In an article by Lloyd Ashton of the Anglican Toanga, Bishop Victoria Matthews described the situation across Christchurch as far more grave than in the wake of the September 4th quake.
“In September,” she says, “there was a sense of pervasive hope.”
“This time there are high, high levels of anxiety, and a sense of despair.”
“We are facing an entirely different scene, a crisis of an entirely greater order of magnitude.”
“People are suffering terrible anxiety. There are still many people who have been unable to make contact with members of their family and with their closest friends.”
Speaking from a park tent sheltering people from the rain, Bishop Matthews says that one of her top priorities now is to find a church “preferably with running water” that is safe, and which can become the nerve centre for a diocesan relief and pastoral effort.
“I want to open that up 24/7 as place where people can come and pray and receive pastoral care – and a place which clergy can use as a base to go out into the highways and byways to offer pastoral care.”
The Diocese of Edmonton is collecting donations for the relief effort, which will be sent directly to the Anglican Mission Board and the Diocese of Christchurch.
Cheques can be made to the Diocese of Edmonton, marked “Christchurch Earthquake Relief”. Please mail donations to: the Synod Office, 10035-103 St., Edmonton AB, T5J 0X5.
For more news on the Christchurch earthquake, visit the Diocese of Christchurch website at: www.chch.anglican.org.nz/.