Telling the stories of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia

Anglicans move to life online

Since the COVID-19 lockdowns began, Anglicans around Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have burst into online spaces with new vigour to worship and connect with one another while physically apart.

Taonga News  |  28 Mar 2020

Many Anglican churches across the province have moved quickly to stay in touch and join in prayer by hosting online services and meetings on Facebook this week. Others have chosen to worship together via Zoom meetings or webinars, a system already in place for Anglican virtual meetings. Still more are broadcasting worship directly on Youtube, or using other get-together apps such as House Party to stay in touch with their communities.

On Sunday 29 March at 10am Te Pīhopatanga o Aotearoa hosts its first live-streamed Kai Hapa service at 10am, which will be led by clergy from around the country with Archbishop Don Tamihere preaching the sermon.

Tikanga Pākeha has seen a steady increase in worship services offered by clergy from phones and laptops in their studies and home chapels. Archbishop Philip Richardson has invited Anglicans here to join in the wave of prayer around the Anglican Communion, by observing evening prayer with him at 7pm through the Zoom link on the new Waikato and Taranaki Diocesan website. Archbishop Philip has also released this video message on the eve of the Aotearoa New Zealand lockdown on 25 March.

Anglicans in Fiji, Tonga and Samoa are joining in worship from their homes at 1pm each day to pray for all those affected by COVID-19 and clergy have been asked to share their livestreams on the Diocesan Facebook page. Samoa has established a state of emergency and every family in the nation has been asked to fast and pray between 6am and noon all this week, as the lockdown continues.

 In Manawa o Te Wheke, church leaders launched their lockdown with a webinar karakia and catch-up led by Bishop Ngarahu Katene and Ven Ngira Simmonds on March 26, which concluded with ministers from around the central North Island sharing blessing and encouragement with one another and the many more who have followed the conversation since.

 In Upoko o Te Ika leaders met by Zoom to connect and consider "What does Lent look like during the COVID-19 Lockdown?”

 Strandz Children’s and Families ministry network facilitator Diana Langdon has issued a page with practical suggestions for maintaining Christian education and sharing faith within families while church buildings are closed. Her mailout of ideas for sharing faith with children at home is Faith in a Bubble. 

Many more opportunities to worship online are being streamed through Hui Amorangi and Diocesan groups and pages on Facebook. Some examples of online events on offer follow below.

 Te Pīhopatanga o Te Tai Tokerau

Rev Dr Lyndon Drake and Bishop Te Kitohi Pikaahu are livestreaming karakia through the Pihopatanga o Te Tai Tokerau Facebook page 

Te Pihopatanga o Te Manawa o Te Wheke

Ven Ngira Simmonds reports that Te Pihopatanga o Te Manawa o Te Wheke will be livestreaming Karakia mō te Ata on Wednesdays and Kai Hapa on Sundays through their Facebook page

Te Pīhopatanga o Te Tairāwhiti

Te Pihopatanga o Te Tairawhiti has prayer resources for use at home and information on how to respond to the crisis here and Ven Dr Hirini Kaa is inviting worshippers to join livestreamed prayers on the Tairāwhiti Facebook page

Te Pīhopatanga o Te Upoko o Te Ika

A Facebook group is the connecting point for online fellowship and karakia in Upoko o Te Ika here. 

Diocese of Auckland

In the Diocese of Auckland Bishop Ross Bay is leading Night Prayer at 7pm each evening through his Facebook page, ADJust young Anglicans for social justice are livestreaming readings of The Daily Offices at 7.30am, 12.30pm and 8.30pm every day. These are sourced from A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa, which is available online here. Holy Trinity Cathedral is offering virtual church services.

Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki

Archdeacon Stephen Black has compiled information and resources on the new Waikato-Taranaki website to support the Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki as they respond to the COVID-19 lockdown. These include advice regarding restrictions on funeral services. The diocese is holding daily reflections on Zoom at 9am each weekday and Archbishop Philip Richardson is hosting Evening Prayer on Zoom each night at 7pm.

Diocese of Waiapu

The Diocese of Waiapu has dedicated COVID-19 resources page that includes details on communications, pastoral care and worship during the lockdown period.

Diocese of Wellington 

Last week 5000 worshippers showed up to the Diocese of Wellington’s live-streamed worship which will be offered throughout the lockdown on Movement Online at 10.00am on Sundays. The Diocese of Wellington’s COVID-19 updates page is here.

Diocese of Nelson

The Diocese of Nelson has established a dedicated resource section on its new website offering support for house churches and advice on how to offer pastoral and practical support to people at risk during the COVID-19 crisis. The diocesan youth enabler has a section to post resources for supporting children’s faith formation at home.

Diocese of Christchurch

The Diocese of Christchurch has uploaded a Doing Church Differently page with creative ideas that ministry units are picking up on to reconnect with people and care for their health, social and spiritual needs, including livestream links for services led by clergy around the diocese.

Diocese of Dunedin

The Diocese of Dunedin has a call to prayer in a time of pandemic and information on its COVID-19 response on a dedicated COVID-19 community response page. Links include advice on caring for communities in lockdown, opportunities to pray online with Bishop Steven Benford, livestreams and a 3D virtual tour from St Paul's Cathedral and online liturgies from All Saints' Dunedin.

To add your livestream information please contact your Pihopatanga or Diocesan web or social media sites and the Taonga Editor.