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Bishop chosen for prestigious international role

February 15, 2006

Auckland-based Anglican bishop chosen for prestigious international church role

An Auckland-based bishop has been chosen by the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev Dr Rowan Williams, to be the Chaplain of the 2008 Lambeth Conference – the once-every-decade gathering of the world’s 800 Anglican bishops.

He is The Rt Rev Dr Winston Halapua, who is the first Anglican Bishop for the Diocese of Polynesia in Aotearoa New Zealand. In other words, he’s the bishop of the Polynesian Anglican community here, and he has overall responsibility for a number of New Zealand-based Samoan, Tongan, Indo-Fijian and Fijian congregations.

Dr Halapua is also Principal of the College of the Diocese of Polynesia at St John’s College in Meadowbank, a lecturer in the School of Theology at the University of Auckland, and until last year he was a member of the Anglican Consultative Council – the worldwide council of Anglican lay people, clergy and bishops which is chaired by the Bishop of Auckland, The Rt Rev John Paterson.

As the Chaplain for the Lambeth Conference, Bishop Halapua will head a team of clergy who will lead the worship and provide chaplaincy to the brigade of bishops at the conference.

The bishops will converge from all points of the globe on the University of Kent for 18 days, between July 16 and August 4, 2008. The university is a close neighbour to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s seat at Canterbury Cathedral.

Not only will Dr Halapua have responsibilities for the bishops’ conference, he will also have chaplaincy duties at a parallel conference being run for the bishops’ spouses, who are also invited to Lambeth.

A spokesperson for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was in Auckland last week to discuss arrangements for the Lambeth conference with local bishops, said Dr Halapua’s ministry and work throughout the Anglican communion had been “valued and appreciated” and this respect lay behind the invitation from Dr Williams.

Dr Halapua was born and raised in Tonga, and his father was the first Tongan Anglican bishop. His doctorate is in sociology, and he has studied Christian mission and ministry in Fiji (he holds Fijian citizenship), the United Kingdom, Israel and New Zealand. He has written a number of academic books.

He was one of three Polynesian bishops ordained in Suva in April last year.

Dr Halapua’s wife, Sue, is also ordained, and is the Vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Otahuhu, in the Diocese of Auckland. They have two adult children.


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