Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Services for Travellers in NZ

Looking for a [Anglican] service to attend when out of town this Christmas? The following list could help. If you are housebound, at the foot of the first is a set of links to services accessible via the internet.

Note that for parishes with no website at all, you can find contact phone numbers by working from links on the following pages: Diocese of Christchurch, Diocese of Nelson, Diocese of Dunedin ...

SOUTH ISLAND - island to the north is "south" on this post!

Diocese of Christchurch

Christchurch city and surrounds

Transitional Cathedral, inner city, Christchurch

St Michael's and All Angels, inner city, Christchurch.

St Luke's, inner city, Christchurch

St Saviour's Sydenham and St Nicholas' Barrington

Opawa-St Martins

Holy Trinity Avonside


St Barnabas' Fendalton

St Paul's Papanui

St Mary's Merivale and St Matthew's St Albans meeting at St Margaret's College Chapel or, better information, here on Facebook

St John's Latimer Square BUT most services at Mairehau High School

St Timothy's Burnside and St James Harewood

St Christopher's Avonhead

St Peter's Upper Riccarton and St Luke's Yaldhurst

St Columba's Hornby, St Saviour's Templeton, St Paul's West Melton


South Canterbury

Fairlie and Tekapo

St Philips and All Saints Marchwiel Timaru

St John's Highfield Timaru

Christmas Eve Children's Services (interactive) 4pm and 6pm 
Christmas Eve Midnight service, beginning at 11.15pm 
Christmas Day service at 9am

Temuka and Pleasant Point - link is to general service information

Pre Christmas, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at St Peter's Temuka

Thursday 18th Christingle @ 7pm - a Candlelight Service for Children and the Young at Heart (30th anniversary of this service!)

Saturday 20th  4 pm Remembrance service to remember loved ones or for people suffering grief of any kind

Christmas Eve 10 pm Service

Christmas Day 10 am Service

Diocese of Nelson


Nativity church, central Blenheim

St Luke's Spring Creek (north of Blenheim) - scroll down this Facebook page


Nelson cathedral, central Nelson city

St Barnabas' Stoke

St Stephen's Tahunanui - just a walk from the beach!


Holy Trinity Richmond

Motueka (including Riwaka, Ngatimoti) - Anglican churches closest to Kaiteriteri

Brightwater and Waimea West

Diocese of Dunedin

Dunedin city and environs

St Paul's cathedral, central city

St Matthew's corner Hope and Stafford Streets, central city

All Saints Dunedin North / University

St John's Roslyn

St Peter's Caversham

Warrington (coastal village north of Dunedin city)

Central Otago

Queenstown and Arrowtown

South Otago


Balclutha and Clinton


St John's Invercargill

The following does not  represent systematic research into each and every parish listed on diocesan websites. As time permits I am trying to add some info/links re major cities and towns. 

Te Manawa o Te Wheke

St Faith's Ohinemutu Rotorua

Diocese of Auckland

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell, Auckland city

St Columba Grey Lynn, Auckland city

St. Matthews-in-the-City, Auckland central city

St Margaret's Hillsborough, Auckland city

Church of the Good Shepherd Massey, Auckland city

St Chad's Meadowbank, Auckland city

St Oswald's One Tree Hill, Auckland city

St George's Church Papatoetoe, Auckland city

Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki

St Andrew's Cambridge

St Mark's, Te Aroha

St John's Waihi

St Mary's Cathedral, New Plymouth

Diocese of Waiapu

St John's Cathedral, Napier

Holy Trinity, Tauranga

St Andrew's, Taupo

Diocese of Wellington

St Paul's Cathedral, central Wellington

St John's Johnsonville and Holy Trinity Ohariu Valley

All Saints, Haitaitai, Wellington


Introduction to above links

It can be difficult when travelling to relatives for Christmas to know where to go to church ... at least when relatives are unreliable guides to local worship times. So as a free service to readers in search of a Christmas service in a strange city here are some possibilities ... BUT I NEED YOUR HELP to enlarge the offering. Thanks for those who have been sending links/info ...

I have been able to survey my own diocese (Christchurch = Canterbury and Westland) and the dioceses to our north (Nelson = Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman, Golden Bay, Buller, Grey District) and south (Dunedin = North, Central, South Otago, Dunedin, Invercargill). As time permits I may be able to do more this week.

