Newsletter September 2023


In September each year we turn our attention to Creation and reflect on the different aspects of the natural world around us — forest, land, wilderness and rivers. There are so many ways in which our lives are enriched by the beauty of Creation yet still we take it all for granted and fail to do all we can to protect it.

For many years now we have had people talking to us about global warming and climate change and yet there are still people who are sceptical. They dismiss the effects although there are now few — if any — countries in our world not impacted. Individuals who are in denial and refuse to change their habits and fail to recognise the damage they are contributing to, are affecting children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and generations to come. Across the world many lives have already been lost.

Now we are turning our concern to how we can slow down the effects of climate change and what we can do to support the many people in our world suffering the effects.

Many people in our community and throughout the world are really struggling at present with inflation, food prices and the other costs of living.

We at St Andrew’s, working with Pukekohe Community Action, are involved in the resilience plan that is currently being developed in our community. There are many aspects to consider. A side effect of Covid, fear of weather conditions and climate effects is isolation and lack of feeling of self-worth. People want to help but they struggle to know how they can contribute. We are hoping that when it is finished, the resilience plan will be able help people to become involved in some way if they wish.

Vestry and Pukekohe Community Action are exploring how they can contribute to supporting the community. Currently resource consent is being applied for to build a garage for a dry store.

We are also aware that we need to update and extend our power board which we estimate is around 70 years old. We will need an increased supply when the church restoration takes place and if we are going to supply emergency support for people in need.

Requests for food parcels in July were the same as the combined number of requests in September, October and November last year.

Fortunately, we had a slightly quieter month during July but looking at the months coming up, this will soon change with parish fair, St Francis’ Day and a Handel Quire performance coming up in the next month.

It is now 18 years since the Reid Anderson Hall was upgraded and as we all know the complex is used a lot so it is inevitable that we are needing to do a considerable amount of upgrading. For instance, only one of the gas heaters in the main hall is working and the others are beyond repair.
It is also a challenge to know what we should be replacing them with.

We are also going through a period of people taking their long-awaited holidays. This means we will have people who usually do regular jobs missing for a time. If you see a task that needs doing, please feel free to do it. If you are unable to attend to it, please let me know.

We have had some sad losses of people associated with parishioners. Please be assured that our thoughts and prayers are with you.

In the second week of September, please keep Helen, Vicky, Jan and the diocese in your prayers for good discussions and making any decision for the diocese at the annual Diocesan Synod. It begins on a Thursday evening with a Eucharist service and the Bishop’s charge and then on to discussing the business of the diocese on Friday and Saturday. It is a good opportunity to catch up with people from around the dioceses and to learn what is happening in other parishes.

We celebrate St Francis’ Day with the blessing of the animals on Sunday, October 1 at 9.30am in the Nora Brown Hall. I always enjoy St Francis’ Day. Bob and I had the opportunity to stay in the Monastery at Assisi. It was so special. The rooms were so tiny and so sparse with the tiniest baths in them. The paintings in the basilica were amazing. The whole atmosphere was so peaceful. St Francis’ Day always brings back memories of the visit.

You are welcome to bring your animal and come and join us, or just come and join with us in worship. As we look forward to Spring, so we look forward to the beauty of baby lambs on the farms and the blossoming of flowers bringing colour to the gardens.

Blessings to you all — Jan


(from Seasons of the Spirit resources)

Forest Speaks to Humanity

Personal reflection: Genesis 2:9 calls us to appreciate the trees that are both “pleasant to the sight and good for food”. If you can, take a walk in the forest. If you are far from one, take a few minutes to visualise your last trip to a wooded area.

Q How did you become aware of beauty? Was it something you saw, heard, or smelled?

Q How does your awareness of beauty call you into greater love for creation? How does that love call you to act?

Based on Acts 17:22-28

Then Forest stood in front of Humanity and said: “Humans, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. As you build your cities beside me, within me, surrounding me, replacing me, I see your objects of worship dedicated to gods you do not even recognise.

