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Hikoi by Bishop from Stewart Island to Waitaki

Media Release – March 12th 2014

Anglican Diocese of Dunedin

The Anglican Bishop of Dunedin will walk, cycle, and travel by train, ferry and helicopter, during a month long hikoi from Stewart Island to the Waitaki Valley.

The Rt Rev’d Dr Kelvin Wright is travelling through Otago and Southland, and will be joined by others along the way, for Te Haranui – A Hikoi of Joyful News. The hikoi celebrates 200 years since the beginnings of the Christian gospel in New Zealand.

The hikoi begins this Friday, 14th March on Stewart Island. The final destination is Kurow, in the Waitaki Valley, on 12th April. Bishop Kelvin and his support crew will walk and cycle a total of 830 kilometres. This will include the Central Otago Rail Trail. The Archbishop of York, The Most Rev’d Dr John Sentamu will join Bishop Kelvin on the hikoi, through Wanaka and Queenstown.

Bishop Kelvin says the first messengers of the gospel did the same as the aim of this hikoi. They travelled and met people on the way as they proclaimed the gospel through word and action.

“When you walk to a destination, on the way you see more, you experience more. The call of the church in 200 years of the gospel has been to walk amongst and be part of communities and that is at the heart of this hikoi, to walk through and be with communities.”

Wohler’s Memorial Cross on Stewart Island has been chosen as the starting point for the hikoi to honour the missionary work of the Rev’d Charles Wohler in the area. The hikoi will begin with the biblical verses of ‘good news’ heard on Christmas Day 1814 in the Bay of Islands, (Luke 2:10). The Maori Chief Ruatara, and Samuel Marsden of the Church Missionary Society, proclaimed the words in Oihi Bay where the Christian gospel had its beginnings. Bishop Kelvin will be presented with a tokotoko staff to carry with him on the hikoi that will be taken to later celebrations in the Bay of Islands for the bi-centennial.

There will be local gatherings along the way with people registering to walk parts of the hikoi. Regional events are planned in Invercargill on 16th March, Wanaka on 23rd March and in Waikouaiti on 6th April. There will be a formal conclusion to the hikoi at St Paul’s Cathedral on Sunday 13th April.

Updates to the hikoi will be on www.calledsouth.org.nz

ENDS

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