Cathedral News April 2012
From Wellington Cathedral of St Paul
Cathedral News pdf version with colour pictures available here.
On 18th March the Dean delivered his annual report. Click and read ... more... here.
The full pdf version of the Annual Reports can be found ... here - Annual Reports 2012(pdf)
From the Dean
- The Dean's Annual Report 2012
Tonight I want to focus on the missional aspect of our life together. The “Missional Church” is something of a buzz word these days, and has to do with the way in which we look outwards, rather than inwards. The Great Commission at the end of Matthew’s Gospel has Jesus telling the Apostles to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching them. (See Matthew 28: 18ff) Christians have done this in various ways, but always there has been the idea that the church exists, not primarily for its members, but for those outside of it. So what sort of track record do we at the Cathedral have in terms of mission and looking outward?
One fairly easy measure is to see what sort of money we, as Cathedral, give to mission. There is a line in the Financials marked “External Mission”. While much of the figure found there reflects our contribution to the on-going life of the Diocese, as opposed to the Cathedral, it includes a grant of $15,000.00 to Anglican Missions, the board which collects and distributes money from across our province to various mission agencies outside of New Zealand. The Mission cycle of prayer is a very good way of keeping this work before our eyes, and we pray daily for God’s people in places as diverse as Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Tanzania, the Middle East and South America. New Zealand Christians support the work of church communities there, and in many cases, send personnel to live and work among local people. Late last year the Cathedral launched a special appeal in support of the Diocesan project in our link diocese of Kagera, Tanzania. Each year a third of the offertory from the two carol services goes to Christian World Service. An innovative move in October was the Fish ‘n Chips on Friday fund-raising initiative to support the Taita Pomare project in Lower Hutt. Plans are already being made to make this a much bigger event, supporting the cutting-edge work of the Revd Charles Noanoa with young people. And of course many of you have given generously to the various appeals for Christchurch.
People Focused Mission
But our missional focus is much more than money. It really is about people. And we are getting out there, and also welcoming people in to our place. Ten days ago the Cathedral Choristers were singing in the atrium of Wellington Hospital, bringing joy and music to many. The Choristers themselves are the result of going out and inviting in. Recruited from local schools some have never been inside a church, and have little knowledge of Jesus. Through music they come to learn and experience something of the Gospel. Staying with music and children Chaplain Alison’s Tuesday morning group, Tots ‘n Tunes, draws otherwise strangers to the Cathedral into our ambit. And the Farmers’ Market provides a readymade pulpit for involvement and connection to people who would not generally go anywhere near a church.
As you know we have a city/nation outreach, chiefly through special services such as the recent Commonwealth Observance, an inter-faith event which deserves to be better supported by Wellingtonians and parishioners. I was struck by the final words of Seher Ahmad, one of a group of speakers from other faiths, when she said, “The very fact that I am invited as a Muslim, to speak to you – who may be atheist in such a beautiful Anglican Church … gives me comfort that my prayer is being answered.” Last year, as a result of the tragedy in Christchurch, we offered leadership in Wellington’s public service of vigil, with clergy and choir leading a vast gathering of people arrayed on the lawns and grounds of parliament. On Ash Wednesday this year the Cathedral doors were opened to hundreds of people wishing to observe the first anniversary of that tragedy. Nor is it only tragedy that sees us engage directly with city and nation. The cathedral co-sponsored several initiatives last year, including a public lecture on the Pipitea Campus given by Dr James Cooper, rector of Trinity Church Wall Street in New York. His analysis of the involvement of the Episcopal Church, particularly through Trinity, during the Wall Street crash of 2009 was well received. In two weeks’ time Dr Simon Longstaff of the St James Ethics Centre in Sydney will be in this Cathedral – an event sponsored jointly by the Cathedral, St Peter’s on Willis and the Institute for Policy Studies at Victoria University. Last year’s celebration marking the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible was another good ecumenical and city initiative. Just last week Sarah Wilcox returned from the Antarctic where she was part of an expedition led by Gareth Morgan. The Cathedral offered some sponsorship in return for a visual display of her photographs and writings, which will initially be on display here, and then be available to travel more widely to churches, schools and other venues. I hope that many have taken the opportunity to follow her blog – the link has been on our cathedral webpage over the past weeks.
