we will remember

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them. For the Fallen The poppy from Flanders Field in Belgium has become the most visible symbol of Anzac remembrance. […]

Chatham ANZAC

One year ago today I was on the Chatham Islands for Anzac Day on the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign. The painting above is by one of the young Chatham Islanders. Here is my post from this day last year. The entire morning of Anzac Day on the Chatham Islands is taken with dignified commemorations.  […]

a delighting bishop

This weekend marks one month since the death of Bishop Barry Jones, ninth bishop of the diocese of Christchurch, in the early hours of 13 February. On Monday evening (7.00pm at St. Mary’s pro-Cathedral) we will gather for the Month’s Mind Mass. Most of the reflections on the life and ministry of Bishop Barry that […]

Bp. Barry on Chats

One of the first phone calls I made on hearing of the death of Bishop Barry Jones on Saturday morning was to the furthest periphery of the diocese of Christchurch, the Chatham Islands. For almost ten years now I have served as Parish Priest of the Chathams. To serve as priest for this remote community is a […]


By the late 1940’s the NZ government was finding it impossible to provide adequate medical care for the people of the Chatham Islands. The government made a request of the bishop who knew that the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (SMSM) were founded for just this kind of missionary work and these sisters […]

Anzac Day

The entire morning of Anzac Day on the Chatham Islands is taken with dignified commemorations.  The service at dawn is followed by breakfast. Then the parade from the fire station to the hall at Norman Kirk park where the larger formal service includes prayers, hymns, formal speeches and messages, contributions of the children of Kaiangaroa and […]

Anzac dawn

Before dawn this morning here on the Chatham Islands, the Islanders gathered to remember that one morning before dawn 100 years ago this morning, New Zealand and Australian troops waded ashore at Gallipoli. In the following eight months 2779 New Zealand Soldiers were killed in the tragic Gallipoli battles. The total population of New Zealand at […]

Kaiangaroa visit

The centre of the Catholic Diocese for the past few days has been the remote Islands of Chatham and Pitt because this is where the bishop has been bishopping. We have spent time both on both islands, and in the last 24 hours have spent time in the small and distant communities of Owenga (which […]


This morning, after arriving back from Pitt Island just after 7am, and before a few pastoral visits to the homes of parishioners, the bishop and I visited the Tommy Solomon memorial at Manakau just beyond the fishing settlement surrounding Owenga harbour. Tommy Solomon who died in 1933 was then thought to be the last full-blooded […]

Pitt Island

It is now Monday morning and Bishop Barry Jones and myself have spent the weekend on Pitt Island. There is no Church further from Jerusalem and Rome than Our Lady of the Antipodes on Pitt, and our visit was an inspiring reminder that faith in Jesus Christ has indeed reached the end of the earth. […]

the bishop visits

It was a pleasure for me to today accompany Bishop Barry Jones to God’s furthest outpost, or, using the language of Pope Francis, to the peripheries, since no place on earth is as far from Rome as the Chatham Islands, the most remote parish of the Christchurch Diocese. It is a privilege for me to […]

bishop to Chathams

It is a privilege to serve as the Parish Priest of the Chatham Islands (Rekohu). Tomorrow morning Bishop Barry Jones and I will be on the plane heading for the Islands. The occasion is the bishop’s pastoral visitation to both Chatham and Pitt Islands. A number of people have expressed interest in the Chathams and in what […]

sinking feeling

I’m not sure if you have ever been seasick? I will never forget the time I was so seasick that I would have welcomed death. The journey was in a fishing boat late one night between Chatham and Pitt Islands. I didn’t realise that the crossing would take longer at night, and also that the […]

dawn from on high

It is a glorious morning here in Cheviot. I prayed sitting in the garden, the only sounds coming from neighbour’s children no doubt enjoying Christmas presents. The Canticle of Zechariah was especially poignant this morning: In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those […]

This Town – Chathams

In 1997 New Zealand historian Michael King published a well-received history of New Zealand Catholicism. He titled his work “God’s Farthest Outpost.” If New Zealand is the farthest outpost, then there is no doubt that the farthest outpost of this farthest outpost is the Chatham Islands, 600 mile off the east coast of the South Island […]

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