All Welcome at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Blenheim

Haere Mai, Haere Mai, Haere Mai.

 Talofa Lava

 SEEfaceStA.jpgSt Andrew's Church,

 at the corner of Alfred & Henry Streets

Sunday, Worship with creche available,
& kidz @ andrews
and the 
Congregational Christian Church of Samoa-
E.F.K.S. Blenheim Sunday School every Sunday 12 noon,
and Service every Sunday at 1 pm


 Regular events


Traditional Church Services Sundays 

 Wednesdays Young Mothers Group mornings
 and from 17th August an 8 session weekly study series "Living the questions"
on topic "Violence Divine" held at the Willis's. for details ring Tom 578 5307

Thursdays Craft and Chat Group, 10.00 am

and first Thursday, in month Joy Ministries 5pm
and 3rd  Thursday, in month Afternoon Tea Service - 2.30pm

2nd Friday, in month Friday Feasts [at either St Andrews or Wesley Centre]

and 3rd Saturday, in month [ie October 15th & November 19th] Cruisey Church

 come along on Saturday 15th October 2016

at 5 pm to Cruisey Church

Cruisey Church offers young and old:
family games and craft, a Christian viewpoint and a shared meal as an informal family orientated   alternative to the more traditional services on Sundays.

Follow us on









  Monday 24 Public Holiday, Labour Day


 Thursday 27 Coffee, chat & craft group - Room 6 - 9.30am


 Sunday 30 Combined Service at Wesley 10am
 Then at St Andrews: the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa- E.F.K.S. Blenheim Sunday School every Sunday 12 noon, and Service every Sunday at 1 pm






  31 October Public Holiday, Marlborough Anniversary Day


 1 November - 15 November Massey Exams - Room 6


 Thursday 3 Coffee, chat & craft group - Room 6 - 9.30am
                                                Joy Ministries - 5pm




Friday 4 Set up for the Christmas Craft Fair - 5pm 


Saturday 5 Christmas Craft Fair - 9am - 4pm


 Sunday 6 Morning Worship with Marion Rowe - 10am
Then: the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa- E.F.K.S. Blenheim Sunday School every Sunday 12 noon, and Service every Sunday at 1 pm


 Christmas Craft Fair - 9am - 4pm




As St Andrew's is transitioning between Ministers, Sermons for our 10am services will be given by:

our two lay preachers John Buchanan and Marion Rowe,
as well as by Interim Moderator  Rev Derek Harding and visiting Ministers.

August 2016 Chronicle is here. Click on this to read

July 2016 Chronicle is here. Click on this to read Johanna's Jottings and a message from Derek

 click to see sermon précis for:

7th August 2016.with Rev Derek Harding
24thJuly 2016. with Marion Rowe

17th July 2016. Rev John Neal
10 July with Derek Harding
3 July with Derek Harding
26 June with Derek Harding
19 June 2016.  with John Buchanan

St Andrew’s: Calendar



As St Andrew's is transitioning between Ministers, Sermons for our 10am services will be given by:
our two lay preachers John Buchanan and Marion Rowe,
as well as by Interim Moderator  Rev Derek Harding and visiting Ministers.


 Any enquiries to Church Office: 5 Henry Street, Blenheim 
Open 9am to noon, weekdays 
Phone (03) 578-7119


the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa- E.F.K.S.
Rev. Menu  Puni, [ EFKS ]
Ph. (03)  578-7275
Mobile 021 081 05207 


Interim Moderator Rev Derek Harding 577-8816
Parish Clerk Raewyn Buchanan 578-4576

Parish Office 5 Henry Street 578-7119
Monday to Friday, 9 am -- noon Email:


Looking Back

  a mixture of roses and perennials, iris, daffodils and dahlias, set amongst a backdrop of specimen trees and olives St Andrew's Church

Around Town Garden Tour
Friday 7th and Saturday 8th October 2016
  a self directed garden tour

12 much loved gardens in a wide variety of styles
in and around Blenheim.

There will be book, plant, Devonshire teas, cakes and filled roll sales
at various venues advertised in the programme.

Some of the gardens are great for a picnic , so bring your lunch.
All of the gardens get people talking so,try to start tour on Friday as
you will want to come back for another look on Saturday.


  • looking back at the tour :  congratulations to all who took part, and a big thankyou to all the garden owners for two very enjoyable days from those who visited them.

Take the Robinia walk, then step through the Olive grove to visit the pond where black ducks have taken up residence. You may like to bring your lunch and find a quiet spot to enjoy the birdsong in this tranquil garden.


