Hi ,
We continue Advent. Our theme this year is Coming Home. Over our four weeks we explore four themes:
  1. Home sick : Hope
  2. Laying the foundation : Peace
  3. A home for all : Joy
  4. Seeking sanctuary : Love
This week we explore laying foundations. We have the story of Zechariah praying a blessing over John, so he can become the prophet to prepare the way for the Messiah.

We are excited to say that this week we can resume in-person worship at St Mary by the Sea. Worship will look similar to how you have experienced it before in level 2. The two key differences being you will be required to:
  1. wear a mask
  2. show your "My Vaccine Pass" with its QR Code
We hope you can join us online or in-person worship. We will continue to offer online worship at 10am on Sunday for those who have chosen not to be vaccinated, or are not ready to return to in-person worship. There is more explanation about the changes below.

Journeying with you, Dion

Life at Red @ St Mary by the Sea

Welcome Video
here is our Welcome Back video, explaining what life will look like at Red level

    Online Worship

    Goes live on Sunday at 10am with a YouTube Premier here: or click the button below
    Now that in-person worship has resumed, we will not be offering a Zoom morning tea and catch up. If you will miss this, and would still like it, please be in contact with Dion, and if there is demand, he can facilitate this to still happen.

    Life at Red level @ St Mary by the Sea

    The COVID 19 Protection Plan or “Traffic Light System” came into force on Friday 3rd December.

    Auckland is in the Red setting, to be reviewed on 13th December, and we know that nowhere will be in green before the 17th of January. This gives us some certainty in planning; though we still don’t know what Christmas will look like,
    as we don’t know how the spread of Covid 19 will respond to our changed systems.

    As we move from the virus being out there; to the virus being in here, the Anglican church, nationally, regionally and locally have made decisions to keep us safe. Our collective Bishops have said our services will require “My Vaccine Passes” (see full details below). This covers all church events and gatherings,
    or to use the site now that we are in the traffic light system. The vaccine mandate is currently part of our context in the same way that policies, protocols and regulations determine many aspects of our working lives.

    All clergy and any staff or volunteers who participate in gatherings where vaccination certificates are required, will need to be vaccinated.
    When you come to St Mary by the Sea, you will need to show your “My Vaccine Pass,” which you are issued with when you are fully vaccinated, or have received an exemption. You must have the official “My Vaccine Pass”, in paper or electronic form, the little purple card, or vaccination confirmation letter isn’t valid, because it does not contain the QR information needed for the validation app to read it. Likewise a letter from a health professional saying that you are exempt is not sufficient, you need to get your exemption through the Ministry of Health and have it loaded into your "My Vaccine Pass."
    A note of reassurance, all children under 12 years 3 months of age are exempt from this process as they are not able to be vaccinated yet. Young people over 12 will need to show their My Vaccine Pass.

    We are happy to help you get your “My Vaccine Pass”, so please reach out if you need support to obtain this, the local chemists who do vaccinations can also issue these passes or you can call 0800 222 478 or you can get it online here.

    We have both found it very easy to get ours on our phone. And we were able to get them for our vaccinated children with no difficulty, using their own email addresses.

    The NZ pass verifier app that we use to verify the vaccine passes is very straightforward. It’s important to state that the APP doesn’t store any information about you, it only verifies your pass.

    You will still need to sign in with the Covid19 contact tracer APP, or through signing a Covid Slip and putting it in one of the Covid ballot boxes.

    So for now, the Vaccine mandate means we need to have a “My Vaccine Pass” to access St Mary by the Sea. We realise that this is difficult, and will create a challenging situation for some, and that some won’t be able to participate in the same way they did before the pandemic. At this stage in the pandemic, to protect people, and to support the health response, this is the option we have chosen.

