August 2021


From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Presbyterian Research Centre
Global Mission
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Church School
CWS Notices

From the Moderator

Thank you.

Giving thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever”. Psalm 106: 1.

These last three years have been a most wonderful and incredible journey, with God, for my wife Ruth and I. It has been a privilege and an honour to represent the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand as Moderator of the General Assembly. We have travelled together to all events throughout the country: presbyteries, churches, inductions, ordinations, funerals, graduations, and to Vanuatu for their General Assembly. Thank you for your trust, support and love.

Thank you to our seven presbyteries, their moderators and executive officers, and councils, for the invitations and our time spent together. We thoroughly enjoyed every gathering. Each are very different, yet, all similar.

Thank you to fellow ministers and your local church communities. Chaplains for allowing us to be part of your ministry.  You all welcomed us as family, brothers and sisters in Christ. It was always warm and inclusive.

Thank you to the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership staff for always including us in events regarding training of future ministers. Pastoral and professional.

Thank you to the Council of Assembly for the tremendous work you carry for our Church family. For the rapport and understanding the massive responsibilities are enormous.  It has been a pleasure journeying with you all.

Thank you to the Synod of Otago and Southland, Church Property Trustees, Children and Family Ministry, Presbyterian Church Schools, Presbyterian Youth Ministry, Global Mission.  You are all valued and cherished.  Such commitment and good work.

Thank you to my chaplains Martin and Clarissa for your encouragement and prayers. It has been a long journey together. Heartfelt words and support throughout.

Thank you to the Assembly Service Team at the Assembly Office of PCANZ.  You are all extraordinary and exceptional.  We will miss you, our times together, your coaching and your support and love. So grateful Angela, Katrina, and all our other key workers. To our AES, Wayne Matheson, you made the role of Moderator so fulfilling and enjoyable.

Thank you to Onehunga Cooperating Parish for releasing me to take on this role.  Your prayers, support and love are because of your dedication to Christ. We are coming home now.

Thank you to my heart, Ruth, and our children for their selfless devotion to Jesus our Lord.  I would not have been able to step up if it were not for you and our gifts from God. Our online devotions were our children’s offering. We thank our guide and helper, the Spirit Almighty.

Finally, my apologies to anyone whose life was upset or set back because of my service as the Moderator.

Recent events

  • Attended induction Rev Sa Siitia-Asi to Avondale Union, Auckland.
  • Queen’s Birthday letters to two members of our PCANZ family.
  • Worshipped at St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Ponsonby, Auckland.
  • Attended induction Rev Marie Ropeti Apisaloma to Owairaka and Onehunga Samoan Presbyterian Churches.
  • Led devotion for post-budget breakfast at Samoa House, Mangere, Auckland. Guest: Honourable Grant Robertson.
  • Attended Standing Committee of UCANZ in Onehunga, Auckland.
  • Preached at St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Manurewa, South Auckland.  Rev Tony Spandow nearing retirement.

Thank you O Lord God, “Your loving faithfulness never ends. Your mercies never cease. Great is your faithfulness. Your mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3: 22-23

Blessings in Christ Jesus 

From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear friends and colleagues,

Our General Assembly takes place in Christchurch – starting on Wednesday 29 September. I am conscious of the extra work that is being undertaken to make this event not only an effective forum for our Church’s business, but also an opportunity to celebrate, learn and grow together. Can I ask you join with me, and many others, in praying for Assembly? For our incoming Moderator Rev Hamish Galloway; for the Assembly Business Work Group; the Local Arrangements team - the people working behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of each day; volunteers and staff and all Commissioners. 

Assembly is an opportunity for us to gather, and provides the opportunity for thanksgiving and mutual encouragement. It is also a time of discernment for how God may be calling us to mission at this time and in this place.

For more information and details about how to register for GA21, please see the General Assembly website.

Voting for the Moderator-elect 2023

Church councils have received a pack with the profiles of nominees and a voting paper. If your parish council has yet to vote, I warmly invite you to prayerfully discern who God is calling to this position and to vote accordingly. Please read the information about the voting process and participate in this important process. Completed voting forms should be emailed or posted to reach me by 5pm on Friday 13 August.

