One of the most isolated communities in the Diocese of Christchurch is the settlement of Kaingaroa (population fewer than 50) on the North-East tip of Chatham Island (pop. around 500). It’s an hour’s drive on a winding rugged shingle road from the main Chatham settlement of Waitangi. Today I made the journey to lunch with some of the locals. It was good to be with them again.
Faith in Jesus is alive and vibrant in these isolated communities. We are well over half way through the Year of Faith, and the diocesan offerings and events to mark this year aren’t designed to reach people in these rural and distant areas of the diocese.
I offer what I have been given to offer as a priest. I think of offering Mass at Our Lady of the Antipodes Church on Pitt Island (pop. 30 people), lunching with parishioners and their friends at Kaiangaroa, then late this afternoon celebrating Mass in St. Therese of Lisieux Church Waitangi, and offering the other sacraments (Reconciliation and Anointing and Baptism) wherever they are desired.
And this evening as I prayed Vespers in the dark Church, I was grateful for the opportunity to serve God as His priest in this place.
a couple of views on the journey to Kaingaroa: