Hi ,
what a week. A level 3 lock-down wasn't on our radars. We were meant to be celebrating the beginning of lent together, with St John's Campbells Bay and Albany/Greenhithe Parish. It is great to be able to mark these moments together in person, but this year we instead celebrated the beginning of lent collectively using YouTube worship. It was great to have the priests, Gendi and Kay, from Albany and Campbell's Bay to still be able to share in worship with us.

We look forward to having you join us at 8am and 10am this Sunday. We will be in Covid-Level 2, which means that worship will be socially distanced with no singing. More details are below. We look forward to seeing you Sunday 8am or 10am at our socially distanced and safe worship at St Mary by the Sea.

St Mary by the Sea opens tomorrow/Thursday for use in a socially distanced way.

Would you be interested in a lent study group; it's not too late to start, you will find more information below.

During lent we prepare to journey towards the cross and resurrection again. Our theme this year is "Again & Again." We look at how we can faithfully journey with Jesus to the cross. As part of this, you will see an art display on the front lawn by the sharing shed. We will add to this over lent, and it will change and transform.

May lent be a time of re-discovery for you.


Again & Again

God Meets Us

Mark 1:9-15 | Genesis 9:8-17
God meets Jesus at the water before he is tempted in the wilderness—
this is important. First and foremost, God claims us. God meets us in the
liminal space, at the water’s edge, at the threshold of something new, and
names us Beloved. God’s covenant with all of creation reminds us that God
meets us where we are—in the midst of our reluctance, doubt, eagerness,
or weariness—and proclaims we are good.

Ash Free Wednesday

Did you miss our Ash Wednesday service? Join in here.

Daily Lent Engagement

We have a daily reflection available.

Would you like something in depth? Then pick up the Lent Devotion Booklet from the Welcome Desk.

Would you like something brief? Pick up a series of 47 Devotion Cards.

Would you prefer a digital offering? Then click the link below to go to our Website and sign up for a daily reflection on:
  • email
  • WhatsApp
  • TXT
  • Messenger
Our reflection will also be on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, so follow us on one of these for a daily reflection.

Lent Study Groups

Visio Divina

During Lent there will be an opportunity to delve into the scriptures deeper through a process called Visio Divina. Study groups are Wednesday 10am
at St Mary by the Sea, and Wednesday 12:30pm on Zoom. If you cannot make either of those times, you may wish to run your own group. Full resources and instructions are available for this creative way of engaging the scriptures. Studies begin Wednesday 24th February.

Visio Divina, latin for “divine seeing,” is a method of meditation, reflection, and prayer through a process of intentional seeing. Visio Divina extends the 6th century Benedictine practice of Lectio Divina by the use of visual imagery. Traditionally, Visio Divina was accompanied by Benedictine iconography and illuminations, however, different faith traditions have adapted the process over time, utilizing both secular and nonsecular images. Use this lesson plan to blend visual meditation with group discussion and bible study.

Intergenerational Study Group

Sunday 3pm - St Mary's Lounge

Intergenerational Lent Sunday group - newsletter strip
Our first Intergnerational study group was to be this Sunday the 21st, but we are not able to do what we had planned in a socially distanced way, so we will start next Sunday instead. Would you like to do this at home? Here is a link to what we are doing this Sunday.

28th Feb to 28th March, in the Lounge, 3pm at St Mary by the Sea. Please join us as we combine Scripture and movies and explore more about our transforming God. We'll have popcorn and conclude with pizza, Suitable for all ages and stages, 0 - 100.

Covid Level 2 Requirements

See our video below for how we operate in level 2
Welcome Video - first frame

In-person worship - St Mary by the Sea

We hold three in person worship services:
  • Sunday 8am communion
  • Sunday 10am communion
  • Wednesday 10am communion & Bible Study
For now, in level 2, none of these services are like they were before lock-down. While we can’t wait to get back to worship… we are being cautious. We have made changes that are in line with current best practice as described by the Covid-19 information produced by the NZ Government.

