The Bishop of Nelson

Richard grew up in Christchurch within a musical family – his father was Head of music at Burnside High School and organist and choirmaster at St Barnabas Anglican Church, Fendalton (for 21 years). After a short stint in the New Zealand Meteorological Service, Richard completed a degree in music majoring in composition and trained as a secondary school teacher. He describes himself as a ‘Jack-of-all-trades and master of none’ when it comes to performance although he played bassoon in the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra for a few years through the 1970’s and has been a key part of developing contemporary church music teams, leading from the keyboard.

He trained for ministry at St John’s College in Auckland and was ordained as an Anglican Priest in 1985. He served his curacy at St John’s Highfield in Timaru and was then appointed Vicar of the parish of Kensington-Otipua (also in Timaru) from 1986-1991. He had learned Maori at St John’s and, at the invitation of Ngai Tahu he taught Te Reo at Aoraki Polytech in Timaru during these years and was a member of the Timaru Maori Council.

In 1991 Richard was invited by Bishop Derek Eaton to move to the Nelson Diocese and to become the Vicar of the Church of the Nativity in Blenheim. He became the longest serving minister in Blenheim.

He is married to Hilary and they have two children and three grandchildren.

The Diocese of Nelson has a history of biblical orthodoxy and Richard is quite passionate about maintaining that tradition while seeking to build strong relationships with other Dioceses within the Province. As Bishop he has the key responsibility of being a ‘pastor to the pastors’ – caring for and encouraging the clergy within the Diocese but also establishing a vision for the Diocese that reflects the mission Christ has called us to as his church.

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