Our Mission, Vision, Values and General Goals

Our Mission: To live in Christ, and to grow as a Community of Faith, Hope, Love and Joy.

Our Vision: Growing God’s kingdom one life at a time.

Our Values: Wakatipu Presbyterian Church is a community who are…

centered on the Bible

The Bible is the living and active story of God. We are called to know, live, and share God’s story. Psalm 119:105, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16

growing in God’s Love

Jesus calls us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbour as ourselves. Mark 12:3-31, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

United in Worship

As disciples of Jesus, we are called to express the glory of God with adoration in spirit and truth. Psalm 95:6-7, Revelation 14:7

called to Discipleship

Following Jesus we are called to know him, grow in his likeness, and to make disciples. Matthew 4:19, Matthew 28:19-20

encouraged to Participate 

We value the participation of all ages using their spiritual giftings and strengths to build up the church as the body of Christ. 1 Peter 4:10, Mark 10:14. 1 Corinthians 14:26

Current (ratified August 2014) Goals: 

  • To develop new opportunities for people to know Christ and to worship.
  • To invite people of all ages to faith.
  • To strengthen the existing congregations that they may grow and offer space/protection to the newly formed groups till they are established and strong, and they in turn can nourish and encourage the older congregations.
  • To ensure that discipleship becomes a way of life (for all members) and not simply a programme.
  • To ensure the Church is involved in the community, where we are actively seeking ways to be a blessing to all peoples.
  • To strengthen and broaden our leadership to better reach our diverse and growing community.
  • To be a Church of positive influence in the community for this and coming generations.

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Organisational Guidelines

The Wakatipu Community Presbyterian Church (WCPC) is one Church incorporating congregations based at St Andrew’s – Queenstown, St John’s – Arrowtown, St Margaret’s – Frankton, and Kingston. Each congregation is unique and has a particular call yet each sits within the governance of the whole.

Note: UPDATES: these guidelines were updated on the 14th July 2015.  
In addition to the 2015 update a name change from Parish Council to 
Church Council agreed in February 2017 necessitated the removal of all 
references to 'parish' and to replace this with 'church'.  
A small change to the role of Church Council appointees was also made 
in February 2019, refer 'NOTE 2'

The Church Council

  1. Definition

A Court known as the Church Council provides spiritual oversight, leadership in mission, pastoral care, and governance of the Wakatipu Community Presbyterian Church. The rights, privileges, responsibilities and duties of the Church Council are as contained in chapter 7 of the Book of Order, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

A copy of the Book of Order (BOO) can be viewed (or downloaded) from the PCANZ website. These guidelines should be read in conjunction with chapters 6 & 7 of the BOO.

  1. Functions

Spiritual Leadership: To encourage Christian commitment and devotion within the congregation by words and by example.  The Church Council exercises rule in spiritual matters within the Congregation, and its duty is to lead in prayer and outreach and to promote Christian maturity.  The Church Council has the responsibility to determine the suitability of those undertaking leadership roles within the church.

Pastoral Care: To ensure effective pastoral care of all persons for whom the church is responsible.

Worship and Sacraments: To fix times and places of public worship, arranges for the administration of the sacraments, giving approval of baptisms and when and where communion will be shared and appoints special times for prayer or fasting.

Church Rolls: To maintain the rolls of members and associates (to be updated annually at least 4 weeks before each Annual Meeting).

Oversight of Facility use:  to determine, when necessary, the uses to which the church buildings may be put.

Records: To see that all minutes and records required by the Church are kept, secured, and produced when requested.

Denominational Church Representation: To arrange for the appointment of members to the Southern Presbytery; Synod of Otago and Southland and General Assembly. To make nominations when called for by the regional and national courts of the PCANZ.

Church Representation:  To form committees and workgroups to be responsible for particular aspects of church life. The Council establishes these groups, appoints the Chairperson, sets their terms of reference, and receives regular reports on their work. Committees have planning and defined executive functions within the policies approved by the Church Council, however, the Church Council remains ultimately responsible for those aspects of church Life.

Congregational Meetings: To encourage and promote, as far as may be possible and fruitful, meetings of the Congregation in order to foster the widest possible participation of the people in the life, concerns, and mission of the Church. As a minimum, there shall be an Annual Meeting normally held between August and October.

Accountability: To report to the whole Church at an Annual Meeting and to consider recommendations from the congregation.

Discipline: To determine matters of disagreement and discipline that affects the Church giving full consideration to the pastoral care to individual(s), the wider parish, the laws of the land and Church, and to natural justice.  This does not affect any individual(s) right to apply to a higher court of the Church.