    We value the participation of all and the Anglican Church will be creating an exemption process to allow us to have some gatherings that do not require a “My Vaccine Pass.” Once we know what this process is, Vestry will explore how we can include the unvaccinated in a safe way, But as we are early on in the Traffic light framework, this process will take some time to work through.
    We will also have a number of public health measures to ensure our safety while we are at the “red” setting of the COVID protection framework. We will be sanitizing between and after worship services. We will be asking you to sanitise your hands as you come in. We will be seated at least 1m apart or in our household bubbles. We will have windows and doors open for ventilation, so if you feel the cold, you might want to bring your jacket! We will do a memorial meal in place of communion. We will be listening to songs instead of singing. We will pass the peace at a distance through sign language. We will need to bring our own pencils/pens and felts for the time being. And finally we will be asking that everyone wears a mask while on site We know that this seems like a lot to take in.

    Much our measures we have done before when we were in the Alert Level system and resuming worship at Level 2. The main changes are that we now require a vaccine pass for everyone over the age of 12, and that we will be wearing masks during worship.

    Thanks for your ongoing commitment to St Mary by the Sea.


    City Mission Collection

    There is a collection box going into the Community Shop, (since we can not collect at church this year.) The box will be open until the 10th December only. Donations for the City Mission can be left there during shop open hours.

    Advent Packs

    We have created some home Advent packs with some activities and treats for the Advent season. If you would like one for you and your kids or you and your grandchildren please email Angela on with how many adults and children in your bubble and approximate ages, and your current address (this is super important). You can expect contactless drop off next week.

    Devotion books

    We have printed devotional books available that we can post to you. If you would like a devotional book please email Debbie at with your postal address. Please note these will come in the Advent packs so there is no need to sign up for both.
    ACM angels

    Auckland City Mission

    Be someone’s Angel this Christmas.

    The Auckland City Mission - Te Tāpui Atawhai is facing a bigger Christmas than ever before. With demand for food parcels already skyrocketing due to COVID-19. The City Mission is facing more requests for help than ever. In order for then to be able to make Christmas extra special for thousands of families, please consider donating directly to the Mission or contributing to the Mission via our collection box at the Community Shop until 10th December.

    Last year, the Mission gave out 30,000 gifts and 9,000 Christmas food parcels to Aucklanders who would otherwise have gone without. We know that this will be another tough Christmas for many families in our community. If you are in a position to help this year, please consider supporting the City Mission


    Monday 29 November to Saturday 25 December

    Friends of Holy Trinity Cathedral and ADJust have joined forces to bring this year's Nativity Project to life. When you visit the nativity scene outside Holy Trinity Cathedral, you will have the opportunity to ‘plant’ a native tree and gift it for Christmas through a small donation to Trees that Count. The nativity installation will depict the holy family as natural elements within the entire scene, literally ‘growing’ on the Cathedral forecourt throughout Advent, to be in full bloom at the arrival of Jesus.

    You can visit the instillation on the Holy Trinity Cathedral forecourt from 29 November in a safe and socially distanced manner.

      By 'planting' a tree at the nativity scene outside Holy Trinity Cathedral, you will help create a more sustainable future for Aotearoa New Zealand. For a $10 donation you can gift a native tree now on the registry at Trees that Count. Find out more on our website or here.

      Pastoral message from the Anglican Bishops, Tikanga Pākehā

      Friday 26 November 2021
      From the time of our nation’s first lockdown response to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequently throughout these extraordinary times, we as Bishops have met weekly together to pray, to support one another and to reflect on our leadership through the rapid changes in our nation’s continuing response to Covid-19. The foundational unit of the Anglican Church is the Diocese; that group of individuals, communities and organisations who gather around the bishop. We honour and respect the independence and integrity of each Diocese, whilst seeking in these circumstances, to offer as much consistency and commonality as we possibly can.

