Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

New voice for those on the margins

For immediate release April 6, 2005

New voice for those on the margins

How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? Psalm 137:4 KJV He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NIV They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech Acts 2:4 Jerusalem Bible

"Helping the church to fulfill its mission – and calling the world to account." That, in a nutshell, is how Anthony Dancer, the Anglican Church's newly appointed Social Justice Commissioner, sees his role.

His tasks, among others, will be to speak out for the poor, for refugees and asylum seekers, for the jobless, for the excluded – and for adherence to the Treaty of Waitangi, and for care of the environment.

He is also committed to fostering "hospitable environments" for reconciliation, and lobbying for restorative justice, fair trade and peace-building.

Anthony, who is presently the Cathedral Missioner at Nelson Cathedral, is also charged with helping the Anglican Church here build its capacity to respond to these realities.

His job, he says, starts within the church. He plans to move around the regions, learning and listening, working alongside church people to help encourage change at a grass roots level.

But it won't end with the church.

"There is an assumption," says Anthony, "that, apart from one or two things, the church and the state rub along just fine. But history shows that, fundamentally, this has not, and never will be, the case. The church and state serve different masters.

"The state," he says, "spends a good deal of time calling the church to account. By and large, the church doesn't spend much time calling the state to account.

"Yet, if we are to be an authentic, Biblical people, there is an inescapable call, always and everywhere, to do this."

Anthony came to New Zealand three years ago. He was born and raised in Oxford, in the UK, and has a D.Phil degree in Theology.

There's no doubt, he says, that the 'dreaming spires' of Oxford University are lovely.

"But if you scratch beneath the surface, you'll find a town fraught with tensions. Oxford has great wealth, and it also has a great deal of poverty, over-population, lowquality housing, and large numbers of homeless people living on the streets.

"I grew up amidst that – I was definitely from the wrong side of the tracks – and I spent many years working there before studying. I've experienced both sides." Bishop Derek Eaton met Anthony during a visit to Oxford. He was attracted by Anthony's evangelical faith and social justice commitment.

"I felt then," says Bishop Eaton, "that Anthony had something important to offer the Diocese of Nelson. I don't want to lose him – but I'm happy to release him to Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. He will benefit the entire church." Bishop Muru Walters, who heads the Church's Social Justice Commission, and who is Te Pihopa o Te Upoko o Te Ika, says he and his fellow commissioners were unanimous in their decision to appoint Anthony.

"We believe," says Bishop Muru, "that he is the right person at the right time for this position. He is an academic New Zealander, Oxford-trained, sensitive to the requirements the position demands, and able to communicate these needs to the Church."

Anthony, who is 37, takes his new responsibility for the whole church in July. Note to Editors:

As part of its mission, and its understanding of Christian responsibilities, the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is committed to "transforming unjust structures".

So, since 1990, it has had a Social Justice Commission, and a fulltime Social Justice Commissioner. Previous people who have held this post include Richard Randerson (now the Assistant Bishop of Auckland); Rev'd James Greenaway and Stephanie McIntyre.

When these three people served, the Social Justice Commissioner post was a Tikanga Pakeha one. Anthony Dancer is the first commissioner to be appointed by the whole, three tikanga church.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election