Hi ,
Welcome to St Mary by the Sea news for this week. This week is the third Sunday in Advent. This week we look at God's prophets leading to the birth of the messiah. We both hear from the prophets, and see people living God's prophetic word. We look forward to having you join us in person or online.

A reminder of Blue Christmas at St Marys 15th December 7pm, a quite service for those who find Christmas difficult.

We are continuing to collect food for the local food bank in the run up to Christmas. Please think about adding a bit extra to your weekly shop to donate, either toiletries, long life every day items or a long life Christmas luxury item. For many individuals and families paying for housing, food and everyday bills stretches their budget beyond their means. The demand on food banks and the rise in food insecurity has been unprecedented this year. Please donate where you can.


Blue Christmas - Tuesday 15th Dec, 7pm

Is Christmas difficult for you? Have you had a difficult year? Has someone died? Or do you simply struggle with the commercialisation of Christmas. Our Blue Christmas service is for all of those of us for whom Christmas is difficult. Join us at 7pm on Tuesday 15th December to remember Christmas in a quiet and contemplative way with no Carols. We share food afterwards.

St Mary by the Sea- Leadership team.

On the 28th November we held our Annual General Meeting. One of the main purposes of the AGM is to elect a vestry and leadership team for the coming year.

Our Vestry for 2021 is made up of our priests Dion and Jay. The wardens Jean Coomer and Mark Van der ham. The synod representatives Auriel Andrews and Susan Haslam. And elected vestry members Bruce Rogers, Ryan Waddingham, Jenny Cheer and Chris Waddingham were all elected back onto vestry.

Denise Lucas and Carol Henry both retired from Vestry this year. Susan Haslam retired from the role as People's Warden. We thank all of them for their hard work and commitment to their roles. Carol and Susan have both been integral parts of St Mary's leadership team for over 10 years each and have both held numerous and varied roles with in that time. We thank God for them and their dedication to St Mary by the Sea. Both ladies continue to be very much involved in missions at St Marys. Carol continues with her pastoral support, home communion and Mainly Music rolls and Susan remains involved in the Community Shop and Synod representative.

Thank you to all our leadership team for 2021.

Take a moment this Christmas.

Take a moment - SCREEN

Church is open

Mon. 21st to Thur. 24th December 9:30am - 5:30pm (5pm Christmas Eve)
At this time of year we often need a bit of peace. We have created a space for you to take a moment. You are welcome to come and sit, pray, reflect, colour or have a cup of tea.

If you can spend some time in the church over this period to enjoy the peace yourself and to keep the doors open for others please let Angela Blundell know. Bring your cards to write, those last gifts to wrap, a book to read or just take the opportunity to stop!

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 Clayton Christie at the 8am service, or Nannette Randall at the 10am service. There is an expression of interest form here, and a brochure here. and on our website here:

A working bee to spread mulch and put edging around the gardens happens this Saturday 12th December from 8am.

Friends of Vaughan Park

Vaughan Park is our very own Anglican Retreat Centre here in Torbay/Longbay. With Covid19 effecting all of us, Vaughan Park is finding it difficult to make ends meet this year. Would you like to become a Friend of Vaughan Park, or would you like to make a one off donation, or pledge an ongoing amount, to enable the fantastic ministry that Vaughan Park offer? More information can be found at this link:

Counting down to Christmas

St Mary by the Sea has a paid for a subscription to Counting Down to Christmas and we'd love you to join us. Our group organiser is Debbie, 094738180 if you have any questions.

Christmas in 2020 is likely to have a different look and feel due to the current pandemic hitting the globe, yet the Christmas story is timeless. Counting Down to Christmas will offer hope, peace, love and some joy for these troubled times.

Join us as we count down to Christmas Day through the season of Advent.

Each email includes a short daily inspiration to read and an experiential practice to carry out in your own time.

This resource is written by Caroline Bindon and produced and published by Kereru Publishing.