“But I proclaim to you: the one God you seek through all these others, all your searching and sacrificing to what is unknown; the one God is here, in me. Creator God who made me — Forest, also known as Garden — and all life I hold within; Spirit God of all; They do not live in shrines made by human hands as though God needs anything from you. For God gives life to all, breathes breath in all that lives!

“From one seed, one Sacred Spark, all life grows to inhabit the whole Earth; it is Creator who set our places to dwell, the times and seasons of our living. And that Sacred Spark leads all life to seek its Maker, to reach out for our Source: They are not far; not far. For in the Source we live and move and have our being. And you know, as some of your poets say, ‘We, too, are Creator’s offspring.’”

Jesus and the Land

Personal reflection: In the second week of the Season of Creation, like Forest, we experience Land as a character. She has things to teach us and reveal to us. Land’s experience mirrors our own and reacts to what we do. Open your windows and listen to the landscape. Ask Land:

Q How are we hurting you today?

Q How do you experience God’s grace?

Q What is sacred to you?

Life within Which I Live

Based on Psalm 139:7-12

Land addresses Creator in prayer: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I escape your presence? If my particles fly to the heavens, you are there.

“In my depths of rock and sediment, you are there. If grains fly on the feet and wings of butterflies, bees, and birds, or wash from seashore to ocean bed with the tides, even there, your hand leads me, your hand holds me tight.

“If I say, ‘Night frightens me, seems to smother me, the light of Sun and Moon and Stars has left me all alone,’ even fear does not frighten you, for you see Night’s beauty as clearly as Day’s.

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Nowhere can I be without you. Thank you, Creator, Life in which I live, Light by which I see.” Amen.


Personal reflection: Unlike Forest and Land, Wilderness may feel so far from your every day that it’s hard to know what it is. Consider how you might come to know Wilderness. Is there a place you could go for an encounter this week? Is there someone who might share their experience of Wilderness with you? Is there a way that you can connect with the “groaning of creation” every day?


Today is the day of creation. Any day that you choose to act, choose to hope, is the day of creation — a day when anything is possible. The future is dark, but it is in darkness that babies are conceived, that seeds sprout, that death turns into life.

Celebrate the darkness, because in it may be hidden new opportunities, and new life. Celebrate life. Celebrate your victories. And may the God of hope, the God of second chances, the God of resurrection bless you with strength and courage today, and all the days of your life. Amen.

Copyright © Kellyann Falkenberg Wolfe. Used by permission.


Recall a time when you encountered or connected with some of running water a river or stream. Now imagine that river or stream is telling the story of the encounter.

Q What is River saying?

Q What new insights come to you as you imagine the encounter from River’s perspective?

Before there were plants growing in Land, there were streams that “would rise from the Earth, and water the whole face of the ground”. (Genesis 2:6).

From that muddy humus, God first imagined our beings. God formed us in connection to other things God created. This is how our story with River began. There have been many more stories.

Water comes with many stories from four waterways that weaved through the Garden of Eden to the Jordan River. These stories have shaped us, just as River has changed our landscape. Even with all these stories, we still have more to learn from water.

Water Is Life. Water has power. We know this as Christians who embrace the symbolism of Baptism. With water, we become different people. In water, we find our whole lives, and this has endless power.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, Māori gave River new life by granting the waters of the Whanganui River personhood. In those flowing waters, their ancestors lived. They feel called to protect these 290km of flowing waters in the familiar saying, “I am the river, the river is me.” It is a part of them.

After 160 years of legal battles to protect this part of themselves, they finally gave legal personhood to the Whanganui River, allowing it to have “all the rights, powers, duties, and liabilities of a legal person”.

From Seasons of the Spirit.


