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Presbyterian Church has new elected leader

Presbyterian Church has new elected leader

The Right Rev Dr Graham Redding is the new Moderator or elected leader of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. He begins his two year term from 2 October 2008.

Graham is principal of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, which is the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand's Dunedin-based training centre for ministers and lay leaders. Graham took up this role in 2007. Before that, he served as a very popular parish minister at St John's in the City in Wellington for six years and Somervell Memorial Presbyterian Church in Auckland for nine years.

During this time he also served the Church in a variety of capacities, including as Co-convenor of the Equipping the Leadership Policy Group and Convenor of the Doctrine Core Group. He has a Doctorate through London University. His research interests have lain mainly in the fields of theology, worship, ethics and the arts. His book, Prayer and the Priesthood of Christ in the Reformed Tradition, was published in 2003.

Graham's theme for his time as Moderator is "reformed and reforming". Graham describes "reformed and reforming" as being about the foundations of Presbyterianism as well as its ongoing engagement with change. It is, he says, an appropriate time to consider what being Presbyterian means. "What makes us distinctive and defines us?"

Graham is married to Jenni and has three teenage children. He and his family live in Dunedin.

The Rev Dr Graham Redding will be installed as Moderator at the beginning of General Assembly 2008, at a service at St John's in the City Presbyterian Church, Wellington. The service involves the transfer of a ceremonial cloak (Te Korowai Tapu) and the laying on of hands by past Moderators.

The Presbyterian Church is the third largest denomination in Aotearoa New Zealand, with more than 400,000 people identifying as Presbyterian in the 2001 Census, and 30,000 regular church attenders.


Notes to reporter:
Up until 2 October 2008, the Church's national spokesperson is the present Moderator, the Right Rev Pamela Tankersley. Once elected as Moderator at the Presbyterian Church General Assembly, Rev Dr Graham Redding will become the Church's spokesperson and will be referred to as the Right Rev Dr Graham Redding. The worship service that will see the Rev Dr Graham Redding installed as Moderator starts at 11am on 2 October at St John's in the City Presbyterian Church, Wellington. The remainder of General Assembly 2008 will be held at St Patrick's College, Silverstream, Upper Hutt.

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