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

 


Canadian Bishop for Christchurch

For immediate release Sunday, March 16, 2008


Canadian Bishop for Christchurch

A Canadian Bishop who is part of a high-level advisory group to the worldwide Anglican Communion has been elected Bishop of Christchurch.

The Rt Rev’d Victoria Matthews is currently bishop-in-residence at Wycliffe College in Toronto. She was Bishop of Edmonton for 10 years from 1997 to late last year, and Suffragan (Assistant) Bishop of Toronto from 1994-97.

She narrowly missed being elected Primate of Canada last year.

Announcing the appointment today, the Primate of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia, Archbishop Brown Turei, said he looked forward to welcoming Bishop Matthews into the church of these islands. “I’m sure that, with all her experience, she will make a good contribution to our life and witness," he said.

Bishop Matthews, 54 and unmarried, is only the second woman to become a diocesan bishop in New Zealand. The first was the Rt Rev’d Dr Penny Jamieson, Bishop of Dunedin from 1989-2004.

Bishop Matthews chairs the Canadian Primate’s Theological Commission, and has just been appointed to the Windsor Continuation Group, which will look at crucial questions about the shape of Anglican common life around the world.

She is in high demand as a retreat leader and guest lecturer, enjoys leading youth pilgrimages to holy places such as Iona and Taize, and has served as a trustee of Yale University in the USA.

In 2004 Bishop Matthews underwent major surgery for breast cancer. She walked the 800km pilgrimage trail to Santiago De Compostela in northern Spain last year to celebrate a clean bill of health.

In her spare time she enjoys hiking and walking her Anatolian shepherd dog Jethro, swimming, and reading history and theology.

Her installation as the eighth Bishop of Christchurch will take place in ChristChurch Cathedral on August 30. The present Bishop, the Rt Rev’d Dr David Coles, takes up the position of Vicar of Wakatipu in Queenstown on April 12.


‘To visit and to listen’

Bishop Matthews is no stranger to Christchurch. She hiked through New Zealand in the 1980s and was smitten. “Your country is so beautiful,” she said from her home in Toronto this week.

“I’ve long admired your (Anglican) prayer book, your commitment to the stewardship of creation, and the leadership of Maori in the church. I’m excited about the move and look forward to forming relationships and making Christchurch my home.”

Bishop Matthews’ personal priorities on arrival here are “to visit and to listen.” And then? “My priority for the diocese would be to call the people of God to excellence in all that they do,” she says. “I hate mediocrity, and I despair of sloppiness.”

She describes herself as “catholic evangelical” and is widely respected for her quiet authority and her ability to sit comfortably with all theological mindsets. However, she worries that in recent years the churches have moved away from “waiting on God,” and believes that a call to prayer is “essential at all levels of our church.”

She was educated at Bishop Strachan School in Toronto and has a Master of Divinity degree from Yale. She says she is a great fan of church schools, “especially if they are not only for the wealthy. I wish Canada had more of them.”

Although only 44 at the time, Bishop Matthews was invited on to the communications committee for the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Bishops in England. She is involved again in the planning of the Lambeth Conference this July, and will attend as Christchurch’s Bishop-elect.

Despite media speculation, Bishop Matthews is careful and moderate on controversial issues such as the blessing of same-sex relationships. Indeed, she is known internationally for her theological orthodoxy and her resolve to maintain unity.

Last year, during the Canadian General Synod, she was reported as saying that same-sex blessings did not conflict with core doctrines of the Canadian church.

Her comment arose from a Canadian study called the St Michael Report, which identified core doctrines as those relating to the person and work of God.

“Speaking personally, I think a number of things stand in the way of blessing same-gender marriages or unions,” Bishop Matthews says.

“First and very importantly, the church needs to decide whether same-gender marriage is a faithful development of the Christian doctrine of marriage. This work is well under way in Canada and, I hope, other provinces of the Anglican Communion.

“Secondly, our church needs to find a way forward whenever the cause of church unity meets the cry of personal and corporate conscience head-on. Who and how will we decide? The Anglican Covenant Design Group is addressing this.”

Bishop Matthews says it is essential, albeit difficult, for churches of the first world to be patient and to listen carefully to churches of the two-thirds world.

“We (in the first world) have been dominant and bossy and arrogant for far too long and the time is right for patience and humility.

“Secondly, by taking the time to do the theology thoroughly and well, we will ease the acceptance of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. To be impatient is to risk even further hate and violence against those we have ignored for too long.”


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Debut, Mockingjay, And Drunk Texting

John Key’s credibility has taken a hammering this week – at least among the 50% of the electorate who have always had doubts about him on that score.

The other substantial story of the week has been about Andrew Little’s debut as Labour leader, which has received top marks, especially among the 25% of the electorate still voting Labour. According to some reports, the Labour caucus has been ‘in seventh heaven’ about Little’s success this week in taking it to the government in the House. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel. More>>

ALSO:

Glenn Inquiry: Report Offers Solutions To Family Violence

The People’s Blueprint unveiled today by Sir Owen Glenn’s independent inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence outlines a new, more cohesive and effective system for reducing New Zealand’s alarmingly high family violence rates. More>>

ALSO:

Environment Commissioner: Changing Climate And Rising Seas - Understanding The Science

A rising sea will be with us for a long time to come – one way or another we will have to adapt. But how high and how fast the water rises will be influenced by the speed at which the world – including New Zealand – reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. More>>

ALSO:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news