Christ Church Cathedral is a parish of medium size with about 200 attending on a normal Sunday. The congregation is a community gathered from all over Nelson City and Richmond.
Current paid staff include the Dean, a part-time Children’s Ministry worker, a part-time Office Administrator who works mornings from Monday to Friday, and a part-time Parish Nurse. We also have eleven Cathedral Clergy who play a significant role in the cathedral.
The principal parish service is the Sunday 10.00am Choral Eucharist which usually follows a New Zealand Prayer Book service. This service would typically have 85-140 communicants.
Three other Sunday services are smaller but equally as important.
The 8.00am service is a 1928 traditional liturgy. Between 20 and 40 parishioners typically attend the 8.00am service which usually runs for 45 minutes and includes a sermon.
The choral evensong is at 5.30pm on most Sundays which is a full traditional choral service. Attendance varies between 20 and 50 according to the season.
Word and Worship is an informal contemporary worship service at 7pm each Sunday.
A feature of the weekly worship pattern is the daily Eucharist at 12.15pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, at 8.00am on Saturday and 10.00am on Wednesday. The Wednesday service is a bigger gathering attended largely by more elderly parishioners and has a social hour afterwards.
At Easter and Christmas there are a range of different services and always very large congregations of about 350 people.
Music is an important part of our worship at Nelson Cathedral. The Cathedral Choir sings at our Choral Eucharist and Evensong/Compline services each Sunday.
It is a four-part ‘traditional’ choir, with boys, girls and young women taking the soprano / treble line, women singing alto and men, singing tenor and bass. There are vacancies in all parts.
Psalms are sung at morning and evening services to traditional psalm chants.
Practices are held on Thursdays between 5pm and 7pm.
The choristers receive training in the Royal School of Church Music singers’ training scheme, so that the requirements of the various awards can be met.
There is a well maintained organ and an excellent grand piano which considerably enhance worship.
(See Music page for specifications)
Children’s Church operates during the 10am service during school term time.
Children’s ministry at the Cathedral is led by John Laing.
During some of the school holidays we also run a Children’s Holiday Programme
Each year we also run a Family Fun Night as an alternative to Halloween.
Parish Nursing (or Faith Community Nursing) draws the church back to its roots of holistic healing and is founded on scripture.
It focuses on the whole person, intergrating mind, body and soul and nurturing growth towards wholeness in and through our Lord.
Our parish Nurse is Jane Wulff, who is Registered Nurse, with a BA & an MA in nursing.
She assists the pastoral ministry of the parish by offering her personal gifts and nursing skills in service for all. This includes: Health education and promotion, personal health counselling, prayer & pastoral support.
A strong and devoted group of women meets monthly.
Visitors to the Cathedral reflect the number of tourists who pass through Nelson and the prominence of the Cathedral building over the main street of Nelson City. Statistics show that Nelson has one of the most-visited Cathedrals in the country.
In summer we endeavour to have volunteer welcomers/guides on duty. The Cathedral is open to the public from 9am to at least 6.00pm all year round.
Personal testimonies and our visitors’ books indicate that our building speaks very strongly to people of all ages and nationalities with many commenting on the peaceful atmosphere. Some come to seek God, and others to explore the history of the Cathedral and the City. The stained glass windows are of particular interest to visitors.
We have recently installed several Prayer Stations within the Cathedral Building to enhance the spiritual experience of visitors.
A small but dedicated group meets weekly to explore meditative prayer.
This is a term for home groups. There are several groups that meet at different times. Enlarging this fellowship is part of our current focus.
Service To The City
There is a strong relationship between the Cathedral and the City. The Cathedral is used for civic services, for local and state occasions, and for significant local funerals. It is also used by national groups attending reunions, investitures or celebrations.