Last Sunday (10 April) I completed a six month assignment as interim priest in the Northland-Wilton Parish, Wellington. This appointment followed the move of Canon Deborah Broome to minister in Napier.
The focus of this ministry has been to lead Sunday and other occasional worship services and to offer pastoral care for the Parish, with home visiting a priority. Two baptisms and one funeral were completed. Both Christmas, Holy Week and Easter services were highlights of this ministry time. The pre-Christmas community carol service (led jointly with the Wilton Catholics) drew 200 to attend, despite the bad weather. During Lent two study groups convened jointly with the Wadestown Anglicans. The study theme, 'Generous Hospitality' offered plenty of challenges to those of us involved.
The Northland-Wilton Anglicans humbly proclaim they are, 'The Church at the Heart of Our Community.' They are not far wrong. While at the centre of St Anne's life together is the worship of the God whom we know through Jesus Christ our Saviour, the people work hard to be caring and supportive of the wider Northland-Wilton community. The Free Food Friday barbeque offered outside St Anne's fortnightly is well appreciated and it usually takes less than an hour to get rid of the 40+ sausages available. The monthly Thursday munch draws a number of elderly and shut in people. Of particular interest is the Messy Church offered monthly on a Sunday afternoon. This offers a very creative time for children and families to be together while reflect on life and faith issues inter-generationally. The beautifully modernised St Anne's hall is well used for regular and occasional community gatherings.
While I have completed interim ministry assignments previously, notably in Island Bay and Levin Parishes, the intentional and transitional nature of such ministry has been reinforced during this time. Reflecting on this ministry I have written on this theme in a paper entitled, 'Interim Ministry Priesthood'. This is currently being reviewed. A link to it may appear soon in this News Blog.
This ministry has concluded with the appointment of the Reverend Paul McIntosh of Karori being instituted as permanent priest in charge on tomorrow - Fri 15 April.
Nga mihi ki a koe e hoa,
This is a place where we can discuss mentoring, ministry and what we have found helpful for sustaining our inner lives and good relationships.