(06) 358 5403

Welcome to St Peter's

Current Feasts, Saints and other Holy Days

St Mary Magdalene - July 22

St Mary Magdalene

As is indicated by her name, Mary Magdalene came from the town of Magdala, on the western shore of Lake Galilee. It was a prosperous town, dominated by Gentile interests, and with an unsavoury reputation according to later rabbis.

Mary enters the gospel story as one of a group of women who joined Jesus and his disciples during Jesus’ ministry in Galilee, and who assisted his mission out of their own resources (Luke 8:1-3). This information comes only from Luke, who adds that Jesus had healed some of the women, and in particular had driven seven demons out of Mary Magdalene. There is no way of knowing what exactly was meant by this, though tradition has included plenty of speculation.

Such speculation has been fostered by the reputation of Magdala and the common identification (made “official” by Gregory the Great) of Mary Magdalene with both the sinful woman (usually understood to be a prostitute) in Luke 7:37-50 who anointed the feet of Jesus, and with Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha. This accounts for the usual representation of Mary Magdalene in western art as a penitent sinner, or as a contemplative, or both. However, neither identification is at all probable. Luke does not name the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet, yet names Mary almost incidentally in a different context soon after; and Bethany is just outside Jerusalem, miles from Magdala in Galilee.

What we do know about Mary Magdalene is that she followed Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem and contributed financially to Jesus’ cause (Mark 15:4:41; Luke 8:1-3). Mary and some of the other disciples were present at the crucifixion (Mark 15:40; John 19:25), and, after the death of Jesus, took spices to the tomb to anoint his body (Mark 16:1; Luke 23: 55-24:1). Mary and the other women reported the empty tomb to the eleven disciples (Luke 24:1-11), though the report was not believed (Luke 24:11).

In John’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene has an even more prominent role in the resurrection accounts. She is the one who runs to fetch Peter and another disciple and then meets Jesus outside the empty tomb and mistakes him for the gardener (John 20:1-18). Mary Magdalene becomes the first witness of the resurrection who can say “I have seen the Lord” (John 20:18). Mary Magdalene’s involvement with the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus, on the criteria of Acts 1:21,22, would make her the equal of the apostles.

Source: https://www.anglican.org.nz/Resources/Worship-Resources-Karakia-ANZPB-HKMOA/For-All-the-Saints-A-Resource-for-the-Commemorations-of-the-Calendar/For-All-the-Saints

Henry Williams - July 16

Missionary

Henry Williams

When Henry and Marianne Williams arrived in the Bay of Islands in 1823, a new stage in the life of the Church Missionary Society mission in New Zealand was about to begin (Marianne is commemorated on 16 December). “Marsden Cove”, as they at first called Paihia, became the centre for the first real spread of the gospel. Henry came as an ordained priest, with some training also in shipbuilding and medicine. Born in 1792, he entered the navy at the age of fourteen and served in the Napoleonic Wars. During the American War of 1812-14, his part in a duel between two ships, in which there was great loss of life, convinced him of the futility of fighting and prepared him for his future role as a peacemaker. Henry Williams appears to have begun considering missionary work as a result of the interest taken in him by his brother-in-law, Edward Marsh, who was a member of the CMS. However, it was not until 1819, after his marriage to Marianne in 1818, that Henry offered his services as a missionary to the CMS. He was initially accepted as a lay settler, but was ordained in 1822.

Until Williams’ arrival, the missionaries had followed Marsden’s policy of teaching useful skills as a preparation for evangelism, but with little success. Also, in order to obtain essential food, they had yielded to the pressure to trade in muskets, the item of barter in which Maori showed the greatest interest. Henry immediately became the acknowledged leader of the missionary team. Now their efforts came to be concentrated on the salvation of souls. The trade in muskets ceased. On the beach at Paihia in 1826, Henry oversaw the construction of the schooner “Herald”, which greatly assisted the obtaining of supplies. A missionary team made a concerted effort to master the Maori language, and the translation of the Scriptures and the Prayer Book was carried forward. Schools were established in the Bay of Islands, and every opportunity was taken to speak about the way of salvation.

When visiting a marae, Henry would be engaged in tending the sick, in preaching, and in con-versations which would often continue far into the night. Except where he saw it as in conflict with the gospel, he accepted Maori custom. His courage and warm regard for people eventual-ly won respect and affection. His offices as a peacemaker were first sought in 1828 during a dispute between Bay of Islands and Hokianga groups of Maori, which was peaceably resolved. While some later efforts were less successful, he was to gain a reputation for stepping fearlessly between armed and angry opponents and persuading them to a better way.

Following the baptism of the chief Taiwhanga in 1830, converts were attracted in increasing numbers. Throughout the next ten years the influence of the mission spread. Although the “Herald” had been wrecked, other ships were employed. Journeys of exploration by sea and on foot into the Thames district, the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty led to the establishment of a missionary team in a number of new stations. On a voyage to the East Coast in 1834, some local people who had attended the school at Paihia were returned home, where they eagerly shared their new learning (see Piripi Taumata-a-kura, 15 May). Released captives of the northern tribes were among those who on their own initiative began to take the message of Christ to a number of districts. Desire for the gospel was also assisted by intense interest in the new books. By 1840 tribes from the East Coast and the southern North Island were asking for a missionary to live among them and teach them. For the majority of these a missionary even-tually became available. It was the vision and purpose of Henry Williams that persuaded the CMS to establish stations at Turanga, Wanganui, and Waikanae.