September 3: First reading: Acts 17:22-28; Gospel: John 3:1-16

September 10: Romans 5:12-17 Matthew 12:38-40

September 17: Romans 8:18-27 Matthew 3:13-4:2

September 24: Revelation 22:1-5 Matthew 28:1-10


Tuesday 5, 10.30am: Palms Rest Home

Wednesday 6, 10am: St Andrew’s

Thursday 7, 10.30am: Franklin Village

Tuesday 12, 11am: Palms Hospital

Thursday 14, 10am: St Andrew’s

Thursday 26, 11am: Possum Bourne Village


Every Sunday

8am and 9.30am at St Andrew’s Pukekohe

2nd and 4th Sunday of the month

11.15am St Paul’s Buckland

1st Sunday of the month

11.15am Nora Brown Hall behind St Andrew’s Church

Weekdays 10am at St Andrew’s

1st Wednesday of the month — 3rd Thursday of the month





Blessed are you, Lord God. On the fifth and sixth days of Creation, you called forth fish in the sea, birds of the air and animals on the land. You inspired St Francis to call of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless all living creatures. By the power of your love, enable them to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures. Amen


Arch replacement

Progress continues on the creation of the various items for the arch project.

A photo from Liquid Stone shows the steel arch frame and some of the formwork. The factory inspection of all major items has been rescheduled for August 21 due to availability of people. Work continues without delay.

We are advised everything is on schedule. Based on the schedule, the installation is due to start on September 27 and will be completed by October.

Richard Gibbons



After a long wait we are holding this landmark event on Remembrance Day this year, November 11 2023. Bishop Ross will be with us for this event. I expect this to be about 10.30am so we can pause to reflect at 11am. We will follow the dedication with light refreshments — hopefully on the vicarage lawn.


Work on creating a disaster resilience plan for Pukekohe is picking up pace.
Community Networks Franklin, of which Jan is the chair and I am the secretary, is working with the Franklin Local Board to help our community to plan for emergencies.

The second meeting of interested participants on August 15 included discussion on topics to help us identify hazards and their impacts. Information gathered from the night will inform the plan. Topics discussed included:

Our Place — identifying the geographical area the plan will cover and some of its characteristics.

Knowing Potential Dangers — exploring the Auckland Council GeoMaps website which identifies the hazards Pukekohe is at risk from. See these at:

Naming Natural Disasters — and discussing their likely subsequent events

Personal Plan — talking about things you should consider when creating your own household emergency plan.

Knowing others — getting to know your neighbours and community organisations that might help in a disaster.

The next meeting at 5.30pm on September 19, in the Reid Anderson Hall, will look at establishing development teams eg Communication Strategies, what facilities we need, who we need help from, and locality plans. We’ll also look at establishing an ongoing steering committee to lead us into the future.

It’s not too late to get involved. If you have experience or have been thinking about how you could help in an emergency, and you would like to contribute at this meeting, please let Jan know or email Community Networks Franklin at

Judith Tucker


By Keith Gardner

While helping my dad look for land snails, we came across an unusual creature that looked like a centipede but was fatter and blue in colour. We were lucky enough to see a Peripatus.

Peripatus or velvet worms are unusual animals of the forest floor. They are called living fossils as they are unchanged from five hundred million years ago.
Some scientists say they are a missing link for their similarity to both worms and insects.

They look like velvet because of the many bristles on them. Some are brownish in colour, but most are blue. They look like caterpillars and have stumpy legs along their body. They range in length from 2cm to 8cm.

They live for about five years and the females produce 10-20 offspring each year.
Some lay eggs but most hatch live young.

Peripatus are different from other invertebrates in that they have their own Phylum (the level of classification after Domain and Kingdom).

There are about 200 species worldwide. They are found around the equator and the southern hemisphere.

In New Zealand there are up to 30 different species but only nine have been studied closely. They are found in in our forests but can be found in scrub, gardens, and pasture.

Their velvety skin has permanently open pores which means they can easily dry out so they are found in shady cool and damp areas.

They hide in rotten logs and under leaves during the day but come out at night to prey on other invertebrates. They will spit on their prey, trapping them in a sticky mass before eating them. Spiders and beetles are their favourite food.

Peripatus populations are in decline as a result of habitat loss from development. It is only now that detailed studies have been made of this fascinating creature.

Help from Doc and Teara



present JOSHUA, directed by Robert Howell

Soloists: Gina Sanders, Rosel Labone, Iain Tetley, James Roberson

Sunday October 1, 3pm, St Andrew’s Church, Pukekohe.
Adults $45, Seniors $40, Students are FREE with ID. Save $10 off the door price by booking via eventfinda.

