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

Eat out, save lives

The Taranaki Cathedral's Tuesday-morning Community Cafe is doing a roaring trade, offering a full and inexpensive breakfast to all comers. “It began serving on the first Tuesday in November last year,” said Dean Jamie. “Since then we have served literally thousands of breakfasts and raised well over $5000. “All the food is donated, and all the funds raised go to the Doctors Without Borders and other international charitable organisations for their lifesaving work.” There is a regular menu of high-quality coffee,... read more

Patronal Festival 19/8/2015

Do you recognise this prayer?: Beneath your compassion, We take refuge, O Mother of God: do not despise our petitions in time of trouble: but rescue us from dangers, only pure, only blessed one. Christian devotion to Mary goes back to the 2nd century. “Beneath Thy Protection” or “Sub tuum praesidium” is the earliest known Marian prayer. So, today, a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary – is something we Christians have been doing for a very, very long time. I... read more

Never Hunger?

19th Sunday In Ordinary Time – Dean Jamie Allen. “Never hunger?” John 6:35,41­51 Our Gospel readings through August are focussed on Chapter 6 of John – and, as I mentioned last week, the passage we heard just read, is part of an extended theological korero between Jesus and the fascinated crowd who had just witnessed, or heard about, the miracle of the feeding of the 5000. That event was all about the sudden appearance of masses and masses of food –... read more

Social Services Sunday 2015

Micah 6:8-12 James 2:14-17 Matthew 25:31-45 Have you had the opportunity to visit the Govett Brewster Art Gallery when it reopened yesterday. If you were able to get there, you may have come across the Exhibition titled, “Our hearts of Darkness”. It is a deliberately disturbing exhibition which focuses on the way violence is embedded within New Zealand identity. And yes, the exhibition includes the violence that is part of the Parihaka story, and part of our story here too. What... read more

National Bible Sunday

For one Sunday of the year, we have a beautiful opportunity to reflect on something which is at the very very heart of who we are as a community of faith. Bible Sunday. 773,000 words, 1189 chapter, 66 books, 2 testaments. Tucked in Isaiah 40, we read, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God endures forever.” It is a text full of poetry, history, mystery, love, anger, sorrow, joy and miracles. The Scripture has some... read more

The Beheading of John the Baptist

12th July 2015, Dean Jamie On the face of it, this Gospel appears about as dismal as they come. Here's this loyal servant of God – life devoted to pointing the way not to himself but to Jesus... All comforts given up, in the name of obedience to God. And where does it lead him? Not, after all, to a prosperity Gospel of riches, comfort and a fast car. It's a situation all about the dynamics of power. It is the... read more

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