The congregation at Church of the Saviour, Blockhouse Bay, recently gathered to welcome their new vicar, the Reverend Shashi Christian, who has served as interim vicar for the past eleven months.
If enthusiasm is anything to go by, Reverend Shashi has obviously had a positive impact on the COTS flock since his arrival; when asked by Bishop Ross Bay, “Are you, the people of Blockhouse Bay, happy to receive and accept Shashi as your new Vicar?” the congregation replied with a resounding affirmative roar, “We are!”
After the induction service, the welcoming celebrations were concluded in typical Kiwi fashion with a huge spread - which was enhanced by an astonishing array of cultural delicacies - and enjoyed by 150 or so congregation and guests from across Auckland and Waikato.
Shashi and family are New Zealanders, who arrived in Auckland in August 2001. They have been with the Anglican church in New Zealand since 2002, having served in the church and mission services since 1987, both in India and New Zealand and around the world.
A keen traveller, Shashi loves to explore new places. He originates from the Indian state of Gujarat and has a wealth of experience working cross culturally with people from places such as Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Goa, Telangana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal, as well as visiting and ministering around the world in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Nepal, South Africa, France, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, USA, UK, Israel and Australia.
As a teacher, Shashi brings unique perspectives from varied cultural and faith backgrounds; his family roots were in Hinduism, his schooling was influenced by the writings of Gandhi, and he has worked with people from many different faiths. Unsurprisingly, he particularly enjoys conversations about worldviews and cultures, society, economics, politics and faith. Shashi also relishes a good cup of Indian chai and a game of cricket, and is a keen spectator of rugby.
On Sundays Shashi leads the congregational services at 9am and 11am, and on Wednesdays at 10am. Fluent in Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu and English, Shashi is available for prayer or conversation. Please contact the church office to make arrangements.