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A bishop serving with St John

June 22nd 2014

A bishop serving with St John

The new Anglican Bishop for the Diocese of Waiapu has been announced, the Venerable Andrew Hedge of Waikato.

Andrew is currently the Vicar of Cambridge; he is also an operational ambulance officer. He works shifts each week, responding to emergencies alongside other St John staff. In what is believed to be a first, Andrew hopes to continue his shifts and association with St John, when he takes up the role of the 16th Bishop of Waiapu later this year. Until then he is known as the bishop-elect.

The Diocese of Waiapu stretches across the North Island, from Hawkes Bay to Eastland and the Bay of Plenty. Diocesan representatives selected Andrew’s name last weekend at an Electoral College in Havelock North. Bishop Victoria Matthews, who chaired the Electoral College, rang him with the news.

“I was excited, overwhelmed and humbled when I received the call and now there is a great sense of expectation about the future. To live and work across the Waiapu Diocese, to build relationships in the church and the community that tell of God’s love is a real privilege,” says Andrew.

Bishop Victoria says at every Electoral College the Holy Spirit leads and inspires and that it is the Church’s call to listen and follow the Spirit’s lead.

“Consequently you can imagine my joy that the chosen person, the Venerable Andrew Hedge, accepted a call to episcopal nomination,” says Bishop Victoria.

Andrew has been Vicar of Cambridge for 6 years. He is married to Raewyn and they have three children, who have grown up in Cambridge, Jessica, Ethan, and Caitlin. The news of their father’s new job had to be kept confidential this week, as the wider church sanctioned the nomination.

“The children have all been wanting to know when they could tell their friends and share the exciting news. It will be good for us as a family to be able to do that with friends and colleagues in the community this week,” says Andrew.

Archbishop Philip Richardson, the senior bishop of the New Zealand Dioceses, and a bishop of the Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki admires the ministry Andrew has developed in Cambridge and welcomes what he can offer as a Bishop to Waiapu and the wider Church.

“I really do believe that Andrew will bring a great deal to the House of Bishops,” says Archbishop Philip.

Andrew achieved his National Diploma in Ambulance Practice last year. This weekend, at an Investiture Ceremony in Auckland, he was made a Member of the Order of St John in recognition of his commitment to community and St John.

Brent Nielsen, from St John, says Andrew’s commitment has been stellar.

“His commitment is second to none in Cambridge as chaplain, paramedic volunteer, committee member and parent and supporter of youth activities, his work in the church and St John compliment each other,” says Brent Nielsen.

A date is yet to be set for the ordination and installation service at which Andrew will become the 16th Bishop of Waiapu.


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