The rich man's question

Sunday 11th October 2015, 8am and 10am Mark 10:17-31 How do you feel as you listen to today’s gospel? It isn’t an easy one to listen to, when we ourselves are among the more wealthy on this earth. The suggestion seems a bit radical: sell what you have, give away the proceeds and follow Jesus. That can make us feel a bit nervous. What do we do with this story? Let’s start our reflection today, by walking alongside as the story... read more

The Lost Sheep

I'd like to focus on the parable of the Lost Sheep – and, in particular, this very key section of the teaching : “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?” Last week, I was watching my eight-year-old, Roxy, together with a friend, heading off to feed the chooks and ducks, who live relatively peaceably together... read more

Banner repairs ensure its survival

The beautiful and historic St Mary Banner has been emerging from storage more and more often in recent times to take its place in procession The banner was created by the women at the Royal School of Needlework in London in 1907-08. It depicts the Virgin Mary in shades of blue, beautifully stitched in silk shading, on a cream damask background. She is surrounded by borders and ornamentation in laid and couched gold work and braid. The banner measures 160cm tall... read more

August Sermons Available

The wisdom that is dispensed by way of sermons preached in the cathedral is not lost for ever – people can pick up printed copies afterwards. A dozen or so copies of each sermon are kept in a holder in the back of the church. “This initiative started because sometimes people want to read afterwards what is said in the sermons,” says Dean Jamie Allen. “Sometimes people can't hear so well, and want a paper copy to take away and study.... read more

Life of the spirit lives in Arthur

A long and eventful career which involved travelling all over the world eventually led Arthur Bowkett to a quiet life in New Plymouth, where he worships at Taranaki Cathedral and enjoys “counting my blessings.” Arthur is nearly 92. He was born in 1923 in Preston, England; his parents were among the pioneers of the Pentecostal movement, which they had joined in 1906. Throughout the war Arthur served in the Royal Marines, then he sailed in the merchant navy before moving to... read more

Clothes fit for an archbishop

Ever wondered about the great variety of vestments that are worn during cathedral services – ranging from the plain and simple to the vividly coloured and embroidered? Some of those garments have their origin in the very earliest days of the Christian church, and they incorporate a wealth of symbolism. “Vestment” is the term for the special clothing worn by people who conduct a worship service. Today, vestments are designed to be worn over street clothes. The significance of the colours... read more

Grave man digs to restore past

The heritage graveyard surrounding the Cathedral Church of St Mary in New Plymouth is a peaceful place steeped in history that goes right back to the digging of the first grave in 1843. But over the years graves and headstones of early settlers and their families – and soldiers garrisoned in the town – have suffered from the ravages of time; and that’s where John Pickering comes in. For the last three years John has been a familiar sight at work... read more

Lynne Tembey

According to Lynne Tembey’s granddaughter, her job as worldwide president of Mothers’ Union (MU) involves “holding the world in her hands.” Lynne is president of four million members in 83 countries around the world who work to support families and children. The world is not quite in her hands – but her organisation has been working since 1876 to live out faith in countless communities, she says. “We don’t try to do the great big things, but the simple and effective... read more

Peace happens piece by piece

A theologian and priest who has studied conflict and reconciliation came to Taranaki this year, interested in the region’s experience of the universal issues. Karen Kemp, Dean of Tikanga Pakeha students at St John’s College in Auckland, visited to share in the cathedral’s joining of the worldwide Community of Cross of Nails. Appointed to the role at St John’s a year ago, she said her area of research and teaching was around conflict, reconciliation and peace so “it’s very, very resonant... read more

Both sides of the one man

A book that traces two sides of a man – and a conflict – was launched at the cathedral on 6 March 2015. The Man in the Middle details the life of Robert Parris and is written by Lady Beverley Reeves, wife of former Governor General the late Sir Paul Reeves. Parris was her great-great-grandfather who lived in Taranaki and was known for his involvement in the Waitara purchase that precipated the first Taranaki war in the 1860s. For Lady Beverley... read more

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