Friday Feasts 
14th October at St Andrews our discussion started with “How do we think of the small things from which BIG things grow”

on 19th August and 9th September were be at Wesley

 on 19th August Theme was be 

It never rains, it pours”


 We have greatly enjoyed the


Camerata String Orchestra
performing with

The Blenheim Jazz Quartet

dont miss their next performance at St Andrews later this year


Man in the mirror (MIM) is Bcre8ve’s latest community dance project happened during school holidays in Blenheim. It’s about using the platform of dance to engage the youth in Marlborough to participate in the arts and to realise that positive change within ourselves activates change within our community. Keep an eye out for the dance video which will showcase this positive youth movement in Marlborough.

 at Seymour Square

Seymour Street, Alfred Street, Henry Street or High Street. 


 come along on Saturday 20th August 2016

at 5 pm to Cruisey Church

Cruisey Church offers young and old:
family games and craft, a Christian viewpoint and a shared meal as an informal family orientated   alternative to the more traditional services on Sundays.


or perhaps Joining us on 

18th August


  for our monthly Thursday Afternoon Tea Service

is more your style



 follow us on





 we are still buzzing from the  Alpine Presbytery Gathering in Blenheim 28th April to 1st May

Presbytery_gather_Blenheim2016_hall.jpg Presbytery_gather_Blenheim2016church-b.JPG


Friday_Feasts_March2016.jpgWe enjoyed the
Friday Feast on Friday 8
th April at St Andrew's
about 22 people came and talked and ate and talked,
the official topic was intended to be "Why are we all so spilt up"
The majority seemed sure that denominationalism is bad
[I did hear one person question that assumption. ]
But they all agreed we should have another Feast so 
next Fiday the thirteenth, we came to eat and talk about:
Superstition at the

 Friday Feast 

on 13 May at Wesley 5.30pm.



look at our Monthly Chronicle

May 2016 Chronicle is here. Click on this to read it now.

for: venue hireHall_from_HenrySt.png

have a
look at our facilities, which include a commercial kitchen as well as several rooms and hall.
The acoustics in the Church are particularly valued by musicians and speakers.



Friday 8th FRIDAY FEAST . Gather at 5.30pm eat and talk around a table, go home when you have eaten or had enough talking..
No Dogma, No charge, but a koha is welcome. For all who like to eat, and enjoy friendly topical discussions with a variety of view points.
first time this was organised by Wesley and we were delighted that people from several different denominations turned up. And wonder why we don't meet more, with people of differing faiths.  

Since then we have been greatly moved by the combined churches Easter Good Friday Service at the Convention Centre,Bleheim_Ministers_combined_service_25Mar2015.jpg
where people were saying "We must come together more often"

Our first Friday Feast was held on 11 March in the Wesley Centre.  The next is to be held in St Andrew’s on Friday 8 April.

IF you come expect something similar to the buzz we had in March.  About 25 people gathered around tables with a drink and some nibbles and the talk started straight away.

Later over hamburgers we shared a grace, drawn from a choice of graces on the tables, and then talked. 
The question ‘Are Easter Eggs a  good symbol for Easter?’ began the conversation but we flowed into other topics also.
There was an opportunity for some to share with the wider group but mostly, once we moved onto tea/coffee and slice, we moved from table to table and enjoyed one another.

Feedback indicates that there are lots of topics of interest, that some would like to gather to eat and talk together fairly regularly and it was pleasant to meet over food.

So regardless of your Faith [or lack of it] on 8th April. Come, Bring a friend, or meet one in St Andrew's foyer .



Third Saturday of the Month - 5:00 pm Cruisey Church

come along on Saturday 18th June 2016
at 5 pm to Cruisey ChurchMar2015s27.JPG


or perhaps Joining us on 

16th June

 for our monthly Thursday Afternoon Tea Service
is more your style




While St Andrew's is transitioning between Ministers will be suplied by:
Our two lay preachers John Buchanan and Marion Rowe,
as well as by Interim Moderators and visiting ministers.

Rev. Menu  Puni, [ EFKS ]

Ph. (03)  578-7275
Mobile 021 081 05207 


viewed from Seymour Square 

St Andrew's Church,

 at the corner of Alfred & Henry Streets



Church Office: 5 Henry Street, Blenheim 
Open 9am to noon, weekdays
Phone (03) 578-7119
 Our e-mail address:

Send updates, feedback, corrections for site to:


 Sermons and Reflections:


7th August 2016. Rev Derek Harding

 Several of us have asked: “Why are so few men in the Church?”


