Archdeacon ends decade of service
After 10 years in Temuka, South Canterbury Anglican Archdeacon Andrew Starky is leaving.
He takes up a position as parish vicar at St Michael's Church on the corner of Oxford Tce and Durham St in Christchurch in April.
During his time in Temuka as vicar of St Peter's, he has also been responsible for the Te Ngawai parish and had links with the Waihao and Marchwiel parishes.
Four years ago, he succeeded Philip Robinson, of St Mary's Church, in the overseeing role of archdeacon.
A significant aspect of that job was reorganising the Waihao Co-operating, St Andrews Co-operating and Waimate Anglican parishes, creating a consolidation of the parishes with one council and minister to use resources effectively.
During the past decade, parish numbers in Temuka were consistent, Mr Starky said, with 270 members, although only about 40 attended services at any one time.
The church has reached out to the community with informal craft-based gatherings called Messy Church, started two years ago, which appeals to young families.
"It's like a relaxed church and includes a meal," Mr Starky said.
A foot clinic is held every six weeks at the church for older people to have their toenails trimmed and St Peter's is involved in the combined churches foodbank.
Ordained 15 years ago, Mr Starky said he had noticed an increasing interest in "spiritual things" over the years.
He noted that tragic world events had made people think beyond material possessions.
Now with the third generation of people not attending church any more, people were looking for a sense of foundation, giving hope and offering their own children guidelines for living, according to Mr Starky.
Bishop Victoria Matthews had contributed to a renewed focus on Christ-centred mission among Anglicans, he said.
The former farmer said he had enjoyed his time in Temuka and would miss the people. One of the highlights was working with Arowhenua Marae to celebrate the Holy Trinity Church's 75th anniversary in 2007, he said.
Needs of people in Temuka which he believed needed to be addressed were youth, and isolation among people without family near or estrangement, or who suffered illness.
"Church offers a sense of coming together and belonging."
He hoped his successor would continue to build the church with a strong outward focus.
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