Address at Installation Saturday 9 February
Readings: Philippians 2:1-11; John 4:31-38
I greet all of you and thank all of you for participating this afternoon in this Installation Service.
You have come from many places near and far, representing many communities and churches in our Diocesan region, and from all parts of the Anglican church in these South Pacific islands.
Under the leadership of Dean Lawrence and Diocesan Manager Edwin Boyce, much hard work has gone into arranging this Installation. Thank you.
Thank you Mayor Lianne and thank you Barry Ayers for your kind remarks.
I pledge myself to work co-operatively with civic and church leaders in the regions of our Diocese.
It is a great privilege and a huge responsibility to stand here as the ninth Anglican Bishop of Christchurch.
But I do so gladly because of the faith placed in me by this Diocese and the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
The Cathedral in the Square
A significant part of my new role is a ministry of encouragement and facilitation in the reinstatement of Christ Church Cathedral which stands behind me today.
Battered and broken by the Christchurch quakes, this cathedral remains standing. Today I am not able to be installed inside the cathedral but I am glad to be installed as close to it as safety permits.
One day we will be inside the cathedral again and when we re-open it, I will stand outside the main doors, eager to bang on the doors with my crozier, a custom normally associated with an installation service.
That re-opening will be some years away, during which many challenges will be overcome by the terrific teams working on the cathedral’s reinstatement. Thank you for what you are doing.
Having made the decision in our 2017 Synod to reinstate the cathedral, we are only able to speak in this hopeful way about the re-opening of the cathedral because of the generosity of fellow New Zealanders.
On behalf of the Diocese of Christchurch, I take this opportunity to publicly thank those who found a way forward for the reinstatement.
I thank our local MPs who a few years ago pledged cross-party support to finding a way forward.
I thank the New Zealand Government for committing funding to the reinstatement. On behalf of the New Zealand public, the Government has been generous and helpful, and I thank our fellow Kiwis for supporting this great project.
I have personally conveyed this message of thanks to Megan Woods, Minister for Christchurch, who is unable to be present this afternoon.
I thank Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Christchurch City Councilors, present today, for your support for the work which lies ahead of us, and through you I thank the ratepayers of Christchurch City. We value your support not only in terms of finance but also in terms of co-operation and goodwill.
I thank the many people and organisations who are pledging their support for the reinstatement. Between the Government, the Council and public benefactors, we will achieve our common goal.
Christ Church Cathedral is an icon of our city and region and working together we Cantabrians will reinstate it.
At the heart of our new city we will have an enduring link with the settlement of 1850 as well as a continuing sacred space in which God is worshipped, the love of Christ is proclaimed, and the prayers of the people are said.
It is my great hope that this project will be completed within my time as ninth Bishop of Christchurch.
The Mission of Christ
The greater project to which God has called me, however, is to serve Christ in his mission in our whole region and beyond.
As Anglican Bishop of Christchurch I am honoured to have a leadership role within Christ’s great mission – the mission which both Scripture readings speak to.
I acknowledge, in the spirit of the gospel reading which talks about reaping where others have sown, my eight predecessors, four of whom I have been privileged to know personally.
I ask your prayers that I may not only be part of reaping what others have sown but also sow good seeds for the future which others may reap.
The mission of Christ is that every person might be drawn into the unending love of God.
I pray that I may bear faithful witness to that divine love which Christ demonstrated on the cross in a sacrificial death for our sake.
The existence of the church is a living testimony to the raising of Christ from the dead.
The living Christ continues to inspire the mission of Christ to which the church is called – a mission for the gospel, for justice and for serving the last, the least and the lost.
Tomorrow I will speak further about the mission of Christ in the Diocese of Christchurch in each of the services in the Transitional Cathedral. You are all welcome.
Thank you again for being part of this great occasion today.
I look forward to working together with you in the mission of Christ.
May God be glorified in all we do and say in Christ’s Name.
Peter Carrell, email@example.com