      Out of a deep love for the church and the people we serve, we have sought to approach the next stage of our nation’s response to this world-wide health emergency in a way that reflects two key agreements in common:
      1. The normative position for worship, events and gatherings, is that they will be fully- vaccinated. In other words, vaccine certificates will be required to attend services of worship, events and gatherings. This fully vaccinated approach, as the norm, reflects the best and most current health advice available to us, as we seek to do all that we can to minimise the risk of anyone becoming infected with Covid-19.
      2. We have a pastoral responsibility for the care of all people. This responsibility is to both vaccinated and non-vaccinated, but particularly to the most vulnerable. This care includes those who may not be able to worship with us because they have chosen not to be vaccinated. It also includes those who are in quarantine after exposure to infected people and are awaiting test results. Such pastoral responsibility also includes those who are ill, or those who are choosing to limit their potential exposure to infection because of their level of vulnerability or the level of vulnerability to members of their households. We are committed to supporting local Churches in finding ways to minister to all.
      As bishops, we are committed to constantly reviewing these principles, and the protocols and policies that are being established in each Diocese regularly, to ensure that we continue to reflect the greatest level of care possible. As we continue to navigate this season together, we would also like to take this opportunity to thank and honour all those who lead and serve within our church in Christ’s name and who work for the coming of Christ’s Kingdom. We continue to faithfully hold each other before God in prayer.

      “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

      Yours in Christ,
      Bishops Ross Bay, Steven Benford, Peter Carrell, Justin Duckworth, Andrew Hedge, Steve Maina, Philip Richardson, Eleanor Sanderson

      Archbishop Don on Vaccination

      Covid-19... doesn’t care about our sense of our personal freedoms or rights. ... Vaccination is the best protection that’s available to us. ... Our Lord calls us to sacrifice and service of others... Today we might say: Greater love has no-one than this, than to lay down their rights for their whānau (family) ... We must be wise enough to do the right thing. ... remember that we’re connected, that we’re in this together, and to hold these conversations with aroha (love). ... people have genuine questions ... help them to seek the proper information. ... those who have decided (no) ... we still have to extend our aroha (love) ... they remain a part of us. ... our safety (is) realised in ourselves together as a people. We are all in this together. ... We will explore ways to work with the proposed protection framework, alongside the knowledge that our tikanga (tradition) and our whakapono (faith) is dynamic, resilient and responsive."

      Anglican Diocese of Auckland Media Release


      Today, Ross Browne has been sentenced in relation to offences of sexual abuse during the time he was employed as a Chaplain at Dilworth School (1980-2006). On behalf of the Church, I apologise unreservedly to those who have suffered as a result of Ross Browne’s offending, and recognise the impact it has had on their lives. There is no place for this within the life of the Anglican Church. The Diocese of Auckland expresses its regret and sorrow that this has occurred. These actions are a source of shame for us, and we will continue to work to learn from what has happened so that our places of ministry are safe for all.

      The Diocese has worked cooperatively with the NZ Police and with Dilworth School since the complaints came to light and is glad that this point has been reached. There has been no evidence nor any complaints of offending by Mr Browne since his resignation from Dilworth School. An independent review of church processes is being commissioned in relation to Mr Browne’s subsequent appointment as a parish priest.

      Mr Browne was suspended from all church duties at the time that he was charged by the Police last year, and he subsequently resigned his ministry. Now that the court process has been completed, Church authorities will proceed with a Tribunal to determine Ross Browne’s standing in the Church. Deposition from the exercise of ordained ministry, which is the permanent removal from priesthood, is one of the sanctions available following a finding of misconduct by a priest.

      Ross Bay Anglican Bishop of Auckland

      Diocesan Consolidated Accounts

      Each year our annual account are combined across all of the parishes within the Diocese. These Consolidated accounts have now been audited, and are here. and an explanation paper is here. A Q&A paper has been included here to help you understand the consolidated financial statements. The Annual Report for 2020 summarises activities and services throughout the Diocese and can be viewed here.

      Stay in the loop

      Wednesday Online Zoom Study Groups

      Wednesday afternoon online study group meets at 10:30am this Wednesday on zoom. The invite for the study is here:

      Sunday 5th December

      Theme: Laying the foundation : Peace


      Luke 1:57-80, Baruch 5:1-9, Philippians 1:3-11


      Gracious God, John the Baptizer prepared your way: help us hear your word to us, and give us the grace to respond. For you are alive and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

      Vaccination FAQ

      Are you wondering if you should get vaccinated? Do you know someone who is hesitant? Here are some resources that might help.