Nominating Committee

Each parish council and presbytery has been sent information from the Nominating Committee providing background material and explaining the process and vacancies they are seeking to fill. A reminder: please send completed nomination forms to the Convener, by 5pm on Friday 20 August.

Assembly White Book

The White Book is expected to be available in early-mid September.

Notices of motion for the Assembly due by 5pm Wednesday, 29 September 2021

The deadline for notices of motion has been set as 5pm on Wednesday, 29 September. After this date, only motions arising from dialogue or debate will be accepted.

Staff news

Matthew Hague – our Legal and Compliance Director - has announced his resignation as he is commencing full time private practice as a lawyer. We wish him all the best.

Calling a newly training minister

This year, three people will complete their training. They represent a range of experiences and backgrounds. Profiles for each of them are available from Rev Brendon McRae who coordinates introductions and discussions between final-year interns and ministry settlement boards. For more information, please contact Brendon.

Thank you for your worship and witness to Christ – the head of the Church.

Ngā manaakitanga

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

Regional Connect 

I just want to say how wonderful it was to see the hundreds of youth leaders who went along to their presbytery’s regional training day, either in June or July. We have amazing people serving in our churches and it was exciting to hear the stories of what God is doing in Aotearoa right now. I heard so many stories of young people growing in faith, life transformations at Easter Camp, mentoring, young people sharing faith with friends, young people serving local communities together, celebrations of new youth ministries, and of unchurched parents becoming Christians through their own children to name a few. Additionally, it was quite a relief that we did cancel our national Connect conference which we were going to hold in Wellington in June, because at Level 2 it couldn’t have happened. 

Young Adult Ministry Cohort 

First Tuesday of the month, 3:30pm- 4:30pm: In July PYM kicked off its first round of Young Adult Ministry Cohorts. These groups are for people who either work with young adults or are interested in starting. Each group meets online to learn, share and support each other, and discuss relevant topics. If you are keen to join, sign up today! 

Queenstown Key Leaders Retreat – 27-30 November  

Registration is now open so key youth leaders put this into the calendar now! If you head up the youth ministry at your church then this amazing retreat is completely free of charge for one key leader per church to attend. If you have a second key leader at your church, or a spouse who would like to come as well, the additional person will cost $150.  The aim of this retreat is to reconnect, acknowledge, refresh and equip key leaders from across the PCANZ. 

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Manager

Presbyterian Research Centre

We have been adding substantial numbers of books to the externally-funded Christianity in Asia and Art & Faith collections in the Hewitson Library. You can find out more information about these in the upcoming new book list.

For those in Dunedin, on Thursday 19 August, we are planning an Archives open-day event as part of the Presbyterian Research Network. This will run from 11am to 1pm with soup to follow. This will be an opportunity to come and explore the sort of resources we have in the Archives, talk to staff and volunteers, see how archives are handled and processed when they arrive and have a go at creating acid-free folders. There will also be a chance to interact with our online Recollect database and get tips for handling your own archives and photographs.

If you would like to become a member of the Hewitson Library, please enter your details here. If you are not on any of our mailing lists and would like to receive emails from the Presbyterian Research Centre about new books, events, project updates or blog articles you can sign up here.

Jane Thomsen
Presbyterian Research Centre 

Global Mission


It seems there is no let-up in what has been a year of challenging news for Myanmar. Those of you who follow the international news may have read of a new surge of Covid-19 there recently. This has impacted most heavily in the region where the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar is based. This has deeply affected many of the people known personally to those of us who have visited Myanmar in recent years. Myanmar’s under-resourced health system means that people who contract Covid-19 have to find and buy oxygen cylinders and be treated at home, which is obviously very problematic. The PCM has lost two leading figures to Covid-19 in recent weeks, including the former General Secretary Rev Ring Lian Thang, and their Associate General Secretary. Ring Lian Thang was known to some PCANZ members, having visited New Zealand to attend our 2014 General Assembly. 

