We have a dedicated, hardworking, friendly team of made up of clergy, staff and volunteers here in the Parish of Burnside-Harewood.
Chris Ponniah came to Burnside-Harewood parish as Vicar in May 2019. Chris is originally from Singapore where he grew up in the Anglican Church. The two strong keys in Chris’ life and ministry are the Bible and Holy Spirit. His wife Joy is New Zealand born and grew up in Dunedin.
Chris’ primary role is to provide leadership and direction so that he can help the church fulfil its vision of making lifelong disciples of Jesus. He has a passion for people of all ages and to see their lives changed by Jesus. His other passion is coffee and he will find any excuse to have a coffee with anyone who likes a chat.
Michael Lawrence and his wife Susan joined the Parish of Burnside-Harewood in January 2012.
After they had settled in our vicar at the time, Matt, asked if Michael would take responsibility for the St James’ congregation. In practice this means preaching and presiding at the 8:45am service three Sundays a month, and having pastoral oversight of a regular congregation of about 45. Michael usually returns to the 10:15am service at St Tim’s where Susan is involved, sometimes as a service leader.
The youth & children’s team
These are the people who run the programmes for the children and young people within our parish. All of our programmes have a firm biblical foundation and all of our team members have undertaken some type of theological study.
Barbara Neville is our wonderful Families’s Pastor. In this role she oversees our ministries which are focused around families. She also works as the Children’s Support Worker in Roydvale and Harewood schools.
Charlotte Rodley is our Children’s Worker, and runs our Lighthouse Kids Sunday school. She is also a youth leader at Neos, and is studying at the University of Canterbury. Charlotte has been at St Tim’s since she was a child, so she knows the church very well.
Behind the scenes
Of course none of the work that our frontline staff undertake would be possible without some solid help behind! We have a great team supporting and helping our leaders in their work.
Our Parish Administrator Lou Godfrey is the person who takes care of things in the office. She’s also the person who makes sure there are always biscuits in the tin, lollies in the jar and who tells visitors where to go! She’s also a good person to talk to if you want to hire our facilities, organise a special service or simply find out what’s going on in the Parish.
The vestry is a team of people who oversee and chart the course for our parish direction. Responsible for taking care of business, they meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Vestry members are elected from our various congregations every one to three years (depending on the exact position they are elected to) at our parish AGM. Within Vestry there are various sub-committees so if you have relevant skills or expertise and are keen to be involved more intimately with the running of the parish, Vestry could be the place, or have a place for you.