The Methodist Connexional Office is located at:

Weteriana House
50 Langdons Road
Christchurch 8053

Postal address

PO Box 931, Christchurch 8140

T. (03) 366 6049   I. 0800 266 639

Please phone our main line (as above) and at the prompt either dial '0' to speak to Reception or enter an extension number. FOR A LIST OF EXTENSIONS CLICK HERE

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Christchurch South Parish

St Marks Somerfield

Acceptance Caring
Creativity Outreach
Teamwork Worshipfulness

St Marks Church and Hall
CnrBarrington & Somerfield Streets, Somerfield, Christchurch 8024
See Map at the bottom of this web page.

C/- Parish Office, 27 Remuera Ave, Cashmere, Christchurch 8022
Phone:+64 (03) 980 5002


THURSDAY        29th     7 p.m. Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Service
                                                   Combined with Durham St at Knox
                                                   Rev Stephanie Robson
                                                   Rev Andrew Donaldson

FRIDAY March 30th        9:30 a.m. Good Friday Service
                                                  Combined with Durham St at St Marks
                                                  Rev Andrew Donaldson and 
                                                  Jill van de Geer

SUNDAY April 1st          10:00 a.m. Easter Sunday & Communion
                                                   Rev Andrew Donaldson
                                                   Dedication of Lenten Challenge Monies

SUNDAY April 8th           10:00 a.m. Harvest Festival
                                                   Rev Andrew Donaldson

SUNDAY April 22nd        10:00 a.m. ANZAC Commemoration
                                                   Rev Andrew Donaldson

SUNDAY April 29th         10:00 a.m. Youth led Service
                                                   Tauiwi Youth Conference


Easter is upon us.  The most important celebration in the Christian Liturgical Calendar is this central act of remembrance.  It is echoed throughout the year each time we celebrate Holy Communion and through our other sacrament, Baptism.  It is not news to any of you that Easter and the Easter story is not without controversy.  Indeed, it has been contentious for near on 2000 years.  There is still no agreed upon theology that surrounds it.  Much of what we hold as central to Easter and the faith was decided upon in the fourth century CE in the Council of Nicaea in a formulation we know as the Nicene Creed.

Although there was a second Council that provided some editing.  This second council lead to the Eastern and Western Churches each having a slightly different version from which to work.  Prior to the Creed being developed the various Churches practiced their religion to their own specifications.  The Creed was developed at the insistence of the then Roman Emperor Constantine.  Where the Empire had no influence, Christianity developed down different paths altogether.

India is fascinating as Christianity developed in various ways. There was the Church of Thomas, similar to the Orthodox tradition although slightly Gnostic the second significant Christian development is the followers of Jesus within Hinduism. These two traditions were declared heresy when the Eighteenth century English Missionaries arrived.

Luckily, they survived the onslaught of the European Christians.  There is also a tradition in Nepal of Jesus having been educated by Buddhist Monks prior to undertaking his ministry and that he survived the cross, returned to Nepal and there he lived out his life.  The evidence for this latter is controversial.

In reality there are many Christianity's alive and well in the twenty first century.  Many of the pre-Nicene Creed practices and beliefs are coming back into the life of the Church.  For those of us brought up in the Protestant traditions these resurgent ancient ways might mystify us.

One of the Easter controversies is the resurrection itself.  Was it a bodily or spiritual resurrection, was it resurrection or resuscitation? The very earliest of writers don't speak of bodily resurrection. But by the time the four Gospels, as we have them, were written the bodily resurrection was central to the story.  Although some New Testament scholars suggest the earliest Gospel, Mark was later edited to include bodily resurrection.

What do I think?  I probably come down on the side of St Paul, at least of the letters we know were written by him, who only speaks of a spiritual resurrection.  I would consider this more likely than a bodily resurrection or resuscitation.  But there is something appealing about the story of Jesus asking Thomas to place his hand in the wounds.  I would however argue for a pragmatic approach to our theology. In the end it is more important that we remain together in community rather than any one of us is right.  For Jesus teaches that we will be known as disciples by our love.

Right belief has only lead to division, strife, war and some of the most ungracious religiosity. Jesus would be very saddened by history.  I found it historically sad that we had to be confined by Creeds and right belief than being defined by the way we respect and love one another and how we live out our Christ like compassion for the world.

While we might use different language to express a variety of metaphors and understanding we do agree that something quite miraculous happened on the Third Day.  And therefore

"We are an Easter People, ours is an Easter Faith"




Phone +64 3 980 5002

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Updated 25 March, 2018