The Cathedral Connection 2 July 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


The 2nd of July was a Sunday in 1967, as it is today. I was ordained a priest that day in my home town of Dannevirke by Bishop Owen Snedden. Today, 50 years later, I welcome the opportunity to give thanks for this life-time of ministry, and to share this day with some of my family and the people who have become family through my priesthood. I am grateful to God and to all of you.

I haven’t looked through a kaleidoscope for years, but I readily recall the thrill and the joy of doing so. The way the coloured shapes reconfigured as the tube was turned, sparkling and shining, always delighted me. The image returned when thinking about my life as a priest, and the experiences this life has brought me, especially among families.

The variety has been enormous, the situations a continual mix of happiness and sadness, troubled questioning and easy conversation, challenging times and wonderful companionship. These, and much more are the colours of my life, interlacing, locking for a time, expanding and suddenly reconfiguring – all the while carrying me on a journey of self-discovery and appreciating my place in the lives of others. Each of my several pastoral appointments have been like another turn of the kaleidoscope, presenting a new display of God’s wonderful creation, fascinating patterns weaving their way through real life stories.

Even though, at times, I have doubted my ability or worthiness, I realise I have never not delighted in the life I have known. Amid constantly changing circumstances, like the unexpected combinations in the kaleidoscope’s shapes and colours, being open to surprise and delighting in it all have given me roots and wings for pastoral ministry, for friendship and for personal growth.

Thank you, family of my past and present, for your part in it all.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.