Donate to Global Mission for Myanmar Covid-19 Relief

We are making progress in finding ways to send funds to Myanmar (the banking system is currently unavailable due to the impact of February’s military coup) to help with the purchase of oxygen cylinders. Anyone who wants to donate to this can do so by online banking to the Global Mission account, 02 0500 0086963 10 with the reference Myanmar Covid19. Please email Katrina to confirm the donation and ensure a receipt can be given. 

Other Covid-19 support has been donated through St Georges Church in Takapuna and Chartwell Cooperating, Hamilton. These funds will go towards the Church of North India’s Covid-19 relief in the region north of Chandigarh. 

Get One Give One Campaign

These stories make us realise how fortunate we are to be living in New Zealand. It is a good time to remind you of Anglican Missions campaign to support equality in Covid-19 vaccination worldwide. Information about the Get One Give One Campaign can be found here

Phil King
Global Mission Director


PressGo still has funding for more Give-it-a Go grants! To date 22 grants have been made and a wide variety of events and new mission ideas have been tried out.  If you were intending to apply, now is the time to do it.  Contact Lisa Wells, the PressGo Mission Catalyst, for an application form and advice.  These grants are easy to apply for, limited to $500 for a one-off event or outreach activity, and have a rapid turn-around so you don’t have to wait for deadlines.

Speaking of deadlines, applications for Presbyterian Foundation grants close on 1 August 2021.  Guidelines for applications are available here or email or contact Lisa on 027 4455 723. 

Multiple requests for advice have been received for social enterprise ventures, of which one example is social housing.  Social enterprise is undertaking a business, or business-like activity for social purposes. The need for affordable housing continues to be one of the most commonly observed needs within our communities and a number of churches are questioning whether this is something they should, or could, get involved in.  PressGo has developed good contacts in this area, as well as resources which help a church discern whether social enterprise is right for them.  

Following on from the Coracle weekend for Explorers, run at Hanmer Springs earlier this year, we are helping presbyteries investigate training for “explorers” and people interested in new forms of ministry and mission.

PressGo has developed resources and a few workshops on leadership for change, the first of which will be presented at the next Kaimai Presbytery Gathering.  We welcome invitations to speak, workshop and present at regional and other events.  

We are delighted to see recent media recognition of the work of Honey and Tamiana Thrupp in the Taneatua and surrounding rural East Coast communities.  PressGo has been one of the funding partners in this project since its inception in 2016, something made possible through the generosity of churches that have contributed to the Mission Enterprise Fund.  

Lisa Wells
PressGo Catalyst

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

We are in conversation with Alpine Presbytery, Press Go, Presbytery Central, and Forge Scotland looking to resource people who are interested in beginning new missional ventures. 

This will be a year-long programme in 2022, with a mix of online and face-to-face learning - especially focused on lay leaders wanting to grow in this area. 

We will keep you informed as details and events firm up

Rev Dr Geoff New
Dean of Studies/Acting Principal
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Presbyterian Church Schools

Saint Kentigern is an independent school based in Auckland with over 3000 students spread between a preschool (3-4 year olds), a girls’ primary school, boys’ primary school (Years 0-8), and a co-ed college campus (Years 9-13) with boarding facilities.

The Saint Kentigern College opened in 1953 with 93 college aged boys and four staff on 40ha of rural land in Pakuranga. This was due to the foresight and hard work of local Presbyterians who had set up the Saint Kentigern Trust in 1949 to ensure “the acquisition of knowledge, for the glory of God, and the benefit of mankind, a proper discipline of mind and body, and a life of service to others”. A boarding house, Bruce House, was opened the following year in 1954.  In 2003, the College welcomed girls to the school and facilities were added to accommodate girls as boarders in 2011.

In 1959 the Trust opened a boys’ primary school on the site of the stately home, Roselle House, on Shore Road. This heritage building, built in 1879 for the Wilson Family, was bequeathed to the Trust and became the nucleus of this campus. May 2009 saw the Trust Board merge with Corran School, that began in 1947 as a private kindergarten for boys and girls and later in 1954 was purely a girls’ school.  It was re-named Saint Kentigern Girls’ School in 2010, and at the beginning of 2011 the Preschool opened on the Girls’ campus. Early in 2022, the Girls’ School will be moving to a purpose-built school at Shore Road with shared specialist facilities with the Boys’ School.  A tailor-made Preschool will follow in 2023. 