In this way the foundations of the Maori Anglican Church were laid. It was a remarkable pe-riod of development and spiritual growth, in which “Te Wiremu” played a vital role, and which brought joy to his heart. His colleague Thomas Chapman records that on a walk in 1833 Williams remarked to him, “We have confidence in all around us - now we use our wings and enjoy flying.”

The arrival of colonists brought by the New Zealand Company heralded a stormy period in Henry Williams’ life. He strongly supported the Treaty of Waitangi, seeing the rule of British law as a protection against unscrupulous land deals and general lawlessness. With his son Ed-ward he was responsible for the Maori translation. He and other missionaries travelled widely, interpreting the Treaty of Waitangi and seeking the signatures of chiefs away from the Bay of Islands. While Henry’s mana among the Maori persuaded many to accept the Treaty, the translation made by Henry and his son did not fully convey the import of the cession of sov-ereignty. Henry himself went to Port Nicholson, Queen Charlotte Sound, Waikanae, and Otaki. It was Henry Williams who advised the ailing Governor Hobson to establish the capital at Auckland.

Henry Williams’ concern over the alienation of Maori land and over the methods of the New Zealand Company had led him to purchase land in the centre of Wellington and in the Waganui district and to hold it in trust for the Maori owners. In doing this he brought on himself the hostility of settlers. Finding Williams’ great mana among the tribes an obstacle, Governor Grey accused the missionary, first of treasonable dealings with the chief Kawiti during the northern war, and then of causing strife with the Maori by the wrongful acquisition of land for himself in the Bay of Islands. Both charges were without foundation and stoutly denied by Henry Williams. All the land had been purchased before 1840 as the only security he could offer his children, and with the full and continuing agreement of the Maori sellers. Henry’s vigorous defence of himself against the attacks by the governor and his refusal to heed the advice of Bishop Selwyn that he should give up his lands led to his dismissal by the CMS in 1849, and he left the Paihia mission station. He was eventually reinstated by the Society five years later. In the meantime he moved to Pakaraka, to the lands in question, and continued to exercise his ministry in the church. He had been appointed archdeacon of Wai-mate in 1844, and remained so even after his dismissal by the CMS. When further trouble broke out between Maori and pakeha in the 1860s, Henry Williams took no part in the public debates raging up and down the country, though privately he was very critical of the govern-ment. His concern was for the Maori people of the north, to whom he continued to minister faithfully until his death on 16 July 1867. He was buried in the churchyard at Pakaraka.

Henry Williams’ family built a new church at Paihia as a memorial to him. It was dedicated on 17 November 1873. Soon after, as a tribute to him, the Maori people erected a stone cross in the churchyard. It was unveiled on 11 January 1876, and on it is the following inscription:

A memorial to Henry Williams
A token of love to him from the Maori Church
He was a father indeed to all the tribes
A courageous man who made peace in the Maori Wars
For 44 years he sowed the Good News in this island
He came in the year 1823
He was taken away in the year 1867

Source: https://www.anglican.org.nz/Resources/Worship-Resources-Karakia-ANZPB-HKMOA/For-All-the-Saints-A-Resource-for-the-Commemorations-of-the-Calendar/For-All-the-Saints

St Swithun - July 15

Bishop of Winchester

St Swithin’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithin’s day if thou be fair
For forty days ‘twill rain nae mare

St Swithun

Not a great deal is known about the life of Swithun. He was born in the kingdom of Wessex and educated at its capital, Winchester. King Egbert of Wessex appointed Swithun as his chaplain, and part of his responsibilities included the education of the king’s son, Ethelwulf. The Viking attacks on Britain were mounting in intensity during the early years of the ninth century, and the kingdom was frequently at war.

When King Ethelwulf succeeded to the throne of Wessex in 839, he consolidated the importance of Wessex as the major kingdom in England. He was, however, more interested in religion than military life. In 852 he chose Swithun as bishop of Winchester. In that position Swithun became famous for his acts of charity and for his encouragement of the building of churches. He played an important role as an adviser of the king, who relied heavily on him.

Swithun died on 2 July 862, and at his own request was buried, not in the cathedral, as would have been normal for a bishop, but in the grounds of the cathedral, to reinforce his identity with ordinary people. His tomb was just outside the west door of the cathedral.

A century later, when extensive alterations were made to the cathedral, Swithun’s tomb was relocated and encompassed within the new building. His remains were translated in 15 July 971. This was accompanied by heavy rain and reports of miraculous cures, giving rise to Swithun’s association with healing and stories about forty days of rain if rain fell on St Swithun’s Day There were further translations of Swithun’s remains in 974 and 1093. His shrine was demolished during the Reformation, but restored in 1962.

Source: https://www.anglican.org.nz/Resources/Worship-Resources-Karakia-ANZPB-HKMOA/For-All-the-Saints-A-Resource-for-the-Commemorations-of-the-Calendar/For-All-the-Saints

229 Ruahine Street,
Palmerston North
Email: stpeters@inspire.net.nz
Phone: (06) 358 5403

Office Hours

Tuesday to Friday
9:00am to 12:00pm

Closed on Public Holidays

229 Ruahine Street,
Palmerston North
Email: stpeters@inspire.net.nz
Phone: (06) 358 5403

Office Hours

Tuesday to Friday
9:00am to 12:00pm

Closed on Public Holidays

2017 © St Peter's Curch
Design by BMR Creative
Website by NYX
Login