The Rev Dr Michael John, who has been worshipping (and on a few occasions preaching) at All Saints over several years has been appointed Priest in Charge of the Anglican Church of St Alban the Martyr in Dominion Road.
Father Michael says he’s thrilled to be at St Alban’s. He’s familiar with the High Church from his London days, “and I love communities whatever shape they are.”
His new role is a permanent but quarter time position as priest-in-charge. It includes being part of the Sunday morning High Mass. During Lent there are meditations around the Stations of the Cross on Wednesday evenings. Michael says:
“There is a sizeable ministry team at St.Alban’s including retired priests and licensed ministers. The procession into the sanctuary is very impressive. Led by a thurifer the procession is led in with incense
hallowing the church. The Bible is held aloft and placed on the altar. The procession reminds me that the community of faith is on a journey to a holy place, a sacred future. It conveys its life centred on God, and carrying with it the sacred scriptures.”
Fr Michael was born in Cardiff, Wales. He started off as a research scientist but sought a life with mystery and transcendence. Michael came to New Zealand and trained at St.John’s College. He served in the Diocese of Waiapu for seventeen years before becoming the chaplain at Auckland Hospital from 1994 to 2006. In 2006 Michael and his wife, Sylvia, left for Britain and Michael took up the post of Chaplaincy Manager at Furness General Hospital in North West England. He was there four years before a temporary retirement and being asked to help out with the Barrow-in-Furness Deanery. Sylvia is a registered nurse and held various nursing positions. This included being a private nurse for a number of years. Sylvia could be asked to fly off to someone’s castle or London mansion to nurse in a live-in situation for a spell of a week or longer. On one occasion it was for eight weeks in Scotland so Michael drove up to the Highlands to see Sylvia half way through the stint.
They returned to Ponsonby two years ago. Michael became, in turn, a locum chaplain at Selwyn Village, and a locum priest-in-charge at St.Peter’s, Onehunga, until Petra Zaleski was inducted vicar there in November.
Both Sylvia and Michael appreciate antiques and interiors, and gardening. Michael adds: “Being in touch with the earth and ecosystem is important to me; it brings a sense of peace. I write some poetry and am re-learning the Welsh language.”