WelCom May 2020:
More than 30 years ago an ecumenical ‘Convenant’ was established between four inner-city churches of Napier to forge a stronger Christian church for the city through working together. The churches involve St Patrick’s Catholic Church, the Waiapu Cathedral of St John the Evangelist, St Paul’s Presbyterian Church and Trinity Methodist Church.
The Covenant continues to unite the churches in their witness to Christ and to serve the church communities as they celebrate God’s presence among them in several gatherings during the year.
At the start of each year, the churches gather to renew their Covenant and invite the Mayor, local MPs, and many city and regional councillors, as well as various city community representatives, to a blessing for the year ahead.
‘It’s a really nice thing to do,’ says Fr Barry Scannell, parish priest for The Catholic Parish of Napier. ‘And every year the churches observe weekly Lenten services together culminating on Good Friday with a walk with the Cross through the city in witness to Christ.
‘While at the start of this year’s Lenten Season we were able to meet at the various churches, when the Covid-19 lockdown came into place, we obviously couldn’t get together in person but kept in touch by Zoom and phone calls.
‘In our parish, there has been an overwhelming response by people to connect regularly in various groups through phones calls, newsletters and online with Zoom. It is very human to miss what we have when it is taken away from us. People have been really missing coming together on Sundays as a faith community and are very much looking forward to being together again in person at church.’