Tuesday 8 September 2020

Book Release: Agency of Hope, by Peter Lineham

“Agency of Hope” is for anybody interested in the history of Auckland, social issues or indeed how an organisation can adapt as society changes.’ — Chris Farrelly, CEO/Auckland City Missioner

Proudly published by Massey University Press in association with the Auckland City Mission, acclaimed historian Peter Lineham’s book Agency of Hope takes readers behind the scenes of the Mission, whose mandate has always been to work on the front line with those most in need.

Our own story has been a colourful and, at times, chequered one, as we had struggled to remain financially viable and to balance pastoral and social work. Peopled with interesting characters, including its flamboyant founder, Reverend Jasper Calder, Peter Lineham’s lively commentary commemorates the work of the Mission in our centenary year.

Supported by scores of church men and women, volunteers, benefactors and fundraisers, the Mission is beloved by many and over the decades, its food parcels, shops, shows, fairs and holiday camps not only catered to peoples’ basic needs, but also provided entertainment and gave them hope.

Sometimes, we even did radical and unexpected things. As author Peter Lineham says, ‘There are some bold moments in the Mission history when it set out against the conventions of the day to reach out to needy and neglected communities, for example, the moment when it created a place of respite and support for AIDS patients at a time when no one would even touch them.’

The role of the Mission in 2020 has never been more crucial, as poverty and precarity have become more deeply entrenched. As ever, we continue to successfully serve the most urgent needs of Aucklanders without discrimination, whether they’re experiencing homelessness, hunger, poverty, mental health or addiction issues.

Chris Farrelly, comments, ‘The Mission’s centennial is a time for reflection as well as looking to our future. Agency of Hope is a remarkable book that delves deep into our history. Peter has woven a wonderful timeline of milestones and brings to life many of the people involved in the Mission’s story.’

Buy a copy today – for yourself or as a special gift – from the Auckland City Mission Trade Me Store