If you were to offer additional information via comments I could keep enlarging the scope of the post. My preference is for a weblink to your local parish(es)/cathedral service times but failing that send the times/places and I will publish.

The criteria below where I publish a link is that the parish has an identifiable page with 2014 Christmas service times on it. No link, no publication unless times are sent to me via comments!

No order of priority here, but some attempt is made to group parishes by geography. For Diocese of Christchurch parishes I have worked from the AnglicanLife site to connect with each parish website listed there. If your parish is not listed below then either I have not researched well enough or your parish is not displaying Christmas service times on or around 14 December.

The observation needs to be made quietly but firmly that in an e-information age, it is most unfortunate that there are many parishes with websites which do not display Christmas service information.

In 2014 people look up websites to find out when services are on. They do not ring contact phone numbers as a first means of finding out.

In my research for above I observed the following:

Many sites do not contain Sunday service information on their 'front page.' Do people go to a church's website to find out what is great about the church or to learn when they can meet for worship at the church (to then find out in person how great the church is)?

Some websites are not functioning because some kind of trojan something or other has affected/infected their site. One site was in Chinese, another site told me about a publishing venture! Do we check our sites regularly for functionality?

One site had so much "byte" content that it took ages to download - so I gave up! It is good to have a superb site re web aesthetics but the essence of a website is that it is the e-newsletter and e-noticeboard of the church, not one of its glorious stained glass windows reproduced in gigabyte detail.

Some sites used to exist and now do not; other sites were maintained by someone ... until 2012. (That is also a comment which reflects on links held on diocesan websites. Every South Island link above I got to via the 'parishes information' page on each diocesan website).

There are many parishes without a website at all. I do not want to criticse those parishes because I do not know what struggles they have to do what they do without adding to their burdens the establishment and maintenance of a website. (As a blogger and as one of the administrators of the Theology House website I understand how much work a website involves and would want parishes to have website presences they can sustain or no presence at all). Nevertheless is there not an issue for our church as a whole in the e-information age about how we might assist parishes in the development and sustaining of basic parish websites?

For the Housebound ...

Here are some of the services being broadcast over Christmas

All times are London time unless otherwise stated - deduct 5 hours for Eastern Standard Time, 8 for Pacific or use this time converter:
Nearest UK Christmas services can be located here
and in New Zealand here

Handel's Messiah from the Temple Church - BBC Radio 3
Alpha Carols 2014
Hymns on Sunday - Radio New Zealand

3 pm GMT (10:00 EST or 07:00 PST) Service of Nine lessons and carols from Kings’ College Cambridge directed by Stephen Cleobury – BBC Radio 4
and on BBC World Service [3pm]
also broadcast at 2pm on Christmas Day 25th December on BBC Radio 3
more details and service booklet

3:30 pm archived recording of Choral Evensong from Tewkesbury Abbey in 2002 with the Exon Singers

5:25 pm Carols from Kings – BBC 2 TV [UK only - check local networks if viewing outside the UK]

7 pm 1954 Carols from Kings digitally remastered - BBC 2 TV [UK only]

11 pm Eastern ST Christmas Eve Service from St Helena's Beaufort, South Carolina [4 am London Time]

11:45 pm Christmas Celebration - BBC 1 TV [UK only]

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Someville Choir

8 am Christmas lessons and Carols from Exeter Cathedral - BBC Radio Devon

9 am Naval Christmas Service from Portsmouth Cathedral - BBC Radio 4

10 am Christmas Day Service from St George's Church Leeds – BBC 1 TV [UK only]

1:45 pm 60 Years of Carols from Kings - BBC2 [UK only]

3 pm The Queen’s Christmas Message – BBC Radio 4
and on BBC 1 TV [UK only]

The twelve days of Christmas - Rutter - Somerville Choir

Christmas with Premier Christian Radio

What does Christmas mean to you? - Diocese of Bristol


Sussex Carol [arr Ledger] - Choirs of the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul Charleston

Merry Christmas from Trinity College Choir


liturgy said...

Thanks so much, Peter, for your work in producing this.

I do not react as sanguinely as you do.

