GRACE NOTES – July 2020

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

GRACE NOTES – July 2020

It seems to have been a very short June, maybe this is because suddenly we have become embroiled in our previous busy lives. Lockdown was so peaceful, no pressure to go anywhere or do anything. I have to wonder if lockdown has taught us anything at all about taking time to just be. My thoughts have led me to share a couple of little stories. Stories about appreciation of being quiet and listening,

An old man would sit motionless in church for hours on end. One day a priest asked him what God talked to him about. “God doesn’t talk. He just listens” was his reply. “Well then, what do you talk to Him about?” “I don’t talk either. I just listen.”

A priest observed a woman sitting in the empty church with her head in her hands. An hour passed. Then two. Still she sat there. Judging her to be a soul in distress, and eager to be of assistance, he went up to the woman and said, “Is there any way I can be of help?” “No, thank you Father,” she said, “I’ve been getting all the help I need.” Until you interrupted!

Nan and Kerr Inkson were away for a few days – only as far as Whangarei, but it was a very enjoyable break. We walked the Hatea Loop and spent time in galleries, shops and cafes near the Town Basin. And there is always something new to discover; for us in Whangarei it was the Quarry Gardens. A stone quarry operated there between 1940 and 1974, and over 20 years ago a group of volunteers began the creation of what is now described as a ‘subtropical oasis’ close to the city centre. There are walks among many varieties of beautiful plants, both native and exotic, a small lake and a waterfall, a number of interesting sculptures – and an excellent café. The Gardens, which are still maintained by volunteers, are a delight and a real asset to the city.

Pat and Colin celebrated the move to level 1 with a 10 day trip of Northland, driving to Cape Reinga. The last time they visited the Far North was 48 years ago, accompanied by their four children aged 2 to 9 years. They stayed in a different town every night visiting numerous interesting places. The things that stay in our memory the most are the beautiful beaches and the friendly people we met.

Rinny and Barbara this month celebrated 40 years since they moved into their current home. A candlelit dinner recalled a stormy rainy moving day and the district-wide power cut just after the last box was carried off the truck. The highlight of that day was finding the candles and matches!

GRANDMOTHER; Do you say your prayers every night?”

GRANDSON: “Oh, yes!”

GRANDMOTHER: And every morning?”

GRANDSON; No. I’m not scared in the daytime.”

Go well



It’s not often there is a party for a parishioner who is 104-years-old! On Wednesday, 24 June St Andrew’s Pastoral Committee welcomed 104-year-old Marjorie Nicol to a luncheon party in the church hall  with about 30 of her church friends.

As well as  lovely food we were delightfully entertained by stories from the two volumes written by Marjorie about her eventful life, when she was a mere 80-years-old.

She began her life in Dargaville where she had a happy childhood. But times were tough when her father died young.  Always a very creative person, she became a milliner and eventually ran her own shop in Dargaville. She also spent time in the army sometimes driving large army trucks, no mean feat for a small person. 

 Like many at the time, she had to wait till the end of WWII to marry her fiance. But they managed this within two happy, but rushed, months of his return home.

After her husband died she came to live in Birkenhead where she worked for 11 years in Yarntons, greatly appreciated for her sense of fashion and her lovely hats. That is when she became a member of St Andrews where she has worshiped ever since.

Many happy returns, Marjorie!

And many happy returns to ROSEMARY as well whose 80 years were somewhat overshadowed on the occasion!!!!!.