Cathedral Life
Gardening group beautify grounds

For many years the Taranaki Cathedral's gardens – and the beds behind the Peace Hall as well – have been carefully tended by the volunteer Taranaki Cathedral Gardening Group. The leader, Sally Masson, said the long-established group meets from 9am on the first and third Wednesdays of every month. It is made up of people who love gardening and enjoy the cathedral grounds, in company with staff and visitors. “Do we need more members? Yes please!” said Sally. “Anybody is welcome... read more

Yew trees bringing life through the ages

In nearly every churchyard throughout the shires of England sits an old and venerable yew tree. More like Tolkien Ents than everyday conifers, these ancient trees have seen countless celebrations of births and marriage and witnessed many a sad and sombre funeral procession. Being linked with everlasting life the yew tree is heartening for the living in a place of mourning. Yew trees are typically dense low growing trees with an almost horizontal appearance. But way back in the 1780's someone... read more

Anglican women looking to boost ranks

The St Mary's group of the Association of Anglican Women is on the lookout for new members. Leader Lillie Sattler says there are at present about 25 members of varying ages, and the group would like to boost its ranks: “Many of us are getting elderly, and we would welcome some younger ones.” Membership of the family fellowship group is open to all. Its meetings are held from noon to 3pm on the fourth Thursday of the month, with members bringing... 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

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

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

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