Your research finds about a quarter of our parishes have their Christmas services available online. Some of these are difficult to find on the websites. For at least one parish you have been over-generous – the diocesan site does not lead to the link you give, but to another that provides very out-dated information.

For three quarters of our parishes you cannot find Christmas service times online.

There is absolutely NO excuse for a parish not to have a website. A page with an attractive photo, a map, some contact information and the upcoming service times does not take the energy that your or my site requires. It can be set up in less than an hour, and can be maintained by a few minutes a week or less. I have regularly provided information how to set up a website simply and free – go count the number of parishes that have taken up that offer. If people cannot accept my advice, then get some teenagers, give them pizza and coke and leave them to create a parish site.

Central to one diocesan site is the request to parishes to send in Christmas service times. Is that what a diocesan website is for? A visitor looking there for Christmas service times sees an organisation’s head office that doesn’t even know how to find them!

Other sites are a clutter of uninspiring information. And then there are the photos: old men in very strange outfits. That is the face of the church to today’s world where people, especially young people, live on the internet. A self-fulfilling prophecy.

Advent blessings


hogsters said...

Hi Peter important questions you raise and a needed challenge you give. Bosco agree with you as well and a bit of a kick up the bum needed sometimes. I have found, not infrequently, when trying to access details in regards a parish that web pages, if they exist, are very much out of date, both in presentation and information.

Bosco I realise you have made many attempts to shepherd ones through the process of setting up websites. I wonder, what if you set up 4 or 5 templates with the basics that a parish could simply download ??????

That might well help diocese to on mass lift its game.

A happy and blessed Christmas to one and all as well.

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter. Any reason St.Michael & All Angels is not featured in your extensive list of Christchurch City churches? We are, after all, one of the very few inner-city churches which survived the Quakes. And out programme of services- with Daily Mass - might well exceed that of any other city Church except the transitional Cathedral.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
Yes, there is a good reason currently the St Michaels site is written in Chinese.
Almost certainly some kind of Trojan virus thingy has infected it.

Pageantmaster said...

Bosco Peters:

"get some teenagers, give them pizza and coke and leave them to create a parish site"

LOL, and brilliant.

Kuaka said...

Please would you add this website to your list of churches, for St Columba Grey Lynn. Many thanks.


Kind regards,
Liz Caughey
Ph: 376 9119

Peter Carrell said...


Kuaka said...

Thanks. That's in Auckland, btw.

liturgy said...

hogster: Thanks so much for the acknowledgement that I "have made many attempts to shepherd ones through the process of setting up websites".

I am not sure what "templates ... that a parish could simply download" actually means. Once you put your content into the structure provided by WordPress, as my steps indicate, you need to choose a theme. Fairlie and Tekapo use a paid theme; St Michael's and All Angels use a free theme. You can change theme at the click of a button, without any loss of content or structure. I could become a designer & design themes - but that would be at a cost to me (of money & time). Parishes are fascinating: they do not appear to trust that something can be given for free (cf their attitude to the gospel!) If I charged significantly for my advice, I think they would actually do it!

Peter: You are providing a very helpful service here. It would be great if you could get someone to run through the North Island parishes in a similar manner (can you find someone in each diocese to do this quickly for you?) And then you could give a prize to the diocese with the greatest % of parishes with their Christmas service time online (or at least tell us who won!). You could run a poll to vote for the top parish website. And you could give a digital wooden spoon award for the diocese to display on their site (I can organise the html & the badge!) with the lowest % of parishes with Christmas service times online.

Advent blessings,


Father Ron Smith said...

I, too, Peter, am grateful for your efforts on behalf of parishes to publicise their Christmas services. Having alerted our Vicar to the need for us to be up-to-the-mark in this area, I understand we now have efforts under way.
Thanks for your timely prompt.

Thanks to Bosco, I was made aware early on of the facility to build a web-site - free - with Word Press. My own kiwianglo is one such site.

liturgy said...

Fr Ron, your and Peter's realisation of the importance of living in today's world, and bringing mission and ministry on the internet, is an inspiration.

Advent blessings


hogsters said...

Bosco, you da man. Yourself designing a theme is what I mean. I should have phrased it better given I have set up my own blog page in the past. But therein lies the problem. Even those with a little knowledge like myself still find it a mystical area.

