Ailsa Claridge
Insiders and Outsiders

Matthew 15: 21-28 I invite you to imagine a circle, although the size of each of our circles will be different. You will be able to work out just how big your circle will be as you think of who will be in it. You see, inside your circle will be all the people you find you can relate with easily. That may include friends, family, perhaps neighbours, acquaintances, and colleagues, perhaps those you befriend on Facebook, those you encounter in... read more

Waitangi Day

Isaiah 42:1-9 Ephesians 2:13-18 Luke 2:9-14 Tomorrow is Waitangi Day. What does that mean to you? How will you spend it? Have you ever been to Waitangi? Have you ever read the words of the Treaty? The document presented to many Chiefs on the 6th of February 1840 for signing. Which version have you read? The Treaty is considered the founding document for this nation. Yet this day of remembering has much in it that may make us feel uncomfortable. What... read more

Christ the King

As it says on the front page of our pew sheet this week, this is the last Sunday of our liturgical year. It is Christ the King Sunday. Next week we will begin the Advent journey towards Bethlehem to seek out the Christ child. Perhaps there came a sense of bewilderment as you listened to the Gospel reading today. It is almost Christmas, why are we reading about the crucifixion of Jesus? Why does this day take us to the cross?... read more

Thomas: longing for encounter with God

John 20:24-29 Do you have a favourite amongst the disciples? I think for me, it would be Thomas. As I watch Thomas in the gospels, I see a person who is exploring what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Thomas longs to be with Jesus, no matter what. As I watch him, I see his inner struggle as he tries to understand what such a journey would mean. What do we know about Thomas? He was one of the... read more

It's About Compassion

Luke 7:11-17 If you are like me and have been at your son or your daughter’s funeral, there may be a sense of wanting to skip over this story. To not give it too much attention. For it doesn’t sit easily with our own anguish of when our child died. We did not see the compassion of Jesus bring our son or our daughter back to us. The story makes us feel uncomfortable. What do we do with the sense of... read more

Fresh Bread

John 6:25-35 Fresh Bread: what does the phrase conjure up? The aroma , the taste? Perhaps homemade bread: the smell of yeast, the whirl of flour being sifted to make dough, then kneading – the rhythm of fold and roll, fold and roll, watching the dough rise, and then kneading it again. The final rising and then popping the loaf into the oven to bake, the smell from the oven filling the house as the bread bakes. Perhaps that whiff as... read more

A Mother Hen? Lent 2

Gen 15:1-12,17-18 Phil 3:17-4:1 Luke 13:31-35 What did you think of that conversation in our Gospel reading today? There was so much happening in what was just a short single conversation: warnings, threats, longings, compassion, and declarations. So many players were part of it: Herod wanting to maintain power by removing anyone he saw as a threat, a bunch of Pharisees - this lot whispering words of warning to Jesus – not the usual portrayal of his relating to Pharisees, references... read more

Making an Unknown Journey

Epiphany Sunday Gospel reading : Matthew 2:1-12 When my daughters were young teenagers and petrol prices were more reasonable, we used to play a game with another family where there were also two daughters. We would all bundle into their car which had bench seats so that there was room for six. And armed with all we needed for a picnic and with a map, we would set out on the road. It was all smooth sailing until we came... read more

Two unlikely women

4th Sunday in Advent. Luke 1:39-55 If you were to choose women who would give birth to babies, whose life and ministry would change the lives of individuals, of the world forever, what would you be looking for? An older woman, well past the age of being able to have children? A very young girl, still a child by our standards and unmarried ? We probably wouldn’t. Yet God did. Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah was the mother of John the Baptist.... read more

Reflections on my journey to ordination

The Cathedral Embroidery Group has spent many hours over recent weeks stitching away on a special project. Betty, Eunice, Kathi, Margaret, Mary and Pam who each have a passion for and expertise in embroidery, have applied fabric and thread to create a beautiful red stole Stoles are worn by clergy and reflect the colour for the liturgical season. A red stole is the liturgical colour used at ordination. I was one of six people ordained by our Bishops from within the... read more

Page 1