About our Worship
"Variety is the very spice of life" the poet said, and while we try to maintain a regular rhythm and structure to our worship we certainly do have variety.
Worship is the most important thing we do. It is part of our living out of the great commandment - "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your strength, and all your mind, and all your soul" and it leads us to fulfill those words and, "Love your neighbour as yourself."
We are an Anglican church and we use mostly Anglican resources in our worship. There is a rhythm and a structure to our services that will be similar to most Anglicans and many Roman Catholics and Lutherans. For others it may seem unfamiliar, alien or even odd. As the note in our weekly Bulletin says, "If you are not familiar with the Anglican tradition, please relax and let the community carry you in worship."
There are some things we do differently from others. At St Peter's we might be described as a liberal progressive church with Anglo-Catholic tendencies, which is to say that we choose our words and actions carefully to ensure we say what we mean and we mean what we say. We try in include rather than exclude, bringing the welcome we offer on our noticeboard into our worship. But we also try to leave space for mystery, so that the God who is beyond all our understanding may find us open to listen and experience.
Much of our worship happens on Sunday mornings, but there is more as well ...
On most Sunday mornings you will find an 8.00am service using A New Zealand Prayer Book - He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa. This is a fairly quiet service, with space for contemplation. There is a sermon but usually no music, and the Eucharistic Prayer and Communion are shared together around the altar.
At 10.00am during much of the year you will find us worshipping in a more formal Choral Eucharist, that is a Communion service, using the Prayer Book, assisted by a robed choir as we sing hymns and responses to certain prayers.
Our 10.00am service draws its music from a variety of sources, including Maori himene. Led by choir and organ, our hymns are both ancient and modern, sometimes with a little more or less of each.
Like the 8.00am service, at 10.00am we will have a sermon and Communion, but the service will be a little more formal and have many more people involved in its leadership. Both services make space for silence and you are encouraged to engage with this as you are able.
Jazz at St Peter's is a revival of a series of evening jazz services some years ago. Today our Jazz Services take place on Sunday mornings approximately every two months. These are usually informal services, with music led by our in-house jazz band, and less in the way of prayers and rituals. For the most part, however, the still follow the same general structure and rhythm of our other services, and usually include Communion.
You can find out more about our Jazz Services here.
At 7.00pm on the third Sunday of each month between February and November we join in worshipping in the style and tradition of the Taize religious community in France.
Based around melodic chants, readings, prayers and silence,. Taize worship is contemplative in nature and ideally suited to the evening when we begin to slow down and candles provide the light for our souls. rituals.
The Taize community has a special ministry with young people and at St Peter's we encourage our younger members to take a role in this special service.
Evensong is the traditional Anglican service of Evening Prayer led by a choir.
At St Peter's we celebrate Evensong every second Sunday of every second month at 7.00pm. Usually a small and intimate service, in December each year this is replaced by the Advent Service of Lessons and Carols, a candlelit service which draws a large crowd.
Evensong at St Peter's is a choral service and enquiries are welcomed from those who are interested in joining the choir. You can contact our Music Director here.
St Peter's is far more than just a Sunday-Church. Every weekday there is some form of service happening, usually at a time that suits those working in the city.
Monday to Friday at 7.45 in the morning and 5.15pm in the evening we pause for ten minutes of prayer and contemplation.
These prayer times are led by members of the congregation in the Meditation Room of the church. Please contact the Vicar here if you are interested in being involved.
Wednesday and Thursdays at 5.30pm these services are held in the Meditation Room using A New Zealand Prayer Book - He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa and last approximately twenty minutes.
Wednesday lunchtimes at 12.15 we celebrate Hakari Tapu - a Maori language communion service.
12..15pm on Fridays we gather in the choir stalls to celebrate communion using the High Altar.