It will take time, but new clergy will arrive

STAFF MOVEMENT: Replacing clergy such as Anglican Archdeacon Andrew Starky can take up to nine months.
STAFF MOVEMENT: Replacing clergy such as Anglican Archdeacon Andrew Starky can take up to nine months.

Outgoing Archdeacon Andrew Starky is reassuring Anglicans that vacant South Canterbury clergy positions will be filled - as far as he knows.

The archdeacon, who is also vicar of the Temuka and Te Ngawai parishes, is leaving to take up a position in Christchurch in mid-April while Reverend Indrea Alexander left St Mary's Parish in Timaru on Thursday for the Waimate District Co-operating Venture.

An administrator at St Mary's Church office said they were waiting for further information from Bishop Victoria Matthews in Christchurch on any replacements. In the meantime, vicars from around the region were presiding over weekly services.

Rev Starky said recruitment into clergy positions was a slow process because there needed to be consultation between the bishop and the parish on needs and direction. He expected an interim vicar would be appointed to replace him and Rev Alexander until the permanent positions were filled.

A new person was unlikely to be appointed to St Mary's until the church reopened, he said.

The church was closed in February last year for earthquake strengthening, despite it not being necessary, according to Timaru District Council. The Timaru Herald understands that Bishop Matthews wants churches in her diocese to meet Christchurch standards.

Council building control manager Grant Hyde said Timaru's building code standards were not as stringent as those in Christchurch. "After the recent earthquake activity some churches, schools and hospitals will have their own set policies regarding structural self assessments from engineers.

"These assessments are generally set a lot higher than the current TDC Earthquake Prone Building Policy of 33 per cent of the Current Building Standards (CBS). Whereas some may have policies set at a minimum of 66 per cent CBS requirement for them to be deemed as unsafe."

Rev Starky said he was unsure what work needed to be done on St Mary's.

The Timaru Herald