The Church of St Mary, Heathcote
The Church of St Mary, Heathcote
The Church of the Ascension, Mt Pleasant
The Church of the Ascension, Mt Pleasant

Number 223

From the Vicar

Dear Parishioners.

This has been a difficult week with three notable deaths amongst the parish family. Four weeks ago, I took a funeral for the father of an old Sunday School friend. Last week his mother (Dawn) died and we are meeting in the same church for her funeral.

That same week, Colin Richardson (Jean’s husband) lost his battle with cancer. He had been suffering with the disease for a little over a year. Colin passed peacefully the morning following his entry into a care facility. It is a testament to Jean’s complete devotion that he was able to remain at home for such a long time.

Late last week Jan Deavol passed away. Tony (Jan’s husband) was a Valley boy and spent his formative years developing his faith in the Church of St Mary. The family return to our Church for Jan’s funeral on Friday morning.

Dawn, Jean and Jan share something in common, a deep love for God. All have served the Church with distinction throughout their loves and over the coming few days, we will meet, not so much to say goodbye to loved ones, but to celebrate their entry into Gods eternal care.

We will mourn the fact that our lives might be a little less full without their physical presence. However, we cannot help but be comforted in the knowledge that the God in whom they have placed their hope and trust throughout their lives, has called them to the place which he himself has prepared for them.

Death sees Christ reveal himself to us in the most special of ways. Firstly, in the surety of life beyond the grave and secondly, the presence of the Holy Spirit to support us in our grief. These two surety’s make up the two promises that Jesus gave to the world.

While in death, we farewell the physical presence of a loved one, the reality is that they will always be part of our lives. As time continues the mind makes up for their non-presence and we find ourselves remembering the most simple of events, conversations and times we shared with that person. In my mind, such ongoing and regular familiarity which may present itself to us at any time and often after several decades is testament to the Spirit’s presence in our lives.

Last week I was driving down St Asaph Street and suddenly burst out laughing when I randomly remembered an experience that my Grandfather and I shared perhaps 50 years ago. And funnily enough, this memory had somehow made its way to the front of my mind after many, many years of amnesia.

As Dom Gregory Dix writes, “the sheer stupendous quantity of the Love of God is a wondrous thing!” And it’s in these random but real moments we meet the living God face to face as the Holy Spirit presents himself to us day by day throughout our lives. All we have to do, is be open to him meeting us on our turf and in his time.

Dawn, Jan and Colin, may you rest in peace and rise in glory.

Have a great week.


Weekly Notices

Parish Directory

Vicar:   The Reverend Mark Sullivan

027 475 9946

Vicar’s Warden:  Dr. Alistair McKerchar

384 4788

People’s Warden:   Mr Allan Stack

027 433 3735

Parish Website:

Café Crawl 10.30am

This Tuesday we meet at Columbus Café, Mitre10, Ferrymead. We hope to see you there. Please contact Jill Straker for further assistance or information regarding our Tuesday café activities.

Swim Group

The early morning swim group meets of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 8am at Aquagym. Please contact Viki for any swimming matters:

Bible Study Thursday’s 3:30pm

This Thursday we take a break due to sacramental commitments. We will resume our study on 18 August.

Sung Evensong Thursday 4:30pm

Please join us for this wonderfully tranquil service at the Church of St Mary. Everyone is welcome to join us.

Dinner in the Valley

5:00 at the valley Inn. Come and join with the local identities for an informal dinner. The meal is reasonably priced and of good quality. We reserve a table each week so there is always room for anyone to join us.

Smiling Cyclists 1st and 3rd Thursdays Meeting at Mitre10

We meet the 1st and third Thursdays at 8:45 at Mitre10 Ferrymead, our next ride being on Thursday August 18. We ride through the many cycle-ways throughout the city and stop mid-way for morning refreshments. Everyone is welcome to join us. Unfortunately, all the regular cyclists are unavailable, so if anyone want to take charge of the group for this week, please call the Vicar.

Patronal Festival 21 August @ 10am

As we did last year, we are holding a special service at the Church of St Mary to mark the 162nd Patronal Festival for the Church. Please keep this date free and invite any former parishioners and friends associated with the parish that you may know.

After the service, we are holding a parish lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf in Lyttelton. Please confirm your lunch attendance with Sheelagh Wood.

Cursillo Service, 18 September @ 10am

We have several parishioners who have supported Cursillo for many years. We have been invited to host a special Cursillo service which be led by many of our own Cursillo graduates. This will be a special service and we look forward to you joining us with many visitors who will be joining us for the day.

Spring Soiree.

Janet and Ross are opening their home to the parish for a fundraising event as we welcome in the Spring. Places are limited so please register your interest in attending with either Janet or Judy Stack. This is scheduled for September 24. Please keep this date free, more information will follow as we move closer to the day. Watch this space!

All Souls Day, 2 November 7pm

We meet at the Church of the Ascension for our annual service to remember the departed. Please bring family and friends as we remember those who have affected our lives in a special way.


Please add to your prayers the Richardson, Lucas, Deavol and Stack families, the work of the parish in the community the Archdeacon and the Bishop who has returned home after meeting with the world’s Diocesan leaders at Lambeth. Several parishioners have COVID19 and others are staying home to avoid exposure.

God of love, help us to be an expectant people, one that is alive to the needs of your Church and for the world. Give us peace in our discernment, hope in your abiding love and courage to fulfil the work you call us to complete. We pray in the name of God who creates our world and gives us life, Jesus his Son who died for us on the Cross and for the Holy Spirit upon whom your love is brought to bear. Amen

Duties for 14 August at the Church of the Ascension

Liturgist:   V McKerchar

Intercessions:   P Owen

Organist:   S Wood

Reading: (Jer 23: 23-29)   A McKerchar

Welcomer:   M Caird

Sidesperson:   E Chapman

Morning Tea:   C Wood/M Caird

Cleaning:   V & A McKerchar

Please arrange a replacement if you are unavailable.

This Sunday

Hopefully we will see you this Sunday at 10am at the Church of the Ascension. Following the service, we meet for refreshments. We hope to see you there.

Mar Jong

Mah Jong is held on Wednesdays at the Church of the Ascension from 1:30pm. Please contact Judy Laidlaw for more information.

Regular giving

To make your tithes and offerings by automatic payments, the parish bank account details are as follows:


Heathcote-Mt Pleasant Anglican Parish

Westpac Bank 03-1599-0014277-00. (Please use the reference “202” and record your name for ease of accounting.)

Automatic Payment forms are available from Pat Owen.

Physiotherapist amongst us.

Elaine and Terry Hughes have made their home amongst us at Heathcote. Elaine is a Physiotherapist working in the area, so if you need assistance of any kind, Elaine is available to assist you. Her details are as follows.

Experienced Physiotherapist and ACC Registered

Convenient Heathcote Valley location

Elaine Hughes BPhty, PGdip (Musc Mgmt)

Email: Phone: 0211246137