Derek started answering this by asking all the men, [including the group of us who hide upstairs] to come down to the front right hand pews, so he could count us and then the women, And also so he could more easily question us on why we think, thatusmen, like in most churches, are only about a quarter of the congregation. Lots of answers, with the women giving opposing comments.


Derek provided a historical perspective. In England, after church attendance was no longer a legal requirement, [until 1888, Under the Act of Uniformity 1558 . All persons had to go to church once a week or be fined]
the statistics showed most congregations were 50/50 male and female.


Until the Industrial revolution. Then the only poor people not forced to work horrific hours in the mills. Were the mothers needed to provide for their families. And so these women became the majority in most congregations. So church services started to be aimed at women. For men the result, was seeing ministers like Pride and Prejudice 's Mr Collins.
While the hymns became filled with mawky emotions. The images used are increasingly feminised.The decreasing number of men who are committed church goers, can find scriptures that justify all this. The rest do not.
Then 100 years of non stop wars. These took away a big proportion of the male population [including many of the church goers, I {wally} think most men wanted to sign up at the beginning of these wars. And later regretted doing so, blaming the ministers for telling them to go fight for god, king and capitalism]


Derek gave examples of how most men enjoy challenges, adventures, the more dangerous the better. And how Jesus ordered His disciples to take extreme ones.


The trendy 1960s. Make love not war. Jesus is seen as a sensitive new age guy. Instead of Jesus said “Follow me” [as armyplatoon commanders were trained to shout when under fire.] We now have “Jesus says have meaningful relationships”


There has been research on why men say they don't come back to church, ones that I related to were:
I don't know the songs” e.g. most old blokes enjoyed roaring out Christmas carols at school in our youth. The modern choral services are seldom like that.
“Can't sing the songs” and “Can't hear myself sing ” on these Derek commented the pitch of the music has been moved up as trained musicians think this has a better impact on the audience. Very frustrating for us untrained males who can no longer follow the words. [I would add that many of our male congregation have upper range hearing loss, so can not understand much of what is said]


Derek emphasised that Jesus is  very strongly a man's man. The sort of man, men would enjoy going to the pub with.

And that actually, most women also like. 



24Th July 2016. with Marion Rowe

 Marion's theme was on the discipline of study and learning. How can anyone make make good choices if they have not learnt what the choices are about? Church people are the ones who teach children what Christianity is about. We should ask them how well are we are doing that job.

The reading:John 13: 1-17 was the example of the Teacher, Jesus washing his disciples feet. Marion linked this to the Presbyterian principle that our ministers are teaching elders with equality with all believers. And also with Derek's teaching on our need for a transition ministry. While we need to know what we want of a new minister, more important is what we want our church people to be.
The key question is “What am I prepared to do?”

She concluded from Romans 14:19. What we all need to be involved in is: “Mutual edification”


17th July 2016. Rev John Neal

The story of Martha and Mary, in Luke 10: v38-42, makes many of us uncomfortable.

In his sermon, John said that, in those times for Mary to sit at the feet of Jesus was her to take the role of a disciple to a rabbi. Not the role expected at that time. However for Martha to ask a guest to intervene in a dosmestic disagreement was embarrassing. It missed that the point of hospitality is to make the guests feel comfortable. Jesus saw that Martha was distracted, He was not criticising her for this, but pointing out that what is needed, is to listen to God.

John suggested our protestant work ethic has turned the message of Jesus to Martha upside down. We feel if we are not busy we are of no use. But if a tree is upside down, its roots get no nourishment and it won't produce fruit. Peace and quiet are are fruit of trees with their roots in God.


10th July 2016. Rev Derek Harding

 Derek's theme of Community continued with

An Inclusive Community” and also his habit of asking us testing questions.

before the READING, Derek asked what we think is the best known parable in the Bible.
Several of us went for the good Samaritan, which was then read in
Luke10: 25-37:.

So, how do we obey and :“Go and do Likewise” ?

What do most of us take for granted in our 10am service ?
When our answers missed that the
service uses spoken English; How can we welcome people who do not understand English? Derek tried a few greetings in the other languages, used by people in our congregation. None of us knew sign language, which we also need, so: In the young people's spot Derek taught them some signs and then asked the children to lead us in a song using these.

After the

READING: Deuteronomy 30: 9-14

Derek explained Deuteronomy is the second book of the law, and also a collection of Moses' sermons and from it repeated:
11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 
12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 
13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.”

