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Elections underway for two new Anglican bishops

February 11, 2008

Elections underway for two new Anglican bishops

The Anglican Church in New Zealand is in the process of choosing two key leaders – new bishops for the Dioceses of Waiapu and Christchurch.

The Diocese of Waiapu Electoral College gathered in Havelock North last Friday evening (February 8) and ran through until the following evening.

And the Christchurch Electoral College convenes in Christchurch this coming Friday evening (Feb 15) and runs through till Sunday Feb 17.

In the Anglican scheme of things, an electoral college is designed to nominate a candidate for the bishop. In neither case will the nominations of those electoral colleges be made public – because the elections will still be in process.

In each case the nomination will be forwarded first to the Bishops, and then to the members of General Synod, via postal ballot.

Provided the Bishops and General Synod members don’t object, the name of the new Bishop of Waiapu is likely to be made public by the Primate, Archbishop Brown Turei, within a month, and the Christchurch announcement is likely to be made soon after.

The vacancies have come about because of retirements. The present Bishop of Waiapu, Bishop John Bluck, who will be 65 in July, is stepping down after six years leading his diocese. Bishop John, who has already published a number of books, will move to Rotorua, where he will concentrate on his writing.

Bishop David Coles, who will turn 65 on Easter Day, is retiring after almost 18 years as Bishop of Christchurch. He will continue to serve in ministry in the parish of Wakatipu (Queenstown) in the Diocese of Dunedin.

The successors to both bishops will be ordained in time to attend the Lambeth Conference of Bishops in July. This gathering of Anglican bishops from around the globe is held once every decade.


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