St Aidan’s Meanderings – December 2015

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

St Aidan’s Meanderings – December 2015

Greetings – A few warm sunny days have made us think that summer is near – then bang! Down goes the temperature and up springs the wind! Even snow on the mountain tops down south!! But the vegie gardens seem to be thriving, the Monarchs are flying happily about and there are lots of caterpillars curling up to hang on the firm surfaces nearby. Word has it that the wasps are not about this year – that they appear every two years – anyone seen them? The milia trees are heavy with lovely fragrant blossom and several pohutukawa are displaying their brilliant red flowers along the beach. As seems to happen, suddenly the roses are blooming in profusion, their fragrance filling the air – they always seem more beautiful than last year. Northcote has some lovely rose gardens.

The Rugby World Cup ended with excitement for New Zealand, but it was with sadness that we fare-welled Jonah Lomu, referred to by commentators as the ‘Super Star’ of world rugby. All eyes will be on the new No. 11 to see whether he can rise to such heights. At an Electorate end of year function our M.P. Jonathan Coleman introduced Tony Johnson from Sky TV to speak about some of his experiences as a commentator at the World Cup, some of which were very amusing. What fun some of the Northern Hemisphere announcers had with the names of the Tongan team and similarly the Southern commentators struggling with the Georgian names. He spoke about the wonderful atmosphere at the Tournament and the great reception given to the All Blacks. It was fun to relive some of the memories.

WE SEND GREETINGS TO our friends Anne Glenny; Kay de Ruyter; Sheila Barton; Muriel Johnson; Rae Rankin; Bev Alquist.   Thinking of you and wishing you the Blessings of Christmas.

BIRTHDAYS – We have a jolly lot of folk celebrating their birthdays in December and wish them all a very happy day: Judith; Bill; Anne G; Jimmy; Fleur; Gerald; Alf. In January: Jessica and Rachel will be celebrating – have fun.

WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES – in December, Congratulations go to Bill & Judith; Andre & Helene; Annalie & Paul. Be sure to celebrate folks. In January – Wendy & Joe – congratulations.

Another busy month has passed – lots of interesting happenings and important occasions. We will all have our special memories of Roxy & Mark’s time with us and wish them well as they move on. Our congratulations and blessings to Roxy on attaining her goal as a Minister. Her ‘farewell’ at Cafe Church in December will be both a joyful and a sad occasion and we will all be interested in hearing about her new position at St. Cuthberts. Quite a contrast to her last two postings!

The Justice and Action meetings were well attended, bringing the matter of social justice to our attention, as a Christian community, with the encouragement to action. The book “Justice & Action” is solid reading and brings us all up with a round turn.

The Kids Friendly Team have done a great job during the year, with large amounts of work including Friday Fun Nights, as an outreach into the Community. Our thanks to all those who contribute to this essential part of our Christian service.

It would seem that we need encouragement for the hymn service – perhaps a choir to lead the singing – considering several of the hymns were familiar (and some were not to everyone) the singing was fairly average. Let’s make it a festival next time and lift the roof (sorry John) with our singing!!   Could we look at forming a choir prior to Easter and prior to Christmas next year? We used to have one.

Thanks to the ladies who make our church look beautiful with flowers. Where would we be without flowers? To our wonderful musicians who give us music for all moods and occasions; To those who do the cleaning and make the tea; welcome us at the door; who support the fund raising activities…..etc. etc. A BIG THANK YOU.


Taranaki put on a splendid floral display for those of us who visited the Flower Show during November. Andre & Helene went on a 5 day coach tour which took them to many lovely gardens as far afield as Stratford. Pat & Colin were there during that time though they did not meet up. The most impressive gardens were those managed by the Taranaki Regional Council – Pukeiti and Hollard Gardens. Because of their enormous size and years in the making, they had wonderful trees and vistas forming frames and backdrop to the colourful rhododendrons and other shrubs. Some of the private gardens were breath-taking as well, especially if one took into account that they were cared for by one or two people. We feasted our eyes on magnificent irises, wisteria, magnolias, clematis, clivia and some roses. On the way back we had a cruise on the Mokau River which runs between native bush on both banks, with many small jetties along the way for catching whitebait. The skipper was very knowledgeable about the history of the area and regaled us with tales from the past of the river as the way for transporting coal and meat, amongst other things.   A lovely visit all round.

Edith also visited the Taranaki Rhododendron Festival and enjoyed the beautiful Regional gardens. Popular place. In addition to the large public gardens her group visited a magnificent private rose garden, in full bloom – breath-taking – which also had a cute small hydroponic glass house in which beans and peas and tomatoes were growing vigorously, way ahead of the outside vegie gardens. There were one or two adventures – like launching into a westerly swell in the reconditioned English lifeboat sailed by a character called Caddy, to view the seals swimming round the ‘sugar loaf’ islands. A few people were not used to boats, but they survived the rough sea.   We visited the new Rewa Rewa Bridge, built specially for cyclists and pedestrians, and did the 6.5km walk back to the famous ‘wind wand’. The newly opened Len Lye museum was a ‘must’, but I have to admit was not for me. Perhaps on a revisit I might appreciate/understand it more.   The extensions to the Tawhiti Museum, with their myriad sculpted figures depicting historical events and the boat trip through the cave were amazing. The museum is being added to all the time. Having packed for wet and windy conditions, we were delighted to enjoy warm sunshine and had great views of the mountain all the time we were in Taranaki wandering among the beautiful gardens.

Ralph and Rosemarie spent a long weekend in the Coromandel with Ralph’s son Nolan and his partner Tina who were visiting from Western Australia.

Congratulations to our newest New Zealanders – Helene and Andre have received their citizenship at a ceremony in Takapuna.

NEWS FROM JEANNE in Duncan, Canada -   Happy news – Jeanne’s son Jacques is to marry the love of his life, Carla, in Queenstown in January. They plan an informal service in a great setting, with Vicki as bridesmaid. Jeanne is looking forward to the occasion and after the wedding they will all go on a 4-day walk in the Marlborough Sounds. She does not mention calling in to Northcote (who knows …? but she does mention how cold it is in Duncan – the dogs’ water bowl was frozen over – and how difficult it can be when there is a power cut – after all, under floor heating does not work without power!! She is on the family farm, has some wonderful walking buddies and loves the beautiful scenery where they live, but does not really ‘enjoy’ the intense cold. Here’s hoping all goes well, Jeanne – congrats to Jacques and Carla – keep in touch. We look forward to your news. Love from us all.

Check the newsletter for starting times in January. Remember to put your name on the rosters for next year.   Enjoy the Christmas Season – may the Blessings of the Season be yours. Look after Mary and Joseph, talk about them to your friends, and bring them safely back after their stay. Keep a watch for the FULL MOON at Christmas, it is beautiful.

SITUATION VACANT: Kind person to write “Meanderings” next year. First edition February 2016.

Reflecting on Alf’s message in November – a PARTING THOUGHT –

Japanese saying: LET THE PAST DRIFT AWAY WITH THE WATER – One day at a time.. This is enough. Live in the present and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering”

Go well and safely,       Edith