Oversight of Election of elders: To arrange the procedure for the nomination and election of elders of the WCPC.

  1. Members of The Church Council

The ministry of the church is exercised by the whole people of God, among whom both individuals and groups may be called to particular forms of witness and service.

Members of The Church Council

The ministry of the church is exercised by the whole people of God, among whom both individuals and groups may be called to particular forms of witness and service.

The Church Council shall consist of:

  • The Minister(s) of the Church or Interim Moderator.
  • The Church Clerk
  • Congregational appointees (up to 3 per congregation)  (see note 1)

i.         Duly elected, ordained and inducted elders. (60% or greater)

ii.         Duly elected and inducted non elders. (40% or less)

  • Church Council appointees (maximum 3)  (see note 2)
  • Associate members (see note 3)
  • A Minute Clerk (appointed by the Church Council) (see note 4)

Moderator:                   The Church Council is normally chaired by the senior Minister. The Moderator cannot move or second a motion and has no deliberative or casting vote. When absent or in circumstances that in his or her opinion warrants such action, the Moderator may deputise another Minister of the Southern Presbytery or a member of Church Council.

Church Clerk:               The Church Council must appoint a member of the Council (or the Wakatipu Community Presbyterian Church) to be Church Clerk for a fixed period of not more than three years. This can be extended for further appointments up to a maximum of 9 years. After a break, a person may be reelected.

Term of Office:          Each year prior to the Church annual meeting each congregation may appoint up to three members to represent them on the Church Council. These appointments to be made at a meeting of each respective congregation. Individuals would normally serve for 3 years and not more than 6 years without a break. Each appointment would be for a 3-year term and for not more than 6 years. After a break, a person may be reelected. Note: At least two of the three appointed should be an elder, variance from this may be allowed as long as the overall council membership is at least 60% elders.

  1. Meetings
  • Meetings:         The Church Council shall meet monthly on the third Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise agreed. Meetings of the Church Council are open to members of the Church except where matters of a pastoral or confidential nature are being considered, or when deemed expedient to meet in private, in which case the meeting is open only to current Church Council members.
  • Practices:  The Church Council meeting shall be run using standard meeting guidelines and procedures. Decisions will normally be made by consensus, however, any member can call for a vote, at any time.
  • Quorum:  A quorum of the Church Council consists of one third of it’s (voting) members, plus one of the ministers.
  • Records:  The Clerk is to keep a roll of its members and associates, take charge of its papers, books and documents.  The Clerk shall keep official minutes of each meeting of the Church Council.


[Note 1] Currently this is defined as St Andrews (Manna), St Johns, St Margarets, the Wakatipu Global Community, and Kingston (as of January 2023).

[Note 2] Normally appointed to fill a perceived need; ie developing ministries, lay – ordained balance, gender or age balance, particular expertise. Church Council Appointees are full members of the Church Council, and are therefore officers of the Church.

[Note 3] Associate members will include The Treasurer, Ministry Interns, and up to two others appointed by the Church Council at it’s discretion as required. Associates have the right to speak and to move motions, but not to vote. Associates, except for the Treasurer, are not officers of the Church.

[Note 4] The Minute Clerk may not speak, move or vote, and is not an officer of the Church.

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Queenstown, Frankton and Arrowtown Wedding Services.

Guidelines for WEDDINGS within the


The 2012 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand declared that it “upholds the historic Christian understanding of marriage as the loving, faithful union of a man and a woman”.  This is our understanding of the nature of marriage. Any wedding conducted by our ministers, or within our premises, will be consistent with these beliefs.

Photo by Aspiring Photography.


  1. Setting your Wedding Day:         All weddings to be held in one of our premises must be approved by a minister of the Church. The couple, or their agent, needs to communicate with the minister in order to seek approval and to reserve the day and time for the wedding and rehearsal. It is advisable to make the necessary arrangements well in advance of the date you desire to be married.
  2. Celebrant:    Wedding ceremonies held within our premises will be officiated by one of our Ministers or their nominee. However, upon request, it may be possible guest clergy or a civil celebrant to officiate. Please discuss this with Rev Carlton Johnstone for Arrowtown and Rev Ian Guy for wedding services at Queenstown or Frankton.
  3. Christian nature of the service: When a couple asks to be married by one of our ministers or to use our buildings for their wedding service we assume that they desire the blessing of God on their marriage and that they want to begin their life together in God’s sight and in God’s presence. A man and a woman take each other as husband and wife not only as a private act of commitment but also before their community and God. It is important that the marriage service reflects Christian faith and is consistent with the Church’s understanding of marriage. It is advisable to discuss these matters fully with the Minister, or your celebrant, prior to entering into any firm commitment.
  4. Fees: The fees below apply to all except active, confirmed members of the congregations of the Church.

