Ash Wednesday 2014

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One thought on “Ash Wednesday 2014”

  1. On Ash Wednesday 2012, I wrote a comment concerning a national memorial service commemorating the first anniversary of the devastation in Christchurch, NZ’s second largest city, caused by the 6.3(M) earthquake there on 22 February 2011. Some 185 people were killed at the time. Christchurch has struggled since to recover. Very many homes in the so-called red zone have been declared unsafe for further habitation, and many families have had to be rehoused elsewhere into the “green” zones. Many buildings in the CBD were condemned as unsafe and had to be demolished.

    It is now early autumn in NZ, and climate change seemed to leave us without much of a summer to speak of. Today Ash Wednesday 2014, the city of Christchurch has been hit yet again, this time by an unseasonal 100 year storm which swept over the country from the Southern Ocean. Christchurch received the worst of it, with many of the city’s streets turned into raging rivers by flooding. There have been extensive land slips and the usual power outages. It was once a beautiful city, referred to as the garden city of New Zealand. It was originally set up by John Godley as a very English city, and its Anglican stone cathedral was a glorious piece of architecture, an icon of Christchurch, which has since had to be demolished.

    Ash Wednesday heralds the start of Lent, a time of penance, even with the reversal of the natural seasons in our southern hemisphere. The city of Christchurch has done its Lenten penance already, and the aftermath of restoration and recovery will continue to exercise its citizens in the days ahead.

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