St Aidan’s Meandering – Dec 2012/Jan 2013

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

St Aidan’s Meandering – Dec 2012/Jan 2013

Greetings – Time to wax lyrical again and enjoy the lovely roses that seem to have flourished in the wet spring; the early pohutukawa already flowering at beach and bush; the song of the tui high up in a tree mocking me as I hang the washing; the fairy lights in Birkenhead shops. It really is a pretty time of the year.

Also a time of reflection as we think about the past year; our Drop In mornings and Roast Meet luncheon which continue to bring pleasure and interaction to our older members; Messy Church and Friday Fun Nights – an extension of the Church into the community, together with the voluntary involvement with Northcote Primary pupils in reading, maths etc; Rise and Shine and Kids n All services on Sunday bringing younger families to enjoy breakfast and fun at Church.

We had our Jazz Concert and the successful Floral Affair to enjoy the company of others and to raise funds for St. Aidans. We have celebrated special anniversaries of the Church and become contributors to Facebook – letting folk know what goes on at St. Aidans. We have ‘Come to Quiet’ for contemplative prayer. We have enjoyed beautiful music from our musicians played on the white piano, presented by the Sharrock family to remember dear Edith Sharrock, a member for so long. The church flowers continue to bring us joy from week to week.

It is good to see (bionic) Robin looking well and managing her new hips. Your outlook will be much brighter for the summer, Robin. Thank you Isabel for your care.

Our thoughts for health are with Wendy and Betty and Ralph

We wish a Happy Birthday in December to Anne Glenny, Bill Houghton, Judith Houghton, Fleur Taylor, Alf Taylor, Gerald Sharrock; in January to Jessica Franklin, Rachel Hurr.

Wedding Anniversary congrats go to Judith and Bill Houghton, Jimi and Willie Colven, Andre and Helene Muller. We hope you all have a happy celebration


Jeanne has been a busy girl – not only did she record an excellent time in the N.S. Marathon, but she also completed her B.Ed degree !! Congratulations from us all Jeanne.

Several folk visited the Sculpture Exhibition at Narrow Neck in November, funds to Women’s Refuge, and found it interesting and enjoyable. Certainly a great setting. There were also some enthusiastic comments from those who visited the Sculpture Park at Kaukapakapa.

There will be lots of outdoor activities for us to enjoy over the summer months – watch out for those in your parks.

The Hansens will reside at their castle in France where it will be a little cooler than here, but it will be nice to have the family together over there and it will be nice to have a visitor when Alf is in Europe

Edith F had an amazing journey in Vietnam. I was lucky enough to tag on to a group from Manly Methodist Church, some of whom had been there several times and organised a ‘Wendy Wu’ tour through the travel agent at Manly. It began with a 10 hr flight to Singapore, overnight there, then a 3 hr flight to Hanoi next morning. It was very hot. Admission to hotel was not till pm so it was straight into sightseeing under the care of our Vietnamese, English speaking guide who took care of us from then on. We had an interesting run down on the history and the ultimate unification under Ho Chi Minh, visited historical buildings including Ho’s Mausoleum where he lies in state. In heat of the afternoon an unscheduled rickshaw ride was arranged for everyone in which we were ‘pedalled’ through the streets of Hanoi amidst the 6 million motorbikes which came towards us like a ‘wall’, but fortunately went round us! The traffic, and the way it moves, has to be seen to be believed, as do the loads (of people and goods) that are carried on the motorbikes.

There were treats – like the cruise round beautiful Halong Bay among the 2000 rugged islands and fish farms, with lunch on board; the moonlit cruise on the river in Saigon, with dinner, music Chinese style and lovely dancing girls; emotional moments when we visited the Cu chi tunnels, saw the size and extent of the tunnels and some of the horrific booby traps, in the regenerated forest; a retail complex where the assistants are all handicapped in some way and the proceeds go towards their livelihood; a ‘shelter’ in Saigon where a group of nuns care for and educate the little girls who have been sold into prostitution – we were able to take gifts in our cases for the girls and their babies; our last dinner was at a restaurant where young people from very poor homes are trained in restaurant duties – delightful young people served us our meal. We had a cooking lesson in a remote spot reached by small rickety boat up a river. Hotels in Hanoi, Hoi an, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) were excellent. Our own bus transport in each centre was good and our guide outstanding. The tour was called “Vietnam Impressions” appropriately – it certainly left a lasting impression on that group of people.


May the blessings of Christmas be with you and may the New Year be peaceful.

I am retiring from my role as Editor and Ralph Penning will be interim editor for the next six months. My thanks go to those who have contributed to our newsletter over the years. Special thanks go to Alf, for his thought provoking contributions and Edith, who keeps us up-to-date with the ďSt Aidanís MeanderingsĒ

Thanks also to Shona Ripley-Lafu, who prints the Newsletter each month.