The Anglican church offers rich traditions and sacred space for celebrating life’s most joyful and most painful moments, and we’d be glad to talk with you about your hopes and needs. Please contact the Vicar, The Rev’d Clare Barrie, if you have questions or would like to begin planning for any of the occasions outlined below.
Death & Dying
If you or a loved one is journeying towards death, the prayers and support of a priest may bring comfort and peace. The Vicar can visit people at home or in hospital, often even at short notice.
Thanksgiving for the Gift of a ChildThis provides an opportunity for friends and family to gather and celebrate the gift of a child and offer prayers for family life and wellbeing. The child’s name is given and we pray for all the gifts that parents need for the journey. It’s quite an informal and flexible service and it can be held at the Church or in your own home. It is a Christian service, but it doesn’t carry the same expectations about faith and membership of the Church that baptism does.
The Interment of Ashes
St Luke’s’ graveyard is no longer open for burials, but we have identified spaces for interring ashes. If you are interested in obtaining a plot, please contact the Administrator. St Luke’s clergy will be glad to support you with short prayers and practical assistance when you come to inter the ashes, or you are welcome to let us know that you will do this in your own time and in your own way. Any memorial stone or plaque needs to be in keeping with those around it.
FuneralsAn Anglican funeral service offers a blend of tradition and flexibility as you bring your loved one to God and take time to give thanks and say goodbye. Our clergy will support you in planning and preparation for the service (either before or after someone has died), and will work with a funeral director of your choosing. Families also often use our Hall for refreshments and time together following the service. There’s no charge for the use of the Church or Hall, although a koha is welcome.
WeddingsA wedding celebrates and recognises the blessing that a man and a woman can be to one another in a life-long committed relationship. It’s our policy that only the Vicar, or another Anglican priest with permission of the Vicar, can conduct marriage services at St Luke’s – the Church is not a venue to hire. The Vicar meets with a couple over the course of several months to plan a service based on an Anglican prayerbook service of your choosing, and to ensure you also have space to reflect together on your relationship and the meaning of marriage.
Reconciliation in the Anglican tradition (known as private confession for Roman Catholics) is an invitation into God’s ever deepening grace. The Anglican understanding of reconciliation is “all may, none must, some should.” For most of us, most of the time, the general confession and absolution that are part of most Anglican communion services offer us sufficient assurance of God’s forgiveness. But sometimes, we carry something more tightly and find it difficult to lay down. Reconciliation offers an opportunity to name something specific in God’s presence, and to hear words of absolution. For some, this is a seasonal spiritual practice, while others are drawn to it simply as the need arises. The priest exercises this ministry in absolute confidentiality. Please contact our Vicar, Clare if you’d like to explore this further.
BaptismsBaptism is the rite of initiation into the Christian church, the Body of Christ. It is one of the oldest sacraments (or symbols) of the church, and in it we give thanks for the new life that Christ affirms in us in baptism. Because baptism is about becoming a member of the church, we usually celebrate baptisms during our main Sunday morning service. Baptism assumes a sense of Christian belief and desiring to participate in Christian community, either on the part of parents and godparents who make promises on behalf of the child, or on the part of an adult candidate.
Relationship BlessingsAnglican priests in New Zealand are not yet able to act as celebrants for same-sex weddings. However, at St Luke’s we continue to advocate for full inclusion in God’s love and the rites of the Church, and in the mean time we welcome couples who are already civilly married, who wish to celebrate God’s blessing on their relationship and their marriage.
There are many reasons why we might seek to have our home blessed by a priest. Perhaps you’ve moved into a new home, or had a recent bereavement or illness, or other life transition. In all these moments, it can be a wonderful source of comfort and reassurance to know that our home – the place where we find rest and renewal – is marked with the prayers of Christ’s church. If you’d like to have your home blessed, please get in touch with Clare.