Most Christians think we should be inclusive, so what stops us?

We spent some time talking of how other organisations exclude certain groups, but what about ourselves?

When do we want to avoid sitting next to some of the other people who attend St Andrew's?

How do we exclude ourselves from the mission of our congregation?

What can we do?


3rd July 2016. Rev Derek Harding

 Derek's theme of Community continued with

“A Committed Community”

1st READING was Isaiah 66: 10-14 and after the HYMN: “Ancient Words” and the READING:    from Luke 10: 1-11 & 16-20. He asked us what we remembered from 1st READING. Answers that stood out were about God comforting us as a mother comforts her child.
On Luke 11 v1 Derek commented on the number 72, or in some manuscripts 70 showing that the exact number was less important than the mission of the ones Jesus appointed to send out ahead of Him. Derek remarked on the confusion over the phrase 'church's mission'. Now it often means what the minister thinks his mission is, but originally it was for the work all the people God sends to do His Work. Derek also described Luke 10: 1-11 as a training or practice mission. Then he asked us where God's missionaries are sent. Linda replied “They don't have to leave town.”
So what is significant about the list of things they were NOT to take? His answer was: So they could do what they were sent for. In the Middle East carrying money might make them a target for robbers. And he asked us to think of things we should, or should not take on our own missions.

Luke 1 v10-12 has often troubled me. Derek's explanation is a heavy one. In the Middle East showing the bare sole of your foot can still be a dangerous insult. So the warning of the need to repent is a dangerous attention grabbing challenge. In v10 But into whatsoever city ye enter and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same and say,11 ‘Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you. Notwithstanding, be ye sure of this: that the Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.’
12 But I say unto you that it shall be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city.

So whether or not people recognise it, they have been warned that God's Kingdom is near, and we need to repent.

26th June 2016.  our first service with Interim Moderator  Rev Derek Harding

Derek's theme was “A Committed Community” 

With a story he asked the children to get to know Basil . Basil was a branch on weak vine who did not know many people 'til he met the Gardener. Who warned Bruce of the pain he would have as he was cut from the vine he grew on so he could be taken across deserts, snow and jungley jungle to the garden where Basil was grafted in to the strong vine where Basil could bear good fruit. 

With the adults Derek asked us to discuss the turning points in our lives,
The READING: 1Kings: 15-16 & 19-21 shows the cost of following the call of God.
Derek got adult volunteers to try walking forward while looking backwards and walking backwards while looking forward. Then talk of what is easiest. Why?.
Walking backwards & focusing on the past means walking into danger.

The Second READING echoes the first. In Luke 9: 51-62 in asking people to follow Him, Jesus does not reject those who, are called, but think they first have to deal with traditional obligations. Instead He shows us alternatives. Those who are committed to service in God's Kingdom are not distracted by the earthly one.
 Within the context of the Gospel is also the message that change is based on the present. Past hurts have to be acknowledged but dwelling on them prevents moving ahead. The cost of change is usually outweighed by the outcome. On any journey, we only stay on track when we don't lose sight of the focus - our journey's destination.



19 June 2016.  with John Buchanan

READING: Luke 8: 26-39
SERMON 19 June 2016. by John Buchanan

Jesus and the disciples have crossed the lake by boat. As they step ashore, they are met by a man possessed by demonic forces; not just the one demon, but several; so many in fact that the name of the demon was Legion. As Mark describes it in his gospel, “my name is Legion, for we are many.” The first personal pronoun being used in one sentence in both singular and plural number.

Now for the people of this era, demons were very real. Many still exist today, it is just that we have different descriptors for the various mental and nervous disorders with which society must live with.

The dictionary definition of Demon: an evil spirit or devil esp one thought to possess a person.

The personification of evil passion.

A malignant supernatural being; the devil.

Whatever this man had, he was not able to live in society; neither was he able to live a normal life, instead he is banished to the tombs which were perceived as being the place where demons dwelt. Not only was he banished from normal society, he wanders naked and from time to time has such strength that he is able to snap any chains and fetters that might be used in an attempt to restrain him. I recall a neighbour in Dunedin who was an epileptic and who could exhibit excessive strength from time to time. It could be quite frightening even though you knew he was an epileptic because you never knew when a seizure was about to occur. So with this man.

The townsfolk, in an effort to make their life safer, and possibly thinking that it would be better too for the man himself, took him and left him in the tombs. Chaining him proved to be a futile exercise as his bursts of excessive strength proved more than strong enough to overcome the restraints. They simply snapped like straw.

