Christchurch Diocesan Report

 National Board Meeting February 2014

Christchurch continues to rise from the dust and rubble and a new city is taking shape, although earthquake issues present ongoing challenges to branches and members with loss of churches and meeting places as well as members having to live in damaged homes or to find other accommodation while houses are repaired.  I am impressed by the resilience of our members as they support each other, unite in prayer and participate in the mission of the Church as they maintain the work of the CWL.


The Diocesan Council meetings have once again been held at St Peter and Paul’s parish hall Halswell, alternating with Ashburton Parish Centre on the fourth Tuesday of the month. We are grateful to the Halswell and Ashburton parishes for allowing us to meet there. The meetings are well attended by all Council members. Our Diocesan Chaplain, Father Morrison travels from Fairlie for the meetings when he is able to – this is appreciated by all Council members.


Christchurch has 18 branches divided into five regions, 401 members including 8 Associate members and 2 Diocesan Life members as at 31 December 2013.

Unfortunately age and infirmity caught up with the few faithful members of Temuka branch and the branch closed. This was in spite of the parish priest trying his best to interest new members to join.

With the loss of Temuka branch Region 3 has only one branch, so Timaru will join with the Mid Canterbury Region 4.

All branches continue to work in the name of “Faith and Service” in the Parishes and for Mission Communities. It is heartening to see how the League remains a vital part of the Diocese.

As I travel around the regions one of my pleasant duties is presenting service badges and I realise that the women who proudly wear 30/40/50/year badges were not always “Elderly ladies serving teas.”  They were the leaders in the Parishes and have been for all that time. Perhaps we should point this out when we hear that CWL is for the older ladies.


We held our opening Mass at Sts Peter and Paul Halswell and the Closing Mass at St Gregory’s Bishopdale, hosted by Papanui branch. The Closing Mass was once again on Saturday at 10 am followed by morning tea. At the closing Mass we were joined by some ladies from our Sister Churches. Having these ladies there and being invited to join them at their services is a great way for us to celebrate Church unity.

At the closing Mass we collected a supply of groceries and Christmas goods for Home and Family

In October, on the Feast of Christ the King, there was a huge Mass held in the CBS arena to mark the closing of the Year of Faith.  The day consisted of an expo of all things Catholic as well as cultural items in the afternoon and evening.

CWL was represented by a display of activities and publicity, put together and manned by an enthusiastic group of members.


We hope to move the diocesan archives into Cathedral House soon. Our long time Archivist Josephine van Montfort has indicated her wish to resign so the Council are looking for a replacement. We owe Josephine a great debt of thanks for the professional way she has kept the archives over the past years.


Members continue to raise large amounts of money for Mission communities and local causes.  Faithful knitters keep the supply of warm hats mittens and baby garments coming.

Jenny Muschamp, our Diocesan Mission Secretary, has managed the collection and distribution of the knitting to the schools and I thank her most sincerely.  Jenny’s Mission report shows just how industrious all members have been over the year.


Region 1: Dorothy Faid was re elected as Regional Rep at meeting held in Halswell.

Region 2:  Velma Maunsell has finished her term and Liz Roche was elected as Regional Rep.

Region 3:  No meeting held with the loss of Temuka branch and as Lorraine Doyle  was laid low with surgery, we were unable to organise adding Timaru to Region 4.

Region 4:  Mmeeting held in Rakaia.  Joan Lawn continues as Representative.

Region 5 :  Meeting held in Westport.   Anne Richards was re-elected.


I attended services and meetings with the Association of Anglican Women, Association of Presbyterian women and Methodist Women’s Fellowship. These ecumenical gatherings are a wonderful way of sharing prayer and fellowship with our fellow Christians.

We also have representations at NCW, Church Women United, Home and Family.

Thank you

“Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn’t misuse it.”   Pope John Paul 11

Zella McGirr


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