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6 to 12 March 2016

Letter from Hugh

On Saturday 27th Jennifer Delaney and I attended very full day at the Methodist Synod in Ashburton.  I was able to meet Roz Wilkie, who will be helping us with the Maori protocol the opening of our building.  Up to that point I had only spoken to Roz on the phone and it was good to put a face to the voice before the Rev Kathryn Walters and I meet with her next week and Roz comes to our next Parish Council meeting.  After church on Sunday I attended a mission planning exercise with Cashmere Presbyterian Church, then on Monday morning I headed to Hanmer for the Presbytery Retreat.  The Rt Rev Andrew Norton facilitated the event which focussed on the Presbytery Mission Plan.  So it was an opportunity to touch base with Andrew about our building opening.   The president of the Methodist Church the Rev Tovia Aumua responded positively to the invitation on the previous week, so we now have the heads of both churches, plus the mayor agreeing to be involved in the opening of our new complex. 

Andrew is very flexible and told me to just tell him what we want him to do.  So after our meetings with Roz , I will work out an opening liturgy that both church leaders can participate in and send it to Andrew and Tovia.  Andrew will also preach at the Sunday service and I asked him to send me the readings he wants and I will work the service around that. 

I returned from Hanmer on Tuesday in time to sort out the order of service for Sunday and send it to Bruce.  That was just as well because Liz is away this week, therefore I also have to prepare the order of service for the Breakfast Church.  Since some of us attended a seminar on alternative worship, Liz has been printing the order of service like a menu so that is a new task for me.   

On Wednesday we had our normal Bible Study followed by the fortnightly meeting with the architect and builders.  It is all exciting stuff, with earthworks going on around the building and details being finished. Although the building will not be available for public functions, we are likely to be able to move furniture into the building next month and begin setting up the Men’s Shed.  Music and Movement is looking to move in with a bit of a function on the third of May, providing we have our code of compliance by then.  For all we are planning, there is a massive publicity task ahead which is an opportunity that mustn’t be missed and has in fact started with Bruce’s article and a photograph on the front of the March edition of The Mairehau

Hugh Perry


Building report

Work is proceeding both inside and out, but you cannot see inside from the street. However, you may see large mounds of earth that seem to get up and change places now and then!

Of course, no such thing is happening: it is just the progress on the various paved areas. The carparks have been boxed in ready for the concrete and some paths are elsewhere around the campus are being formed. The spouting is almost entirely in place and all the windows and doors have been installed. About this time in the building phase work seems to become frantic and the corner of Knowles Street and Nancy Avenue is looking more like the finished product.

Passersby in Innes Road in cars and the like (buses, bicycles and pedestrians) need only incline their heads to the left or the right to get a good view of St Albans Uniting Church. When the Cross is in place tour visibility will be even greater. Instructions to a visitor on how to get to the church will be easier to give and follow. Let’s start praying now that many such people will come to visit and stay if they like what we give them.

A Piece of Cake

19—20 March 2016: Knowing Your Neighbour. We have done this before, if in an informal way. But here is another opportunity to do something about meeting your neighbours, some, perhaps for the first time!

The Christchurch Methodist Mission is a primary sponsor of the event and more information is available at the following website—

March meetings

As our parish needs to be managed efficiently and effectively, we give notice of the meetings coming up this month! Just what we wanted!


23rd—Parish Council. Please note: if you have a report to distribute to members with the monthly mail-out, please have them in the parish office by Wednesday, 16 March, thank you.


CWS has launched an appeal for Fiji after Cyclone Winston caused widespread destruction. CWS has heard from it partners in the Pacific region, including the Social Empowerment and Education Programme which is planning its response. It is still focussing on isolated communities in the hilly interior of Viti Levu. It will assist with food, shelter and psychosocial programmes for children where it is most needed.

The Peoples Community Network, working in the informal settlements, is working out what needs to be done. Both groups are coordinating with local government, other community groups and churches. They worked with these communities before the disaster and will do so in the years ahead.

CWS is asking churches and people of faith to remember the people of Fiji in their prayers in the weeks and months ahead. (Source:

Fiji donations

There is a direct way of giving for the relief of Fiji at the Christian World Service website:

Donations to the Fiji Cyclone Appeal can be made:

· On line to the Fiji Cyclone Appeal and by direct deposit at—

· By Phone with a credit card: 0800 74 73 72.

· By Post to: CWS, PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140.

There are other CWS appeals that reflect to needs of people all around the world. CWS works with ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) to carry out its work on our behalf and do it more effectively.

Syria Appeal

ACT Alliance members have been offering practical help from the beginning.  Food, blankets, clothes, hygiene kits and medical assistance are high on the urgent list.  ACT Alliance is meeting immediate needs and helping displaced families survive.  DSPR offices (the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees) in Jordan and Lebanon are focusing on education, healthcare, emergency assistance, livelihoods and psychosocial care.  With funds long gone, refugees are grateful for the Free Medical Days run by DSPR in Jordan Camps.  The refugees can see specialists and get some medicine free.  The crisis is getting much worse and resources are running out.  The desperate situation is pushing more refugees to take the risky journey to Europe. 

