Mark Birch
Athletic Clergy Shape Early Days

Two vigorous churchmen who walked immense distances during their ministries were key figures in the history of St Mary's: Bishop Selwyn, the first Anglican Bishop of New Zealand, and William Bolland, the first Vicar of St Mary's. In 1842 Bishop Selwyn reached the tiny settlement of New Plymouth after a walk from Thames during which he was delayed by floods and nearly starved. Only 31, he was an athlete who made extraordinary physical demands on himself and expected much from others.... read more

US pair attracted by gospel in action

A sense of community was the drawcard to Taranaki Cathedral when Nancy and Doug Getson looked around for a place to worship. New Plymouth has been their home for just over two years; sadly a change in Doug’s work means they’re leaving in the next few months. Churchgoing is something they have always done. She was brought up a Baptist, he a Catholic but when they got together neither of those denominations suited. Instead they ended up (initially) in an Anglican... read more

Peace Hall swings on Dance Nights

The popular dances of yesteryear are brought back to life once a week by the New Plymouth Modern and Old Time Dancing Club. The club meets in the Peace Hall on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, and in the Methodist Hall in Liardet St on the first, third and fifth. Visitors are welcome to go and try their hand – or foot – at dances such as the veleta, waltz, foxtrot, two-step, maxina and Gay Gordons. Live music... read more

The Word goes to school

A new initiative to spread Bible knowledge in schools was launched at Holy Trinity church in Fitzroy, New Plymouth on Sunday May 15. The service marked Pentecost Sunday, and the Revd Rodney Dunlop led the congregation in prayers for the 75 Action Bibles purchased from the NZ Bible Society and the New Wine Christian Trust. Parishioners also prayed for the children and the schools who will be receiving the books as a gift. This new edition of the holy word has... read more

The new Dean of Taranaki Installed

The new Dean of the Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary, the Very Revd Peter Beck, was installed in the role at a ceremony in New Plymouth on Saturday, April 26, 2016. Dean Peter is a former Dean of Christchurch Cathedral, having resigned in 2011 after nearly 10 years in the job. He has filled the Taranaki role left by former Dean Jamie Allen. The installation service was held in the Interim Cathedral, across the road from the historic cathedral building... read more

Priestly Man of Action

Sixty years in the priesthood was celebrated in December 2015 by the Very Revd Michael Bent, a former vicar of St Mary’s and archdeacon of Taranaki, who still lives in the city. Michael has experienced eventful assignments in the United Kingdom, Fiji and Papua New guinea, and also worked in New Zealand parishes. Born in England, he aimed to be a solicitor but during a court sitting, “I saw all these shady characters standing in the dock, and I thought, with... read more

Patricia puts heart into volunteering

Whether up to her elbows in soap suds in the cathedral kitchen, grubbing in the gardens or delivering this magazine, Patricia Gall is happily continuing the voluntary church work that has been a big part of her life. Patricia was born in Stratford, but her parents were farmers at nearby Cardiff. She helped on the farm from an early age, and started milking when she was 13. She had to bike five miles to the high school, “and when I left,... read more