      "I find it's quite useful for people who are on the fence, instead of asking them why aren't you getting it done? Say why is it that you're only halfway towards it? What is it that makes you think about wanting vaccination? And then discussing the positives rather than the negatives." - Dr Alistair McLean

      If you haven't yet had your first vaccine then please talk to your medical practice and ask your questions now. NO question is daft and no worry too small; it is important that you get answers to your concerns so you can make informed decisions. Please don't sit on the fence and wait. The time for action is now so we can all get back to doing what we love whilst knowing that we are protecting those around us that we love.

      If you had your first vaccine on or before Supper Saturday you are now able to get your second vaccine. Please arrange to get your second vaccine now. Call your medical provide to ask any questions you might have.

      Official Advice

      Please follow the official advice at the Government Covid19 website below:
      There are several locations of interest. Check the Ministry of Health website to find out where the times and locations of interest.
      If you have been at any of these locations of interest, please follow public health advice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

      If you are sick, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested.

      Contact information

      Call Healthline if you have symptoms 0800 358 5453
      Need to talk? For mental health help, call or text 1737

      Bishop Ross

      Bishop Ross offered an Advent Sermon here:

      Word for Today and Our Daily Bread

      As the paper versions of Word for Today and Our Daily Bread run out. You can access them online here:
      and the youth version here:
      Our daily bread here:

      Magazines on-line

      Below are PDF links for the new Insight Magazine (Spring) , this is currently available on line. Once Auckland goes to lock down two physical copies of the magazines will be sent to the church for those who want one.

      More resources

      For personal prayer, Pray As You Go has a daily devotion, as well as prayer and meditation around different emotions, as well retreats for different times of the year based around the Ignatian tradition. Lectio 365 is another space which offers morning and evening prayers and other prayer practices. Both are available as mobile apps.

      Mainly Music is cancelled for now.

      For more information on Mainly Music please email Carol Henry on , she sends out email updates to those registered to the group. If you are able to volunteer some time on a Thursday and / or Friday when the group runs, please get in touch with Meg Norton 473 8444.

      Community Shop. Re-opens

      We are please to announce that the Community shop has re-opened. The shop is currently open Tuesday- Saturday 10am- 4pm under the changes allowed under level 3.2. (Note:- NO Monday Opening at this time). Thank you to everyone for your support in this venture, it has been a long time coming.
      A5 shop moved

      Anglican Missions

      Get one- Give One Campaign.

      Get-one. Give-one is an Anglican Church wide and New Zealand wide campaign aimed at supporting access to the Covid Vaccine globally via the COVAX alliance.
      So far we have raised $145,000 to provide vaccinations in low-income countries. We aim to raise $150,000 which will provide vaccinations for 24,000 people.

      In being thankful for the availability of vaccines in New Zealand, we are aware that many people are not so fortunate. The Get one. Give one. Campaign aims to protect and support the poorest and most vulnerable. When you get your Covid-19 vaccine, please consider donating $10 so that one of the world's most vulnerable can get theirs. $50 covers a family of five and $100 covers two families!
      Supporting the 'Get One. Give One.' campaign is simple. Donations are being directed through Givealittle, rather than through Anglican Missions.
      Lets pass our gratitude on because "We're only safe if Everyone's safe".
      In New Zealand the Covid vaccine is Free to everyone aged over 16.

      So please continue to make donations to the Givealittle page linked below. You can watch the Thank you video below.
      getone give one

      ATWC Christmas Collection.

      Traditionally St Marys has supported the Anglican Trust for Women and Children’s Annual Christmas Appeal, however this year I have received the following information from the ATWC regarding their 2021 Appeal.

      "Due to infectious nature of the Delta variant in our community, this Christmas we are taking a new approach. We are operating under very strict guidelines to minimise the risk of any chance of transmission and have decided that our best option to ensuring the safety of everyone will be to limit any donations to financial contributions. All of the funds raised by our appeal will be used to purchase Christmas Gifts for children and families in-need who are engaged in our services. Thank you in advance for your understanding around this new process as we work this through together."

      Ruth Pretty Christmas Cakes and Puddings.