“The Handel Quire is small in appearance, but large in the production of its amazing choral sound!” — Rainer W. Buhmann


Saturday October 7, 8am-11am
Cakes, jams, plants, books, BBQ, raffles, White Elephant Stall.

Please try to keep the date clear. We will be setting up during the week from Tuesday October 3 since it will be in the school holidays and our children’s groups will not be running. Help with setting up will be much appreciated.

We are beginning to collect items for our fair and garage sale and would really appreciate items for the tombola and raffles. These can be dropped off at the parish office Monday to Thursday, between 9am and 2pm, or brought along to church on a Sunday morning.

We would also appreciate contributions of cakes, jams or preserves, craft items and such like. The usual garage sale items, books and other items are also appreciated. Sausages will be available on the day.

It would be good to have seedlings for sale, but it is still quite cold for planting — hopefully things may be a little warmer by October! Larger plants would be very welcome if you have any to donate.

Health and Safety Policy


A copy of the Parish Health and Safety Policy, along with the processes required for the implementation of the policy, is available on our website or from the parish office. Evacuation plans are in each area of the church and complex.

Assembly areas are the car park beside the Reid Anderson Hall, by the road in front of the church or on the vicarage lawn depending on the location of the emergency.

St Paul’s Church: Assembly area is by the road at the front of the church.

First aid kits and accident reporting sheets are located:

1. Reid Anderson — In the cupboard over the small hand basin, by the back door in the kitchen.
2. Nora Brown — on the shelf above the microwave. Record sheets are next to the microwave.
3. Parish office — 2nd to top shelf on left side in the back room.
The office is locked when unattended. Forms are to be completed as soon as the accident has been dealt with and the form put through the slot by the office door and the vicar or wardens are to be notified. Treatment including resources that are used are to be recorded on the accident sheet.


Vicar: The Rev’d Jan Wallace – 238 7723 Home; 238 7228 Office; 0274 521 366 Mob;


Rev’d Jan Wallace

Vestry secretary: Karen Stevens

Wardens: Pauline Brown 021 182 3703, Richard Anderson 021 088 23499

Synod Reps: Vicky Mee, Helen Halliwell

Vestry members: Renton Brown, Richard Gibbons, Helen Halliwell, Julie Perelini, Glenis Kerr, Vicky Mee

Buckland Rep: Jim Moore

Parish Ministry Team

Vestry Wardens: Pauline Brown and Richard Anderson; Family: Gael Crimmins; Communications: Cecily Daroux & Judith Tucker; Community needs response: Jan Wallace & Vicky Mee; Sustainability: Pauline Brown, Vicky Mee, Keith Gardner; Pastoral Care: Rev Jan Wallace, Rev Merlene Walker


Central Vestry Trust Board Treasurer: Ros Phillips;
Parish Recorder: Keith Gardner (Parish Envelope Scheme); Parish Administrator: Judith Tucker

Office Hours: Monday to Thursday | 9am-2pm

Address: 31-37 Queen St, PO Box 338, Pukekohe; Phone: 09 238 7228; Email address:

Op Shop: 9am — 12 noon on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays


Wednesday September 6, 10am: Parish Communion Service.
10.30am: Mothers’ Union social group gathering.

Thursday September 21, 10am: Parish Communion Service. Fellowship Group meets at the church at 10.20am for cafe outings.

Sunday October 1, 9.30am: St Francis’ Day, Animal Blessing. Service in Nora Brown Hall.
Sunday October 1, 3pm: Handel Consort & Quire performs Joshua, the biblical story of the leader of the ancient Israelites. Adults $45, seniors $40, students free with ID. Save $10 off door price by booking with the office or via eventfinda.

Saturday October 7, 8am-11am: Parish Fair & Garage Sale.


To make contributions to the parish, the account numbers are:

• Parish general expenses including automatic payments: 06-0405-0012157-00

• Restoration of the church: 06-0405-0078359-01

• Pukekohe Community Action (for community out-reach in our community): 12-3023-0071016-00

• Make sure you put your name in the reference field and email Jan at so we can send you a tax receipt. Many thanks in advance for your generosity.

Leave a Reply