Diocese's 150th anniversary marked

Doves fly from St Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin, after a special service yesterday to mark the 150th...
Doves fly from St Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin, after a special service yesterday to mark the 150th anniversary of the Anglican Diocese of Dunedin.
Doves flew from the steps of St Paul's Cathedral yesterday after a service of celebration and thanksgiving for the 150th anniversary of the Anglican Diocese of Dunedin.

St Paul's was at full capacity for the service. PHOTOS: GERARD O'BRIEN
St Paul's was at full capacity for the service. PHOTOS: GERARD O'BRIEN
The Rt Rev Dr Kelvin Wright, the former bishop of the diocese, preached the sermon, which reflected on the story of Hagar in the Book of Genesis, and her ultimate divine rescue from the wilderness, through a well of water.

Bishop Wright said after the service the story ultimately illustrated the access, even in a desert, of God's saving love.

"It's always hopeful that the love of God is always available," he said.

The sesquicentennial was that of the whole diocese, including Otago and Southland.

He acknowledged the challenging history of the cathedral building, including the earlier need for rebuilding, and the removal and later replacement of some parts of the physical structure over the years - all steps which were reflected in a display of historical photographs at the cathedral.

The biblical story of the wellspring of love and transformation offered just as much hope for parishioners today as it had 150 years ago, and the strength of the diocese was ultimately based on the love of God, and not on buildings, he said.

The present Bishop, the Right Rev Steven Benford, presided at the two-hour service, and, after the 25 doves were released, he blessed a memorial native tree.

Comments

Fine, but Abraham sent Hagar into the wilderness on Sarah's insistence and Jehovah did not punish the Patriarchal cruelty.
Plus ca change.

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