Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ecumenical Support for Bishop Victoria Matthews

The Press reports on a letter published in the Press letters' page today, signed by eight church leaders of ministries here in Christchurch/Canterbury.

"Presbyterian moderator David Coster wrote the letter as he felt the media and politicians unfairly criticised Matthews. .

"The bishop is being blamed in a way that all the Christian denominations felt was unfair. We have remained silent until now," he said.
Coster said the letter was written independently.
"The bishop has had nothing to do with this whatsoever," he said.
"We wanted to say publicly to the bishop and the community we serve that we are concerned about how she has been treated."

The letter states church buildings are primarily places of worship.
"The costs – spiritually, emotionally and financially – of all our buildings are borne by those for whom these places of worship are their spiritual home," the letter states.
"First and foremost the Cathedral in the Square, like all Christian church buildings, is a place of worship to the God we know in Jesus Christ and a reminder to the wider community of God's presence. The reason why all churches exist is to make Jesus Christ known and to enable people to gather in community and worship. The church is not primarily a landlord tasked with caring for stone or wooden edifices."
It was signed by Coster, Methodist district superintendent Kathryn Walters, Catholic diocese administrator Rick Loughnan, Grace Vineyard Church senior pastor David MacGregor, Elim Church lead pastor Nu Telea, Salvation Army divisional commander Ivan Bezzant, King's Church senior pastor Ken Shelley and Baptist regional mission leader Maurice Atkinson."

My bold


Father Ron said...

Glad to see Fr. Rick's name among the signatories. As a senior Roman Catholic figure in Christchurch, connected to the disposition of the R.C. Cathedral of The Blessed Sacrament in Christchurch, and a friend of Anglicans; he knows what it is like to have to deal with controversy over Church buildings. The presence of other faith Leaders as signatories is also hugely welcome.

From Letters in the Press today it would seem that the majority are in favour of allowing our Diocesan Synod to make the appropriate decision about our own property in the diocese.

Bryden Black said...

So far at least the State has not sent its equivalent to yesteryear's knights - although perhaps a few media esquire types have rattled their wee daggers on their behalf. In which light now, thanks to this letter, perhaps we shall be allowed to get on with OUR task!