The Church of England Newspaper, May 6, 2011 p 6. May 6, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Covenant, Church of England Newspaper.
comments closed

Bishop Ngarahu Katene

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The viability of proposed Anglican Covenant remains unclear, as a request by the Anglican Church of Aotaroa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ANZP) for a legal opinion as to its enforceability remains unanswered, a year after it was requested.

Delegates to the May 2010 meeting of the ANZP General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui endorsed the first three sections of the covenant, but adopted a resolution asking for an opinion from the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council on the “appropriateness of the provisions of Clause 4.2.8 of the proposed Covenant,” which excludes all provinces which have not adopted the covenant from decision-making about exclusion of provinces.

On April 27, the Rev. Michael Hughes, General Secretary of the ANZP told The Church of England Newspaper that “no answer yet” had been given.  The ACC Standing Committee has now met three times since the ANZP Synod, and Mr. Hughes said he would follow up”on the province’s request.

The continuing cloud over the legality of the covenant comes as the ANZP dioceses begin debating the agreement, which seeks to set the parameters of Anglican life and thought.  At the 2010 synod, delegates asked the church’s ‘episcopal units’, (the seven dioceses of the Church of New Zealand, the five hiu amorangi or Maori dioceses, and the Diocese of Polynesia) to consider the full covenant and report back to the June 2012 meeting of synod.

On April 15 delegates to the hui amorangi of Te Manawa o Te Wheke synod voted to reject the Anglican Covenant.  The vote was reported as having been unanimous, with Bishop Ngarahu Katene speaking in support of the motion to reject the Anglican Covenant.

Meeting in Rotorua on New Zealand’s North Island, the synod adopted a resolution that stated after “much consideration” the diocese “feels that The Anglican Covenant will threaten the Rangatiratanga of the Tangata Whenua.” (Sovereignty of the people of the land.)

The diocese believes “the Anglican Covenant does not reflect our understanding of being Anglican in these islands,” and they added they would prefer the church to focus on internal land disputes and the rights of Maoris in New Zealand rather than on the wider church.

If the 2012 General Synod adopts the Covenant, it must come before the Synod a second time in 2014 as a change to the church’s constitution for adoption.  However, under the current organizational structure, each Tikanga or section of the church: Maori, Polynesia, Church of New Zealand, has the ability to veto legislation for the whole.

22 feared dead in earthquake cathedral collapse: The Church of England Newspaper, March 4, 2011 p 9. March 8, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper, Disaster Relief.
comments closed

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Over 240 people are feared dead, and over 100 people are missing in the aftermath of the Feb 21 earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand.

Twenty two people are believed to have died in the city’s Anglican cathedral when its spire collapsed, and over 50 bodies have been recovered from the ruins of the six-story Canterbury Television building, which housed an English language school for foreign students.

A majority of the buildings in the city’s central commercial district have been damaged and over 2,500 people have been reported injured in the quake, and more than 160 of them in serious condition.

Damage to the churches of the Diocese of Christchurch has been severe, with 26 parishes reported as being in “a bad way.”  The rubble at the base of the cathedral’s spire was over 30 meters deep, rescue workers report, and progress in removing bodies from the “broken heart” of Christchurch has been slowed by aftershocks.

Dean Peter Beck told Radio New Zealand the rescue teams were working to ensure the “graceful removal” of the dead.

“They are working in the broken heart of Christchurch. That’s why we are concerned that such great care is taken with this bodies being recovered.”

Most of the dead in the cathedral were tourists, the dean said.  “The whole enormity of it all still hasn’t hit me but I think I am due for a bloody good cry.”

On Feb 27 Bishop Victoria Matthews of Christchurch and New Zealand Archbishop David Moxon released a statement noting that while the damage was severe, “the Church of God is strong in faith and service in the Diocese of Christchurch.”

“The people of God are responding with courage and resolve to the present state of emergency caused by the recent earthquake and aftershocks. Although debris and wreckage are in evidence on every street and both the army and emergency services are a constant presence, courtesy and consideration prevail,” the bishops said.

They offered their condolences to those affected by the quake, offering “prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit, knowing that suffering has always been part of Christian experience. We also ask prayer for all those involved in the cleanup, the search and rescue operations and pastoral care at this difficult time. While we have been reminded in no uncertain terms that we are not in control, we hold fast to our faith in the Sovereign God and pray for the strength and grace to minister Christ’s presence,” the bishops said.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,309 other followers