The election is fast approaching and housing will be the key issue. We all know the stories. Friends who can’t afford a home or struggle to pay their rent. Families forced to pay for a motel or sleep in their car because of the lack of social housing. Children getting sick because their home is too damp and cold.

What is the role of Christians in a housing crisis?

This election season Bishop Justin will call the church to join a period of prayer, reflection and action, as part of the nationwide call by the Archbishops to prayer and action.  As church members – homeowners, renters, landlords, communities and voters – we will consider the part we can each play, and listen to God’s call.

Here’s what’s coming up:

Month of reflection, prayer and action:

The recommended start date is Sunday 30 July, allowing reflection over four weeks (five Sundays). Kick off with the introductory video and Week 1 resources.  You’ll find more resources will be added to the Resources tab over the coming weeks, and we’ll update you via Movement by Mail.

In your church services or small groups, work through the remaining resources. Just pick and choose the sections useful for your context.

Services of Lament:

Then on the 27th of August, as part of a national week of action on housing, join with other churches to hold services of lament for New Zealanders living without stable or adequate housing. Commit to your own personal or collective response, and get started.

What is a service of lament? It is an opportunity to mark our grief and sorrow – in this case at our country’s failure to adequately house our people. At these services we will publicly acknowledge that the state of our housing crisis is not okay, and pray for adequate housing for all New Zealanders.

There are five services planned for locations around our diocese:

  • Cannons Creek, Porirua, 12pm: Corner of Ixion Lane and Castor Crescent.  A creative service of prayer and pikelets led by Porirua Anglican Church.  If you are coming in large numbers, please bring pikelets to share.  Facebook event page
  • Awapuni, Palmerston North, 2pm: Raleigh Street. With involvement from All Saints’ on the Square, St Matthew’s and others.  The service will include stories, songs and reflection.  Facebook event page
  • Strathmore, Wellington, 3pm: 27 Strathmore Avenue.  A short service including afternoon tea, with involvement from Strathmore Community Church, St Thomas’s Newtown, All Saints’ Hataitai, Miramar Peninsula Parish and Island Bay Presbyterian. Bring a plate to share.  Facebook event page
  • Naenae, Lower Hutt: Location and time TBC.  Stay tuned to Movement Online and Facebook for updates.
  • Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, 4pm: The launch of the Turangawaewae art installation focussing on stories of New Zealand’s homeless people, followed by a service of lament at 5pm.  See the tab below for more information.  Facebook event page

As we listen to God’s call to his people, we are excited about the hospitality, creativity and compassion that may follow.

Housing Forum:

On the 9th of August, 600 people from around Wellington gathered at the Cathedral to hear stories of the crisis and responses from political parties.  You can watch the videos of the night’s speakers on our YouTube channel here.

This month, we’re sharing several videos with you for use in your churches and small groups.  You can subscribe to our YouTube channel here, or if you want to download them for playing locally, click here.  Start with Bishop Justin’s call to action – linked here.  Here’s what’s coming up after that:

  • Co-buying for intentional community: Nick tells the story of co-buying a property in order to set up an intentional community, and the benefits that came from this.
  • Being a landlord: Wayne talks about being a landlord and how he has seen God work through this relationship with tenants.
  • St David’s Naenae Building Project: The story of St David’s Naenae building new housing units on church land.
  • The Housing Spectrum: Wellington City Missioner Rev Tric Malcolm summarises the housing crisis and explains the housing spectrum – a useful way to think about housing needs.

We’ve also got an amazing resource pack full of useful information about housing issues, prayer suggestions, and questions to ask together as you journey through the month.  This pack works well together with the videos.  Click here to access it.  Accompanying the resource pack, ​Cath Growcott at St Anne’s Parish has prepared a daily prayer guide for the month of prayer and reflection. It contains facts and reflections, and can be used in services, small groups, or personal prayer.  Click here for the prayer guide.

You can also download the following image for use in your PowerPoint slides or similar.


Turangawaewae Art Installation Project is a collective artwork. It aims to highlights that real people and real stories are behind Aotearoa New Zealand’s situation of homelessness.  The artwork will consist of 42 wooden people. Each wooden person represents 1000 Kiwis that live with the reality of homelessness.  Some of those wooden people will be turned into artworks, others will be covered with information offering insight into the world of homelessness, others will be left blank – their stories yet to be told. These 42 wooden people will stand, as a collective artwork, on the forecourt of Wellington Cathedral of St Paul from Sunday 27 August to Sunday 3 September.

People from across the community are invited to participate in this artwork by creating an artwork out of one of the cut-out wooden persons. Each wooden person is 1200mm x 800mm and is fitted to a stand.

If you wish to create an artwork you will need to collect your wooden person (1200mm x 800mm) by Sunday August 6 and return it to Wellington Cathedral of St Paul by Tuesday 22 August 2017. Each artwork will need to incorporate a number allocated to it signifying a group of people who experience homelessness. The wooden person artworks will remain the property of the Turangawaewae Art Installation Project.

Please email Tric Malcolm if you are interested in being part of creating this artwork.

The Turangawaewae Art Installation will be launched at Evensong on Sunday 27 August. It will be able to be viewed from 8.30 – 5pm Monday 28 August – Saturday 2 Sept, and 8.30 – 12noon Sunday 3 Sept.

This is a joint project between the Wellington City Mission, the Bishop of Wellington and Wellington Cathedral of St Paul.