rowan tree blossom

MARCH 2020

Well, February never happened as far as writing went. Rotten weather and rotten behaviour - actually in the church during the morning communion service.

It's difficult to discuss religious subjects without sounding bigoted or obsessed or just reactionary, but this is the stodgy old Anglican church which is meant to be the most indecisive and dull of our British Commonwealth protestant religions. Somehow, somewhere, the New Zealand Anglicans seem to have been taken over by basic protestants, who do not know or understand the fundamental Anglican belief that the communion service is a spiritual service acknowledging the spiritual presence of Christ.

Our so called vicar is very unpopular, regarded by her congregation as a disgrace to the church and so has depleted our congregation and deeply divided the few who still come to church. It is hard to take the woman seriously as an ordained priest when she cannot even organise a church service or lead us in worship with respect and reverence. She has few people skills, a total lack of organisational skills and no personal skills. It’s a little hard to take her seriously when she looks like she’s wearing clothes scavenged from the Charity shop rag bin, slops and slouches everywhere, and often looks as though she needs a shower and hair wash. It’s shameful to have to say that the parish are all praying hard for her resignation, and cursing the bishop who recommended her.

Anyone who questions her is out. During the last two years I’ve been on the receiving end of a series of nasty little episodes deliberately orchestrated, and then gossiped round the parish, with the aim of isolating me and at making me unpopular. She’s clever at taking a little bit of truth and twisting it into something nasty. She’s been after me ever since I complained of her to the newspaper in a letter to the editor about her plans for ripping out pews and the pulpit in a listed heritage building protected by the government.

Her latest nasty plan has been to egg on one of her ardent supporter in the style of Henry II in the form of 'Who will rid me of this difficult woman?' a la Thomas a Beckett. This has meant I was physically grabbed and shaken during the 10.30 communion service on February 9th and, despite an email to the vicar asking her to stop Sutton’s behaviour, he attacked much more vigorously on February 23rd.

And what happened? The vicar persuaded the bishop –(Who has never met or talked to me!) to ban me from the church and use a police trespass order to keep me from the church. The vicar told the police and the congregation that David Sutton was attacked by me and she announced in church that the congregation needed protecting from me. Naturally, as a large number of the congregation saw the attacks and know the truth, they were furious that Sutton is not banned from the church but I am. People refused to take communion from her and some are not returning until I am reinstated. Any respect for the woman as a vicar and a Christian is virtually all gone. The bishop has lost much affectionate respect because he has allowed me to be banned and done nothing about Sutton.

Disgraceful behaviour, to the shame of the Anglican church, and to our little community. As I was hobbling round town with a bandaged arm and leaning on a stick for a couple of weeks a lot of people heard what had happened. Their little kindnesses have done much to cheer me into the belief that loving Christian kindness does still exist in Oamaru even if not at St Luke’s Anglican church.

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