The key thing is that During Level 2 we’ll be maintaining social distancing and hygiene practices such as as:
  • Using hand sanitiser or washing hands when we enter and exit church, as well as when using the bathroom or serving food.
  • Signing-in via the Government contract tracing app or the sign in sheet
  • Keeping distance between anyone who doesn’t live in our bubble. This means:
    • no hugging,
    • no kissing,
    • no shaking hands
  • Using sign language to pass the peace
  • Listening to music rather than singing. Singing has spread the virus overseas, so for now, no singing.
  • Sanitising furniture and high use areas between and after services.
We will be continuing to offer an online worship option for those who are not able or ready to be part of larger groups.

We ask that if you are sick or have any cold or flu symptoms including runny/blocked nose, cough, sneezing, temperature, sore throat, aches and pains, loss of smell that you stay at home until you are better. You can attend worship when you have been symptom free for three days. If you are concerned about your or your loved ones health, please contact your GP or Healthline 08003585453

We look forward to seeing you on-line or in-person.

Dion and Angela.

    Online YouTube Worship

    Sunday 10am, here: or click the button below

    Mainly Music

    On hold during level 2

    Mainly Music only runs at Covid Level 1.So there will be no mainly music, this Friday 19th February.

    Mainly Music - Able bodied helpers required

    Mainly Music is back for 2021. It runs school term time only on Fridays starting at 9:30am. We need volunteers to move all the chairs to the side of the church so we have an activity space for the families. If you are able to help move chairs on a Thursday, to set up, or on a Friday at about 10:30am, after the session, please call Meg Norton 473 8444.

    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:

    Resourcing Monday's Ministries

    April 9th - 11th April - Vaughn Park

    A weekend retreat at Vaughan Park for lay people of all churches to helping us become more intentional, resourced and effective disciples. Hosted by Bishop Bruce April 9th -11th. Friday 6pm - Sunday 1pm

    Bishop Bruce has a life-long interest and involvement in “Living by Faith on Monday”. He has a background in science and theology, and worked in parishes, education and industry as a priest, and as Anglican Bishop of Auckland 1985 – 1994.
    • The various contexts of our lives Monday to Saturday, in which we aim to be effective disciples of Jesus our Lord and brother
    • Focussing in whom and on what our lives are anchored
    • Locating resources for our task – so we are better equipped
    • Clues and hints on fruitfully engaging the various contexts we move in, especially the workplace
    • Consideration of case studies, and preparation for Sunday worship.
    • Commissioning and planning re-entry aims, and a review of the weekend.
    Each person will receive a work book, and the weekend will be punctuated with spaces, dialogue and prayer. More info: and 078648727.

    Cost: $310 (includes catering, two nights stay, seminar and work book).

    Registration through Vaughan Park

    Neighbours Day 20th March.

    Bring your family along to a Neighbour's Day Aotearoa event at Takapuna Methodist 38 Hurstmere Rd Takapuna. 11am-2pm.

    Poster Hurstmere Road final

    Sunday 21st February

    Theme: God meets us

    Genesis 9:8-17 CEV
    Mark 1:9-15 CEV


    God of Heaven and Earth, descend on us, we pray, in this season of Lent; strengthen us in the face of temptation so we may proclaim the Good News and reveal your ways. Through Jesus Christ our Liberator, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

    Next week's readings

    Psalm 22:23-31 - Mark 8:31-9:81

    '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. 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.

    Zoom Bible Study

    During lent, our zoom bible study will be using Visio Divina. The Visio Divina series sarts Wednesday 24th February at 12:30pm. Zoom Bible study - Meeting ID: 919-265-616

    Community Shop

    The Community shop is now open 10am- 4pm Monday- Saturday.
    The Community Shop took $8,258 in sales in January. (Expenses have to be taken out of this). This is a great result considering all the public holidays in the month. Thank you to everyone who helps out with running the shop, especially over this summer holiday period.


    Happy Belated Birthday to Naomi Stafford and Ted Ranyard for the 20th February. Happy Birthday to Paige Waddingham who turns 13 on the 22nd and to Trevor Stafford for the 25th February.

    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

    Church Donations

    With the effects of Covid, 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.

    Regular Information


    Wednesday - 10am - informal communion from NZ Prayer Book
    Sunday - 8am - formal communion from NZ Prayer Book
    Sunday - 10am - intergenerational worship with communion

    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.


    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,
    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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