Current charges are:

  • Use of Church building $500*
  • Service of the Minister $550*  (off site this fee may vary)
  • Gratuity for Organist/Sound Operator $150 – suggested

Reimbursement of material costs re Marriage Preparation $65, if used. (varies depending on material used).

*these costs will be invoiced prior to your wedding. Any marriage preparation costs by negotiation and the organist gratuity is normally paid in cash on the day. Where rooms are needed in addition to the church building additional fees will apply.

(Note: fees updated June 2023)

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Building Use Policy

Building Use Policy

Many not-for-profit’s, community groups, commercial organisations and other churches use our buildings for meetings, programs, lectures, classes, presentations, and other activities. Our policy regarding building use is as follows:

The Wakatipu Community Presbyterian Church has three main centres: Queenstown, Frankton, and Arrowtown. In each location, we seek to share our facilities with the community as appropriate. The Church Council believes that it is good stewardship of our property to have the church buildings active, open, and alive throughout the week. However, first and foremost these buildings were built to the glory of God and are for the purposes of Christian worship and ministry. Therefore we reserve the right to ensure that whatever other use is made of these premises that they be used in ways which are wholesome, appropriate, and respectful of Presbyterian values and beliefs.

All building use requests must be approved, and are subject to calendar availability, space availability, and type of use. Phone the church office for more information, 03 441 4250.

(Policy last updated September 2013)

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Song to the Holy Spirit

Lord, Holy Spirit,
You blow like the wind in a thousand paddocks,
Inside and outside the fences,
You blow where you wish to blow.

Lord, Holy Spirit,
You are the sun who shines on the little plant,
You warm him gently, you give him life,
You raise him up to become a tree with many leaves.

Lord, Holy Spirit,
You are the mother eagle with her young,
Holding them in peace under your feathers.
On the highest mountain you have built your nest,
Above the valley, above the storms of the world,
Where no hunter ever comes.

Lord, Holy Spirit,
You are the bright cloud in whom we hide,
In whom we know already that the battle has been won.
You bring us to our Brother Jesus
To rest our heads upon his shoulder.

Lord, Holy Spirit,
You are the kind fire who does not cease to burn,
Consuming us with flames of love and peace,
Driving us out like sparks to set the world on fire.

Lord, Holy Spirit,
In the love of friends you are building a new house,
Heaven is with us when you are with us.
You are singing your songs in the hearts of the poor
Guide us, wound us, heal us. Bring us to the Father

– James K. Baxter, ‘Song to the Holy Spirit’, in Collected Poems (ed. John Edward Weir; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979), 572.

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New Zealand National Anthem

In New Zealand we have two national anthems of equal status: God of Nations and God Save the Queen. God of Nations was written as a poem/prayer by Thomas Bracken of Dunedin in the 1870’s and was set to the music of John Joesph Woods of Lawrence in 1876. On Christmas Day that year it was first performed in Dunedin but did not become an official national anthem until 1977.  A Māori version was written in 1878 and today the first verses of both the English and Māori are commonly sung at events where as a nation we are stressing our national identity – ie before a sporting test. But I also like to sing it as a prayer.

Please consider it carefully and pray it. For those of us in the Wakatipu, especially as we seek God’s guidance in establishing the Wakatipu Global Community, this is a particularly appropriate prayer. These old words speak to our situation today. We seek to worship together, men and women from the nations, our responsibility before God is to call all people of every race to come and know God, to worship God and to grow in faith.

God of nations! at Thy feet
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our Free Land.
Guard Pacific’s triple star,
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand

Men of ev’ry creed and race
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our Free Land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our State,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,
But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our Free Land.
Lord of battles in thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our Free Land.
From dishonour and from shame
Guard our country’s spotless name
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be
Freedom’s ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our Free Land.
Guide her in the nations’ van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy Glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.

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What do you make of Easter?

What do you make of Easter?

A much needed long weekend in which you can relax, catch up with friends, gather with family. An excuse to indulge: chocoholics delight!

These are not bad things – enjoy and be thankful.


But please reserve your greatest thanks for God. Remember again the promise of an empty tomb. Hear the words again: ‘He is not here, he has been raised.’ Why are we surprised by such words? This is what Jesus always said would happen? And now that it has we’re invited to live in his resurrection.

And here’s the tragedy – too many of us fail to live as Easter people; resurrection people. We shuffle around – timid, barely raising a smile at the greatest news ever heard. Christ is Alive!!! Death is defeated!!! Our sin forgiven!!! We live again!!!