To sign up to Counting Down to Christmas click on this link and follow these steps:
  1. Fill in your name, email address and country.
  2. Subscription Options - Select ‘I’m signing up as part of a group’
  3. Payment Options - Select ‘My Family/Household or Group organiser has paid subscription’
  4. Name of Group or Organiser - Type St Mary by the Sea
  5. Click Subscribe
Each subscriber will receive a welcome email confirming your subscription. If you don't receive the welcome email, please contact for assistance with subscribing.
choral advent

Choral Advent Calendar

From Tuesday 1 December
Holy Trinity Cathedral are excited to bring you a festive surprise, a choral advent calendar sent from musicians across the world. Each day throughout Advent they share the gift of music. 2020 has been a difficult year for music but we hope that this virtual calendar will help us celebrate the importance of music and singing, bringing the global choral community together during this time of Advent and Christmas.

    Online YouTube Worship

    Sunday 10am, here: or click the button below

    Sunday 13th December

    Theme:- Advent 3

    Isaiah 9:2-7, Luke 1:5-25, Matthew 3:1-11, Luke1:26-38, Matthew 1:18-25


    A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. - Isaiah 11:1


    Jesus you were the anointed one that the prophets foretold. As we remember your story, may it cause us to follow you more closely. AMEN.

    Church Donations

    With the effects of Covid, this year many parishioners have switched to online giving. This has been a great help to the parish. Not only does this mean that donations come in regularly, helping us to manage our accounts, it also removes all of the risks that are apparent with the handling of cash and envelopes through numerous hands. If you would like information on setting up an online donation please talk to Dion or contact the church office for account details.

    Donations made in church via the EFTPOS machine have also seen an increase. If you are unsure how to work this please do not hesitate to ask for help. Remember to leave your till receipt on the donation clip with your giving number or name written on it, this will be added to your tax receipt like normal. Your second receipt can either be kept by you or placed in the DONATION BASKET to go up to the altar.

    For those who want to make a cash or cheque donation in church, (either with-in or outside of a donation envelop) you need to leave this in the DONATION BASKET in the reception area. Due to health and Safety a collection is no longer passed among the congregation during a service.

    If you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact the church office. Thank you for your continued financial support of this parish, we really appreciate it.

    'Two Prayers For Today' Books for Sale

    We have received another small number of these books which you are able to purchase via the church office for $20 each. An idea for Christmas Presents. If you are purchasing on Sunday, when the office is closed, payment can be made via EFTPOS with the word BOOK written on your receipt. Sorry, this will not count towards your tax receipt.

    Community Shop

    The Community Shop took $9,200 in sales in November, (expenses have to be deducted from this). Another fabulous month in the shop.

    The Community shop will be closing on the 24th December and will re-open on the 5th January 2021.

    A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone, it's your hard work, dedication and time that make this venture work. So many people come together to make the Community shop a great place to be. Without all your donations, hard work and shopping this venture would not be possible. Thank you for your support in 2020, it's been a challenging year. We look forward to 2021.

    Zoom Bible Study

    Zoom Bible study on Wednesday at 12noon for our Zoom Bible study - Meeting ID: 919-265-616


    If there is a celebration you would like added to our list or a one off event that you would like celebrated please let the office know. Email

    Faith 5

    Faith 5 is 5 simple steps to help us nurture our faith. It is simple enough to be done multiple times a week.
    1: SHARE your highs and lows
    2: READ a Bible story
    3: TALK about how the Bible reading might relate to your highs and lows
    4: PRAY for one another’s highs and lows
    5: BLESS one another
    More info here:

    Vaughn Park Chaplain to be ordained

    You are warmly invited to the service of ordination to the priesthood for Revd Sapati Tima at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on TODAY Sunday 13 December at 3:00pm. Following the service, dinner will be served at Tatai Hono marae on site. Sapati and his family worship at St Mary by the Sea, and Sapati is the chaplain at Vaughn Park. Please join us in this celebration.
    Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 2 Burleigh St. Grafton


    Holy Trinity Cathedral 18 December | 5pm
    Come and sing with the Cathedral choir at our annual community caroling event. Please BYO picnic or visit one of our food stalls, and listen to some festive music. The bouncy castle will return to the Cathedral crossing, and don't forget to bring some food cans for the Auckland City Mission to donate to our Christmas tree!
    carols on forecourt

    Regular Information

    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.


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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,
    Ryan Waddingham,

    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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