A Message from Bishop John Gray

Bishops' Emergency Appeal for Christchurch

3 March 2011

E te iwi whanui tena koutou,

Greetings to our friends and Whanau in Aotearoa NZ me nga Hui Amorangi, USA Presiding Bishop Katharine Schori, Bishop of Hawaii Robert Fitzpatrick, General Secretary Tom Heffer Seafarers in London and many others who have contacted us.

If I haven’t responded to anyone my apologies as we have been totally involved with this work in the field (12hrdays) you can contact me on 0274323971 or 033891683. If you wish to donate this will be greatly appreciated and can be sent to - 060807 0078247 02 - National Bank, Fitzgerald Ave Branch, Imprest Account (Anglican Maori Mission).

Thank you for your prayers and support physically and financially which has been greatly appreciated for our work in this horrific devastation which has plagued the city for the past ten days.

The Hui Amorangi is active in allocating Priest and counselling services in most of the welfare centres. In the next few days 6 students from St John’s college and 2 priests from Manawa o Te Wheke and a priest from Blenheim will join us this will give relief to some of our staff who been involved since the Earthquake. As the bodies are recovered from varies sites I have been asked to provide priestly services to bless these areas starting with the Cathedral we will be attending each time there is a recovery on a 24hr cycle. We have Maori Chaplains based at Christchurch and Burwood Hospitals to assist families and patients.

We are thankful for the assistance of Jo Unwin for her services in co-ordinating donations of food at 290 ferry road where we have our distribution bank which also receives water blankets and many other goods including portable toilets for delivery. We are thankful for the contributions from the business community of Ashburton and other donors too numerous to mention. We are providing hot food and non-perishables groceries to houses who are unable to access food banks because these areas have experienced flooding of their homes through the earthquake in some cases they don’t have any mode of transport and we have to use 4wheel drive vehicles to reach these people.

Our centre is also providing temporary housing to families who have no place to stay due to the quake approx. 20 in residence and growing. Unfortunately we are unable to house more because of limited shelter, water and Porta-loos. I am praying and hoping we can obtain a special tank for water soon this will help alleviate some of our problems. We are working with Hera Clark and her 7 social workers who have come from Wellington they are based at our centre and we appreciate the services they are offering.

I visited the student army co-ordinators with the Dean Peter Beck who have a work force of 18000 students to give them encouragement and moral support and we provide pack lunches to 50 coordinator staff when requested (on a roster basis). This group is engaged in liquefaction clearing and many other tasks in the community.

The Hui Amorangi (Te Hepara Pai) is a very small ministry unit in Christchurch with a big heart we are here for the long haul and we know that Gods grace will guide us safely through this carnage of human life and suffering. I would like to thank our donors particularly to Bishop Kito who responded when the crisis began which enabled us to set up resources for this major catastrophe thank you and your Hui Amorangi. To all other donors thank you for your kindness and aroha. In the evenings we meet at 7.30pm to give spiritual nourishment to those who are working in the field please keep us in your prayers as we continue God’s work amongst our people.

May God bless us as I retire to take my rest to begin a new day of showering God’s love.

Will be in touch as we progress once again a big THANK YOU to everyone.

Na reira tena koutou katoa
Bishop John