A Christmas Message from the Bishops

Dear friends,

As bishops, we send our warmest greetings and blessings to each and every one of you this Christmas season.  As we joyfully await the birth of Christ, we re-encounter the power of the incarnation once more.  Jesus’ birth marks a beginning, as our calendar year is ending, and we acknowledge the hard work that so many have undertaken throughout this year in our parishes, schools, hospitals and in the community.  A deep and profound thank you on our behalf.

This Christmas Day is a day of great significance in the life of our nation, and our wider church.  There are two significant events being held in the Bay of Islands over the Christmas period.  The first was held yesterday, Sunday 21st December, and was the official opening of the Marsden Cross Heritage Park by the Governor General.  Both Bishop Helen-Ann and Archbishop Philip attended this event.  The link to the TV3 news item about showing this briefly is below.

The second event is an Anglican-led ecumenical service to be held on Christmas Day at Oihi Bay, at which ++Philip will be preaching. This service is to formally celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first Christian service in Aoteaora.  There are expectations of 1000 people at the service.  This service is to be broadcast live on Christmas Day on TV One commencing at 11.00 am.

Bishop Helen-Ann will preach and preside at the Midnight Eucharist on Christmas Eve at St Peter’s Cathedral in Hamilton.  On Christmas Day Bishop Helen-Ann will join with the parish of St David, West Hamilton to share in their worship.

Charlotte Brown House and Bishop Helen-Ann’s office will be closed from  mid day on the 23rd and will reopen 5th January.  Bishop Helen-Ann is on leave from December 26th until January 15th. Archbishop Philip will be on leave from December 26th until January 19th; Anne Kelderman will be in the office from January 12th.

Wishing you a blessed and safe Christmas,

Yours in Christ,

(signed:  + Helen-Ann,     + R )

email from The Rev’d Ellen Bernstein, Chaplain to the Bishop of Waikato

Dear Friends

Bishop Helen-Ann and Archbishop Philip have asked me to draw to your attention the attached letter: the Archbishops’ call to all parishes to give a particular focus in our prayers this Sunday to the situation in Iraq and the Middle East, and especially for the plight of Christians, persecuted, endangered and displaced.  The letter includes a collect for our use this weekend and beyond as we continue to hold our brothers and sisters in prayer.

Nga mihi ki a koutou


The Rev’d Ellen Bernstein

Chaplain to the Bishop of Waikato

Anglican Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki

2014-08-21 Letter from Archbishops calling for Prayer and Support

email from Archbishop Philip Richardson & Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley re General Synod – A Way Forward – Motion 30

email from Archbishop Philip Richardson and Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley received 14th May 2014

Dear colleagues in ministry,

Motion 30: A way forward.

General Synod / Te Hīnota Whānui, Waitangi, May 14th 2014.

After significant debate and discussion over several days unanimously agreed to the attached resolution.  It is very important that you read this resolution in its entirety.

 The commitment contained in this resolution upholds the traditional doctrine of marriage.  It also seeks to provide a process to explore whether there is a structure for our Church going forward that holds this traditional view of marriage, and a way of recognising and blessing those in life-long same-gender relationships.

 Throughout the Synod, we gained a deep sense of the way in which two distinct positions were held together in the unity of Christ.

 As bishops we commend to your prayers the important work that must now continue.



Joint letter from Archbishop Philip Richardson, Archbishop Winston Halapua and Archbishop Brown Turei – 20140514 Letter to Bishops from the Archbishops

Motion 30 – A way forward – Motion 30, GSTHW 2014

email from Archbishop Philip Richardson – Please pray for the people of South Sudan

Dear Colleagues in the Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki.

At the time of the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Auckland in late 2012 we were privileged to host Archbishop Deng of Southern Sudan at Taranaki Cathedral for a weekend. His visit deeply touched many people and his hopefulness and strong commitment to the building of a new nation left a lasting impression.

This link brings to our attention a terrible situation involving the rape and killing of hundreds in Southern Sudan, many of them women Church workers of the Episcopal Church of Southern Sudan.

Please pray for the Church of Southern Sudan and all the people in this, the newest country in the world. Pray for our brothers and sisters, pray for the perpetrators of these atrocities, and pray for sustainable peace, safety and justice.

++Philip Richardson

Bishop of Waikato and Taranaki