Anglican Taonga Advent 2014

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Riding with the You could struggle to detect early signs that Tony Brooking would end up as a priest. In fact, when he pulls off his dog collar and puts on his patch, you could struggle to believe that he is one now. Lloyd Ashton has been finding out about Tony’s ride into ministry.

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Rev Tony Brooking – who has just been awarded the St John’s College Community Service Award for 2014. This award recognised his commitment to the gospel in the college and in the wider community.

Rat Pack


s a general rule, you don’t find many RATS at St John’s College. But Tony Brooking? He’s definitely one. Because besides being a BTh student at SJC, and priest assistant at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Tony’s also chairman of The Redeemed Motorcycle Ministry. Back in late August, Tony and his Redeemed mates rumbled down to Morrinsville, to an event that grappled with teen suicide. They gathered there under a banner which reads: Riders Against Teenage Suicide. So: RATS. Trying to turn back teen suicide is not all the Redeemed do. In November, for instance, Tony and a few Redeemed riders thundered off on the 10-day White Ribbon Ride around the North Island. That’s a ride which aims to end violence against women and children. One evening each week Tony and his ministry mates also move out to feed

Auckland’s homeless. And they’re always speaking at church services, at schools, youth or community events. You could say those are the safe things they do. But they also head into places where you and I might fear to tread. Gang funerals, for instance. Tony recalls turning up with a mate to a Mangere marae for the tangi of a national gang boss. They were wearing their black leathers and patches which proclaim: Jesus is Lord, The Redeemed, Psalm 107:2 – the words surround a big white cross – and once they’d parked their Harleys, they strode slowly up the road to seek out the new boss. It was High Noon, perhaps. Or lambs to the slaughter, more likely. But then, something strange happened. Some of those assembled gangsters began queuing up, asking for prayer. That’s not the only time Tony’s had encounters like that. A couple of months ago he led a small posse of Redeemed into a

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