      These are now available to purchase, with the Anglican Trust for Women and Children (ATWC). Please see the attached order form with details and prices to order a Ruth Pretty Christmas Cake and / or a Pudding, in supporting the work of the ATWC You can donate to ATWC and at the same time receive a delicious and beautifully boxed fruit cake and / or pudding, made by renowned chef Ruth Pretty. If you would like to order these delicious Christmas cakes and puddings, please complete the order form attached and email back to myself or you can order via our website Credit card payments can be accepted. If you have any queries please contact

      Cyber safety.

      Auckland Dioceses have made us aware of a scams currently targeting churches.
      People are emailed, apparently by the clergy, and asked for money to support a person in need. If you receive any email asking you for money, gift-cards or anything similar, please ignore it and delete it. It is recommended you report it to the Police and/or Netsafe. You will never be asked for money or gift cards via email. Please only give money to St Mary by the Sea, via online banking (details below) or EFTPOS at St Mary by the Sea.

      This is a timely reminder to all parishioners to be cautious of any email asking for money or gift cards. Auckland Diocese has a policy that clergy in the Anglican Church do not ask for funds directly in this way.


      Happy Birthday to Leone Bell Booth for the 5th December. Wishing you many happy returns of the day.

      Update celebration information here.

      Marking and celebrating milestones is more difficult in times of Lockdown but it is important to share and celebrate our good news and achievements at these times as well. Below is a link to a form you can use to add birthdays, anniversaries and other annual events that you would like to share at church. This form can be completed multiple times, (for example for every grandchild's birthday!). If you do not like forms you can always just email the office with the information in a letter and I will work from that. If there is a one off event that you would like to share in church please let the office know.

      Church Roll Update

      If you are unsure whether you are on the church roll or if in the last year you have changed address, phone number or email please either email the office to update your information or complete the form linked below.
      Many Thanks Debbie

      Community Garden

      Are you interested in being part of the St Mary by the Sea community garden? For more information, see the information on the Welcome Desk, or talk to Dianne Denman, or Nannette Randall at the 10am service. There is an expression of interest form here, and a brochure here. and on our website here:

      Regular Information


      Online Worship when alert levels don't allow in person worship
      Wednesday - 10:30am - Zoom Bible study
      Sunday - 10am - YouTube worship with Zoom morning tea
      In person Worship when alert levels allow
      - 10am - informal memorial meal
      Sunday - 8am - worship from NZ Prayer Book
      Sunday - 10am - intergenerational worship with memorial meal
      Sunday - 10am - YouTube worship

      Praying for Others

      Please send names for the Sunday Prayer-List by Sunday evening to Tony Nettleton, 027 278 1450 or Names can be sent at other times as required.



      Vestry would like to encourage you to give to support our ministry. Giving and donations can be made to:
      St Mary by the Sea
      BNZ Browns Bay 02-0120-0047903-003
      Please reference your donation with your surname or giving number.


      The EFTPOS machine prints 2 receipts, the first is your copy, the second is printed by selecting MERCHANTS COPY on the screen. This second copy should always be left on the appropriate clip on the notice board. With out the second receipt it is not possible to know what the money was intended for. For Church Giving, you can either keep the first receipt or place it in the DONATION BASKET to go up to the altar for the blessing. Please write your giving number or full name on the second receipt if you want the donation added to your tax receipt.


      Have some feedback? Feel free to email


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      Debbie Rhodes, 09 4738180
      Office hours, Mon to Thr 10am-2pm


      Rev’d Dion Blundell, Office:09 4738183 Mb:021 1378624 Hm:09 4732270

      Priest Assistant

      Rev’d Jay Smith, 021 1045914


      Jean Coomer, 09 4780080
      Mark Van der ham, 021 2711207

      Synod Representatives

      Auriel Andrews
      Susan Haslam

      Vestry Secretary

      Susan Haslam, 09 4150073

      Vestry Members

      Bruce Rogers,
      Chris Waddingham,
      Jenny Cheer,

      St Mary by the Sea

      PO Box 89-082, Torbay, Auckland, 0742
      168 Deep Creek Rd, Torbay, Auckland, 0630
      Thanks for reading. See you soon!

      The St Mary by the Sea Team
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