Let us celebrate with thanksgiving: as the hymn ‘We are an Easter People’ by Bill Wallace puts it “… our fears have died, we rise to dream, to love, to dance, to live”.


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Holy Week Devotional

Holy Week begins on Sunday March 24 this year, Palm Sunday.

As a preparation for Easter and to help maximise the impact of the Easter weekend I believe it is helpful to use the week before it in prayer and bible study.

There are many ways to do this, but one good resource, and it’s free, I have discovered is a small book from John Piper, which will make the lead up to Easter more meaningful for you.

Love-to-the-Uttermost-copyAbout the Book

Love to the Uttermost: Devotional Readings for Holy Week is designed for Lent 2013. The readings begin on Palm Sunday (March 24), end on Easter Sunday (March 31), and aim to focus our attention on Jesus he displays his love to the uttermost (John 13:1). These meditations on the self-giving love of Christ are all excerpted from the preaching and writing ministry of John Piper.

Comprised of eight excerpts (plus one prologue reading) selected from John Piper’s extensive writing and preaching ministry, this new devotional was compiled and shaped for use in personal devotions or family and group settings.

As Pastor John explains, this one term — uttermost — is loaded with significance. When used of Jesus’s willing death for his friends, it means he endured unimaginable degrees of suffering to do so (John 13:1, NAS).

To love to the uttermost is to love freely, without reserve or limit, and without flaw or failure. As we watch his arrest and trial and death unfold for eight days, we gaze on a God-man who begrudges no pain or reproach on his pathway to redeem lost sinners. This is the man who “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).

“Fix your gaze steadily on him,” John Piper writes of Holy Week, “as he loves you to the uttermost.” To that end, you can download the free devotional — Love to the Uttermost — in three formats:

Note: To load the eBook on a mobile device it may be necessary to view this blog post from within your device, then to click the download option.

Table of Contents

Editor’s Preface
Prologue: A Vision for Holy Week
1. Palm Sunday: Seeing the King on Palm Sunday
2. Monday: He Set His Face for Jerusalem
3. Tuesday: Depth of Love for Us
4. Wednesday: Why Jesus Is All-Trustworthy
5. Maundy Thursday: Thursday of the Commandment
6. Good Friday: What Good Friday Is All About
7. Saturday: A Holy Week Volcano
8. Easter Sunday: Such Amazing Resurrection Love

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Transformational Disciplines: Savouring Scripture

SERMON 5 OF 5 IN A SERIES EXPLORING SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE, PREACHED 18 NOVEMBER 2012.  READ Psalm 1:1-3; Psalm 119:97-105 (better read the whole psalm); 2 Timothy 3:1-17


The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.

Martin Luther, “Martin Luther–The Early Years,” Christian History, no. 34.

And I add – it challenges me, comforts me and converts me.

This book we call ‘the Bible’ is no ordinary book – it is living and active, continually challenging us to uncover fresh meaning and giving us insight into how we might live out God’s story. By savouring Scripture we are challenged to change, we are comforted with knowledge of God’s love, we are converted to Jesus likeness and thus he is seen in us, in our attitudes, and in our actions.

What is the Bible?

  • A collection of stories
  • A book
  • Scripture – holy Words
  • A Word of God
  • The Word of God

Let’s stop with that thought for a moment. The Bible is the Word of God. What does that mean?

This is no ordinary book – it is not a story about God, it is not a text book about God, it is God’s Word to us.

That surely affects the way we regard it! Given that we say we LOVE God you’d expect that we would love God’s Word. Given that we say we want to follow Jesus you’d expect we would immerse ourselves in the Word to know him more.

Yet strangely we don’t. Continue reading

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Reviving the Flame at GA12

Recently I attended the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ). The biennial General Assembly gathered on the grounds of Te Maungarongo, our national marae, in Ohope for the opening ceremony and worship then continued at Rotorua Boys’ High School from October 4th to 7th.

In my experience Assembly is always a paradox – I enjoy attending, I value the sense of being God’s church, I appreciate conversations (albeit brief) with old friends and listening to contrary opinions, I rejoice in the times of worship – especially when we are stilled.

Yet Assembly is also a place of stress and distress: long days (8:30am to about 10pm), protracted debates, broken relationships, entrenched positions, too few voices, hurried decisions, apathy. This, and more, is the paradox of Assembly, the paradox of being human. We are inconsistent beings – capable of profound love, humility, and insight: and profanity.

We weep – God weeps.

We weep – God swoops to our side and loves us. Continue reading

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