So Jesus, no doubt thinking that he would get away from the crowds and have time with his disciples is confronted by someone society could not handle and had cast out because they could not cope with the challenges he presented. Instead of some space Jesus is confronted by these demons who demand to know “what have you to do with me Jesus, Son of the most high God? Do not torment me.”

And almost as an afterthought, Luke tells us in v29 that Jesus had already begun to exorcise them, hence the remark. It has been said that “religion … is the transition from God the void to God the enemy, and from God the enemy to God the companion.”

When we find ourselves confused and distraught, torn apart by many conflicting reactions to many diverse situations, lacking that knowledge of God which would unify our experience and give peace and wholeness to the soul, God is “the void.” But when God first confronts us, he does so as “the enemy.” He demands something of us which we find it painful to give-a radical readjustment and reorientation, a new discipline. At the stage, God is “the tormentor”-more tormenting than the many demons which possess us.

But as we make the required acknowledgement and inner adjustment (repentance), God becomes “the companion,” sustaining and strengthening, the source of life and peace. If we think we do not have any conflict within us, bear in mind Paul’s words from Romans: I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do…I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive….wretched man that I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death?

No absolute line can be drawn between the normal and the neurotic or psychotic, we are all involved in some measure of inner division and hostility as described by Paul. So Jesus confronts this demented man intending to both cure and save him. That this happened is attested to by his wanting to stay with Jesus when it came time for him to leave.

V35, the people went out to see what had happened and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. They asked him to depart from them; for they were seized with great fear.

They had heard a report of goings on that seemed to them to be crazy. Pigs gone and lunatic sane. What? Sure enough when they got there that’s exactly what they found. One formerly deranged man sane, clothed and as normal as they were. Gone was the deranged man who was to be avoided at all cost. Gone was the one who snapped chains and fetters like they were made from straw. Instead they find someone who is calm and composed and sitting at the feet of Jesus as if it were a perfectly natural day by day occurrence.

Jesus has removed the trouble, the turmoil from this man’s life and replaced it with calmness and a sense of self-worth. No longer was this someone to be feared, to be banished to the tombs, to be ostracised from society. Now he could become an active participant in the normal day to day activities of the community.

Jesus can take, if we will let him, that which oppresses us; that which keeps us from being a vital part of our society; that which prevents us becoming the person God intends us to be; that which keeps us from reaching our full potential. Jesus can remove that from us, far from us as he did with this demon possessed man.

They were afraid, they were seized by a great fear and asked Jesus to leave them.

Their lives had proceeded relatively peacefully until Jesus had come along and changed things. Jesus had disturbed things and they didn’t like that. They had lost the potential income from the herd of swine; the once demonic now had to be integrated into their society. He could no longer be left on the margin as he had been.

William Barclay says, they loved their swine more than they valued the soul of a man. One of life’s supreme dangers is to value things more than persons. That is what created slums and vicious working conditions. No thing in this world can ever be as important as a person.

They were afraid because they had encountered the presence of the living God and did not find matters to their liking. Their routine had been disrupted; their lives had been disturbed and they could only see asking Jesus to leave as the only solution.

When we come to the end of ourselves…when we are confronted by situations that are out of our control…when we need a strength stronger than ourselves…that’s the time to come and kneel before Jesus. As we pour our hearts out to him we look for his power and perspective to be released into our situation. That may mean we see God respond by his transforming power working to bring change and healing or he may provide the strength that we need to endure.

As Jesus gets into the boat to return, the restored man wants to remain in his presence and go with them all. Jesus however, sends him away telling him return to your home and declare howmuch God has done for you. And Luke concludes this segment with these words: and he went away, proclaiming how much Jesus had done for him.

Luke seeks to show that the good news of God’s rule is for everyone, so this Gentile mental health survivor is sent back into his own community to tell about Jesus. All he can tell about is what God has done for him; how he has been rid of the demonic power that once possessed him; that he is clothed and sane, a contributing member of society, fully participating as everyone else is.

Like the demonic, we too have the power of our testimony. We may not grasp the finer theological issues; we may not be able to explain certain things, but we can tell what God has done for us, for we too have been transformed as the demonic was.

Let us pray

Creator God, in the beginning your word subdued the chaos; and in the fullness of time you sent Jesus your Son to rebuke the forces of evil and to make all things new. By that same power transform our fear into faith that we may have courage to follow in the way of your kingdom; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


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