As far as themes go I know you can get ministry focused themes on the web and change them to suit. just thought it might encourage some if it is made even easier by having a local make a theme.

I do take your point out the time it takes and the cost involved. Your comment about charging is quite probably true.

People tend to value and or utilise what they pay for. When I had my business a friend who was at the top of his game told me I was not charging enough for my services.

"Double them" he said. I doubled my prices a bit nervous that I might loose custom. The opposite happened. My turnover increase also by 100%

As for your comment of trusting something given away for free in relation to the gospel. Maybe it should be "given away" with a little more cost factor involved, AKA discipleship.


Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Bosco
Re your other comment re a possible "competition" - it is late in the seasonal day ... but a great thought for next year. We could announce in February ... offer Holy Week and Easter as a trial run and look to improved performance by Christmas :)

Father Ron Smith said...

For onlookers here, the new address for the web-site of St.Michael & All Angels, Christchurch (Anglo-Catholic) is here:


As an added incentive (?) to log on; the photograph taken at the induction of our Vicar, Fr. Andrew Starkey, reveals the presence of (from the left, Fr. Ron (3), Fr.Bosco (4), Bishop Victoria Presiding in the centre; and Fr.Andrew at her left hand. All Joy!

Unknown said...

Hi Peter,

I am also amazed at the number of churches that do not advertise their Christmas Services.

However, you might add the following to your list in the Diocese of Auckland

St Margaret's Hillsborough - http://stmargarets.org.nz/notice/christmas-new-year-services

Church of the Good Shepherd, Massey - http://www.masseyanglican.org.nz/christmas.php

St Chad's Church, Meadowbank - http://www.stchads.org.nz/index.html

St George's Church, Papatoetoe - http://www.stgap.org.nz/

liturgy said...

Yesterday I stopped at a prominent Anglican church building on a busy Christchurch road in one of the most highly-populated suburbs of Christchurch, replete with motels for visitors. There is NOTHING to indicate the building is not being used. The well-designed, highly-visible sign gives service times for the building in front of which it stands. The lawns and gardens are beautifully cared for.

If I were a visitor (or a local seeking to go to church) I would turn up on Sunday there at the indicated time. But you and I, regular club members, know that this building has long been out of action, and the community meets miles away.

I picked up The (free) Star newspaper, the newspaper that has the largest circulation in the South Island. This edition includes ads for churches’ Christmas service times. Possibly a third of our Christchurch parishes provide their Christmas times in this 16th century technology.

And yes – the above parish does not feature. And the web is absolutely no help whatsoever for this what should be a thriving parish. Only providing further misinformation.

It feels so good, doesn’t it, for us the greying righteous remnant, to blame our aging and declining clubs on the naughty new world around us that we would not taint our righteousness by engaging with!

Those in the club often mock and joke about people who come to church only at Christmas. Well we have solved that now. Don’t meet in the clubhouse, but leave it looking like we still meet there. Don’t let on where we’ve moved to – or what time we now meet. Wish we could see their faces now when they turn up to find the club doesn’t meet there anymore! Ha! That will teach them!

Advent blessings


Teri said...

Hi Peter, could you please add uss too!
St John's Johnsonville and Holy Trinity Ohariu Valley (Parish of Johnsonville in Wellington)
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

You might like to include stjohnswaihi.wordpress.com for contacting the Waihi a
Anglican parish in the Waikato Diocese
Kia Ora Michael Stevens

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter'
if you have time
St Oswald's One Tree Hill

Unknown said...

Bosco, your link to how to set up a website" doesn't work!


MichaelA said...

Bosco makes some good points. Many people are minded to seek a church at Christmas or Easter, and things can develop from that. I have known cases where it happened.

Of course its up to the people whether they come, but telling them where and when your Christmas service is taking place is a necessary start!

Father Ron Smith said...

Phillip Clark. Try just typing in to your browser the word 'wordpress', and follow instructions for creating your own site.

Pageantmaster said...

Happy Christmas Peter+ and to all your readers and may you all find your way to church by the light of ADU

liturgy said...


Try these:
Details may need some updating with changes in WordPress details, but the essence will be the same.
One day (when I have/make time) I'll redo them with the latest WordPress configuration.

Christmas blessings