Iraq Crisis Appeal

The crisis in Iraq continues to deepen.  The UN reports nearly one third of the population - 10 million people - are in need.  3.3 million have been displaced and 0.25 million have fled to Syria.   More civilians are expected to be affected by increased military operations and the collapse of the economy.   They need food, water, shelter, healthcare and protection from violence.  ACT Alliance, of which CWS is a member, is doing its best to respond to their desperate need.  They are helping Christians, Yazidi, Muslims where they can get access.  

ACT Alliance members have expanded their work in the region to provide life-saving relief: shelter, food, water, winter clothing, fuel, non-food items, hygiene kits, psycho-social help and protection measures.  One member Christian Aid has been working with REACH (Rehabilitation, Education and Community Health) since 1996.  It is based in Sulaimaniyah and has considerable experience in supporting refugees and internally displaced people in Iraq.  ACT Alliance members are supporting displaced communities in Sinjar, Dohuk, Kirkuk, Karbala and Sulaimaniyah with food baskets, hygiene kits

Donations to these, and other appeals, may be made through the CWS website. (See the previous page for details).

Special days in March

March is quite well off for days to remember special events or occasions. One of them is today. One was last Friday and two others are on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. All seem worth celebrating.

World Book Day

It was celebrated last Friday, the same Day as World Day of Prayer. Books should not really need promotion, but we live in a world that is very competitive for time and there are many technological gadgets to act as a magnet away from books. The best way of promoting a love of books amongst children is to read to them until they are able to enjoy the pleasure of having books, for themselves.

World Children’s Day

It is today! It may not seem a special day is necessary: every day is children’s day, isn’t it? Well New Zealand is not doing very well in some respects of caring for the children—our future, really. Some statistics are appalling so perhaps we do need a day of celebration to remind us.

Go to this website: for a wide range of information about Children’s Day

International Women’s Day

Tuesday, 8 March is the UNO day. As with Children’s Day, you would at first wonder why we need such a day. But it does not require much thought to understand the depth of inequality and deprivation many women around the globe and here in New Zealand, suffer at the hands of men—sons, brothers, fathers and husbands. But the statistics show an appalling situation that cannot be tolerated in a supposedly democratic state.

The 2016 theme for International Women’s Day is Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality. The United Nations observance on 8 March will reflect on how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals. It will equally focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights. -

The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on Tuesday, 8 March during International Women’s Year 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions. -

The day has now settled on 8 March. You may get more information at the following website—

International Women’s Day Brunch in Christchurch

Date: Tuesday, 8 March 2016, 7 am. Venue: Gustav's, The  Tannery, 3 Garlands Road Woolston.

Speaker: Sacha McMeeking, University of Canterbury. Cost: $35 per person.

(See: for more information)

Walk2Work Day

Wednesday, 9 March. It might seem your days of walking anywhere, let alone to work, are long gone. It is an interesting idea. And if you have been caught in a typical Papanui Road traffic-jam around 5 o’clock on a week-day evening, you will realise the practicality of walking anywhere, including to and from work, even if only once or twice a week. You may combine walking with using public transport, also.

There is some helpful advice on the topic of walking at the Living Streets website (go to It tends to tell you what you probably already know, but it is helpful to know some one thought about putting it there, in any case. (More news on page 19).


6 March                                      Rev Hugh Perry

M Steward                                   Bruce Baillie

D Steward                                   Bruce Baillie

Organist                                        Ann Millar

Morning Tea                                Averil Cullen

                                                        Ellen Howard

Reader                                           Rev Glenn Livingstone

Joshua                            5: 9—12.

Psalm                              32.

2 Cor.                              5: 16—21.

Luke                                15: 1-3, 11-32.


13 March                                    Rev Hugh Perry

M Steward                                   Eleanor Monson

D Steward                                   Bill Delaney

Organist                                       Diane Comyns

Morning Tea                               Jennifer Delaney

                                                       Heather Mace

Reader                                           Bill Pearcy

Isaiah                              43: 16—21.

Psalm                              126.

Philippians                    3: 4b—14.

John                                12: 1—8.


20 March                                         Rev Hugh Perry

M Steward                                       Bill Pearcy

D Steward                                        David Monson

Organist                                           Diane Comyns

Communion                                   Bruce Baillie

                                                           Lindsay Evans

Morning Tea                                  Eleanor Monson

                                                           Lindsay Evans

Reader                                              Bruce Baillie

Psalm                              118: 1-2; 19-29.

Luke                                19: 28—40.


27 March                                        Rev Hugh Perry

M Steward                                       Lindsay Evans

D Steward                                        Bill Delaney

Organist                                           Diane Comyns

Morning Tea                                    Raewyn Perry

                                                            Heather Mace

Reader                                              Lindsay Evans

Acts                                  10: 34—43.

Psalm                              118: 1-2; 14-24.

1 Corinthians                  15: 19—26.

John                                 20: 1—18.


3 April                                                Rev Hugh Perry

M Steward                                          Eleanor Monson

D Steward                                           Bruce Baillie

Organist                                               Ann Millar

Morning Tea                                      Ellen Howard

                                                             Averil Cullen

Reader                                               Bill Pearcy

Acts                                  5: 27—32.

Psalm                              118: 14—29.

Revelations                   1: 4—8.

John                                20: 19—31.



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