The school’s motto Fides Servanda Est (the faith must be kept) was given by their first headmaster, Rev Adam MacFarlan (who served for 30 years), and continues to inspire Saint Kentigern’s vision for the future.

For further information see the school website.

Stephanie Wells (Rev) 
Director of Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office

CWS Notices

Covid Appeal for Fiji

CWS has relaunched its Coronavirus Appeal for Fiji after an urgent request from partner SEEP (Social Empowerment Education Programme) for the worst affected Suva/Nausori corridor. SEEP is seeking funding for:

  • Emergency ration packs for large families and those with disabled or elderly members, including people living in informal settlements.  Ration packs include root crops and vegetables purchased from the rural communities with whom SEEP works and cost $83.  SEEP will ensure PPE gear and strict handling procedures for staff distributing packs.
  • Hygiene and first aid supplies to rural community dispensaries and nurses, as well as PPE.
  • Seeds, soil and seed trays so people can start or expand home gardens.

SEEP is coordinating with local organisations to avoid duplication. Please promote our appeal and consider organising a collection. Donations can be designated to other badly hit countries if preferred. We ask for your prayers for all people at risk of Covid-19, especially in India, Sri Lanka and Fiji.


National Director Pauline McKay is retiring on July 30, all are welcome to her farewell on the same day. 

Operation Refugee

Operation Refugee runs until October.  We invite your church to plan a banquet, meal or walk to raise funds for refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.  New resources this year include a Bible Study
Seventeen-year-old Assef is showing us the lead in Jordan.  He is sharing his passion for robotics with his peers - Syrian and Palestinian refugees. Contact: Eric Park or phone 0223776606.  

Winter Story

Our Life is so Difficult said Chandramathi when describing her life on the South Indian coast.  The pandemic has tested the endurance of these fearless fish workers.  Read their story and if you can, please support the Winter Appeal. Watch the short video made during lockdown.  Printed copies are available from Jordyn.


Sign up for GA21 News

If you're not attending General Assembly 29 Sept to 3 Oct, you can sign up with your email address to receive news every day of GA business. This email will summarise decisions and events, as well as providing links to fuller information. Sign up here.

Presbyterian Investment Fund

Deposits and withdrawals can be processed as normal during current alert levels, observing the requirement to provide advance notice for major (>$100,000) withdrawals. The interest rate paid on the PIF On-Call Fund remains at 1.0% pa. The interest rate on the PIF Long-Term Fund remains at 3.0% pa plus inflation. Rates are subject to change. The PIF is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For details on the Long Term Fund or further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Russell Garrett.

Register for GA21 & Ministers’ Training Day 

See the GA21 website to register for GA and for information on the event. A Ministers’ Training Day will be held Wed 29 September in St Andrew's College chapel. It is open to all Presbyterian ministers, not just those attending GA. 

Free lunchtime concerts August – St Andrew’s on the Terrace Wellington

St Andrew’s on the Terrace Wellington hosts free lunchtime concerts. In August these will be held 12.15pm to 1pm on 11, 12, 18 and 25 of August. See more details of the programme here.

Opportunities for free study at NZMA Otahuhu

NZMA Otahuhu write that for those who need a career change, have lost a job because of COVID-19, or are not earning enough to support family and commitments, you can join other Pasifika and Maori students who have successfully completed NZMA Otahuhu Business studies and found work. NZMA Otahuhu Business courses are FREE (Conditions Apply). “You will learn computer and leadership skills for the workplace”. Find out more at or call 0800 222 833. 

Glen Innis holiday home for ministers

Ordained ministers are entitled to a week's free holiday accommodation each year at Glen Innis Station, south east of Waipukurau in Hawke's Bay. Note that both houses have had dishwashers installed. Stays are running from Monday to Sunday to allow 24 hours between guests to allow for a deep cleaning. Check out the website for video tours, available dates and contact details to make a booking. Learn more


Check out details about upcoming events including training workshops, opportunities to serve and more. Learn more


Check out our job vacancies page and the ministerial vacancies table for the latest vacancies available in Aotearoa and around the globe.