a pilgrimage

st jamesOn Advent Sunday I am setting out in my sea kayak from Mission Bay in Auckland to paddle to Oihi in the Bay of Islands. Oihi is the place where Samuel Marsden arrived, at the invitation of the Maori Chief, Ruatara. There he first preached the Gospel 200 years ago on Christmas Day, 1814.

The basic idea behind this journey is that it my version of a hikoi to the Marsden Cross. In the last year as I have reflected on the early history of our church in this land I have been impressed with the fact that early missionaries and bishops travelled mostly by sea. Some of them were wonderfully intrepid and brave. It is also true that many of our early churches sit on waterways because that was the way folk travelled back then.

So, rather than go for a journey by land I have decided to go by sea.┬áThe trip is about 250 km and will be testing for a number of reasons. The biggest variable is going to be the weather. If all goes well the biggest challenge is going to be water followed by food (and dare I say it, power to charge the mobile phone so I can stay in touch!). I have allowed eight days for the trip. If I don’t get there by then, well …