Life is intensely busy. There was a trip to Auckland last week for a meeting of our House of Bishops and tomorrow another trip, this time to visit our students at St John's College. Various meetings. Some leading to more follow up work than others. There has also been a non-visit by me, relating to a significant event in the life of ACANZP ...
On Saturday I took a wedding, long planned in my diary. That meant I couldn't travel to Fiji for the ordination on Saturday of Sione Uluilakepa as bishop and installation as Archbishop of Polynesia.
I am delighted that our Vicar-General, Mark Barlow was able to travel in my place, and, as well, another two clergy from our Diocese, the Reverends Leni and Kofe Havea were there as well. A pre-event report is in Taonga and I am sure a full report will be posted soon. There have been dozens of photos on Facebook already!
This morning, at church, I was very pleased to meet a regular commenter here, Mark Murphy.
Sadly, late on Friday, I learned that another regular commenter here, Fr Ron Smith died in the early hours of Friday morning.
Ron had been diagnosed with a terminal cancer some months ago. Initially he defied predictions of imminent demise but eventually the cancer won. At a recent service at his regular place of worship, St Michael's and All Angels, it was wonderful to be able to greet Fr Ron, but he clearly looked gravely ill.
Ron was in his 94th year, he was ordained deacon in 1980 and priested in 1981. He served in the Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch Dioceses, being a valued priest in the Parish of Christchurch St Michael's and All Angels since 1999. He was a regular commenter on a number of blogs, aside from ADU, and he wrote his own blog, Kiwianglo, which now has a final comment written by a family member.
Although Ron's comments here could be quite argumentative, and, in times past, prone to ad hominems which kept me on my toes as moderator, he consistently pointed all readers to the wide mercy and generous grace of God.
I will miss him. Please pray for Diana, his wife and their family as they prepare, along with his parish family, for his Requiem Mass at 11 am Saturday 18 March 2023 at St Michael's and All Angels, Oxford Tce, Christchurch.
UPDATE: Lovely tribute here from Bosco Peters.