Heart of Turbulence, Inner Calm
A truly “missional church” is one where it is not just the clergy and a handful of eager people who reach out to the community and beyond, but one where every single member, by virtue of being baptised, exercises a ministry in living as a Christian in the world. In my office I have one of those sculptures of people. They stand in a circle, holding hands and facing inwards. I think the title of the sculpture is “Friendship”. That’s all well and good, and often reflects the church. But perhaps we need to turn the people outwards! That they keep their hands linked is important, for it is from a strong community and worship base that real and effective mission is driven; while the outward turned faces means they become more aware of those outside of the church. There is a powerful prayer on page 464 of our New Zealand Prayer Book.
- “God of peace, let us your people know that at the heart of turbulence there is an inner calm that comes from faith in you. Keep us from being content with things as they are, that from this central peace there may come a creative compassion, a thirst for justice, and a willingness to give of ourselves in the spirit of Christ.”
As we look ahead to the next few years, we have a great opportunity to do some really creative and outward focussed mission and ministry. May 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the first service held in the Cathedral. Underway already is the capturing of oral history from Cathedral parishioners. I am grateful to Nancy MacDonald for her foresight in getting this project underway, and Robert Hagen for doing the actual recording. Rebecca Apperley has put together the bones of a comprehensive exercise aimed at getting the archives up to date, and a more dynamic and interesting array of displays in the Cathedral. Among the first things the incoming Vestry will have to do is appoint a number of people to begin serious planning for this anniversary covering the whole range of Cathedral activities. Coinciding as it does with the bicentenary of the first recorded Christian sermon preached in Aotearoa New Zealand on Christmas Day 1814, there should be plenty of interest in the role of the church in our country’s history, and in the continuing mission of Christians in this land. We will, I am sure, all be watching with great interest the further development of last year’s “Blue Sky Dreaming” exercise. I refer you to the Wardens’ report for more detail. Photos on the centre pages are Vestry members 2012.
- Frank Nelson (Dean)
Listen to Choral Evensong from the Cathedral at: http://wellingtoncathedral.org.nz/index.php/Podcasts
The Quiet Day at Belmont with the Archbishop was a really wonderful experience for me. I'd never been on a meditation or prayer retreat before so I had never experienced anything like it before. I've had days before where I didn't speak much, but never one where I not only didn't speak but also was consciously thinking and praying instead of getting online, reading a book, or watching TV. I don't usually give myself the opportunity to think that introspectively -outside of church, and even that is quite different from spending an entire day on it. As many of us said after, it felt odd to start speaking again! The group walk, and having Eucharist outside in the park were also new experiences for me that put a different perspective on something I experience regularly, and therefore opened me up to thinking about it in different ways. I'm very glad to have had the opportunity, and if the Cathedral offers something like this again, I'd definitely go. *Ashlee Nelson
Choristers perform for Wellington Children's Hospital Centenary
The Cathedral Choristers were invited to perform at the centenary celebrations for Wellington Children's Hospital on Friday 9th March. It was very much a family affair – MC for the evening was Clinical Leader of Paediatrics (and stalwart Cathedral Choir bass) Dr Andrew Marshall, his daughters Sarah and Emily (who turned 13 that day) are Choristers, and we performed Andrew’s brother Christopher Marshall’s arrangement of the Samoan folk song ‘Pusi Nofo’. The Choristers delighted the many important guests at the occasion, and were described as being most professional! Michael Stewart, Director of Music
New Cathedral Chorister, nine year old Davy, invites us to explore the world of the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, its life, faith, architecture, art and music. Are they real shepherds? What happens when a child questions the Wahine disaster? How does a stained glass window bring comfort to a boy worried about his unborn baby sister?
Christine Nelson uses her intimate knowledge of the Cathedral to tell her stories, ably supported by the colourful illustrations of Bonnie Wong. Christine is donating the book to the Cathedral: "with thanks to God for music, for the joy of many years of singing and for the role church choirs have played in our own and our children's musical lives."
- Copies are free but a donation of at least $15.00 per book is suggested. The money will be used to offer present choristers singing lessons. Available exclusively in the Cathedral Shop Palm Sunday 1st April 11.30 am - the Loaves and Fishes hall
For past versions of the Cathedral News, see Cathedral News Archives.