Our people Our places

Our people

Synod - 28 November 2014 - tributes
Synod paid tribute to Revs Edwin and Lois Clarke who had provided a joint supply ministry to Hamilton Parish during 2014.
After serving for 10 years at Te Awamutu Parish, Rev Maureen Calman is reluctantly being given permission to retire. A tribute prepared by the Parish was read to Synod by the Synod Superintendent, Rev Dr Susan Thompson. On the right, Susan, left, poses for the camera with Maureen following the presentation of a gift from the synod. At the recent Conference, Maureen officially retired, and the following day she was received into full Connexion. (Methodists will understand that this is not the normal process!)
Rev Gillian Woodward completes a 4 year part time appointment at Morrinsville Parish at the end of the year, and her service to the Church was also recognised. Gillian and her husband Derek will both be missed by the congregation for their work in the Parish, and the Synod joins the Parish in wishing them well in their retirement.
While leading the Synod in devotions earlier in the evening Rev Motekiai Fakatou shared his faith journey focusing on the idea of: 'Mat weaving: life is like a tapestry that must be weaved'. For Motekiai this means moving to Wellington in 2015 to take up a new ministry appointment and weaving a new part of his life's tapestry. At the right, Motekiai, on the left, receives a gift from the Synod from Synod Steward Mrs Ngaire Southon, who earlier paid tribute to his ministry in the Tauranga Parish.

Mr Alan Speirs
Synod notes with deep sadness the passing on 13 June 2014 of Mr Alan Spiers, a long standing and loyal member of the Synod. We pay tribute to him.

Synod – 29 November 2013 - tributes

Synod paid tribute to Rev Brian Eagle, who is retiring from ministry, David Buchan, who is retiring as District Property Secretary, Rev David Poultney, who has been appointed by Conference to Nelson, and probationer Mele Molitika who has been stationed by Conference at Beckenham, in Christchurch. The tributes given to David Poultney, Mele Molitika and David Buchan have kindly been made available by those who prepared them. For photos and further comments, click here.

Rev Trevor Shepherd
Synod notes with deep sadness the passing of Rev Trevor Shepherd, the Father of New Zealand Methodism. We pay tribute to him.

ev Arthur Dickie
Synod notes with deep sadness the passing of Rev Arthur Dickie in August 2013. We pay tribute to him.

Synod - 19 July 2013 - Recognition of Service
At left, Rev Dr Susan Thompson presents a gift to Rev Wallis Browne, after addressing the Synod and paying tribute to Wallis, who is retiring from ministry shortly. Following an appointment by Conference, Wallis has ministered to the Rotorua parish for the last 3 and a half years.
Click here to read the formal tribute to Wallis, as it will appear in the 2013 Methodist Conference handbook.

Rev Warren Blundell paid tribute to Rev John Howell as he nears the end of his ministry at Taupo Union Church.
Warren spoke from the heart, using (in his own words) the style of a good Methodist preacher using three headings:
"ministry' 'chaplaincy,' 'community'.

John's services were always thought provoking, well constructed and well presented. He didn't duck the difficult subjects but gave a reasoned argument. His involvement in police chaplaincy was full on often going out in the small hours of the morning accompanying the police in their patrol cars. The chaplaincy was rewarding but it could also be lonely as felt he was an outsider going into a tightly knit organisation.

John's involvement in the community was much appreciated and he came to prominence in the Karen Aim murder. This resulted in John connecting with the Aim family in Orkney , Scotland and their minister who appreciated John's sensitivity and personal involvement. John is also involved with Taupo Harriers running whenever he can, and he also cycles having cycled in the Great Lake Cycle Challenge.

John has published two Prayer books and several prayer cards. He also has written collects for the publication 10 Minutes on a
Tuesday. John has earned his retirement and we thank him and wish him all the best

At right, John responds to Warren's tribute, by reading to Synod a poem prepared just for this occasion. John, Synod thanks you for your contribution, we wish you well, and we know you will remember us, just as we will remember you.

Veronica Lowe

Synod notes with deep sadness the passing of Veronica Lowe in December 2012. We pay tribute to her.
Synod - 30 November 2012 - Recognition of Service
At the Synod meeting on 30 November, Synod took the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions made by 3 ministers who are completing their ministries in the Synod at the end of the year.
Rev Doris Elphick, seen here with her husband Fred, is retiring after 8 years as minister at Te Aroha Co-operating Parish. Her full address to the 2012 Methodist Conference can be read here. Deacon Dianne Hight presented this tribute to the Synod. Thank you Doris - you have been very busy in your ministry to both the Parish and the wider church.
Rev Paul Sinclair, seen here with his wife Lynne, acknowledges the tribute presented to the Synod by Synod Superintendent, Rev Dr Susan Thompson. Susan noted with much gratitude the work Paul had done as a member of the Synod Executive. St Clare's parish in Hamilton will no doubt miss him as much as the Synod will - unless he remains in the District!
Our just-arrived and soon-to-be-gone South African friend, Rev Leigh Sundberg seen here with his wife Dianne, was farewelled by Catherine Dickie. Leigh and Dianne - you have made many friends in your short time with us, and we pray that God will continue to bless you both, and your ministry, as you return to South Africa.

Janet Jensen MNZM
Synod congratulates Janet Jensen of Morrinsville Parish who was recognised by the Queen with an award of Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2012 Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours for services to the community.

Pari Waaka - 1937 - 2012

Synod notes with deep sadness the passing of Pari Waaka on 12th May 2012. We pay tribute to her.

Our places

A brief historical overview

On the eastern shores of the Waikato District, Kawhia Methodist Church sits on a hilltop overlooking the surrounding town. Kawhia was the site of one of the earliest mission outreaches in the 19th century. In central Hamilton, St Paul's Methodist Church in London Street, bears proud testament to the faith of early Methodists and until 2012 remained a centre for worship in the 21st century.

The District has its roots in Maori Mission work from the 1830s on. The work, begun by the Revs Woon, Whiteley and Wallis and Maori evangelists such as Wiremu Neera, stretched from Port Waikato to Mokau and inland to the Waipa River.

After the land wars of the 1860s, Waikato Methodism shifted its focus to founding and developing congregations among the colonial settlers. One of the pioneer ministers of this early period in the Waikato was Rev Joseph Berry, appointed to the Waikato in 1867.

The first churches in the District were built in Hamilton, Cambridge, Pukerimu and Te Awamutu. The Thames goldfields were opened in 1867 and, by 1870, Thames became a separate circuit.

For many years the Waikato-Bay of Plenty was called the South Auckland District. It extended from Taumarunui in the south to Huntly in the north, Raglan in the west to Opotiki in the east. The boundary of the District as it is at present was decided by Methodist Conference in 1963. The District name was changed from South Auckland (with the Rev Bill Laws as the last Chairman) to Waikato-Bay of Plenty District, with the Rev Roy Jamieson MBE, E.D., minister at Te Aroha, as the first District Chairman; the Secretary was the Rev Robert H Allen B.A. (Tauranga) and the Financial Secretary was S V Leach.

In the same year (1963), the Women's Guild Fellowship and the Women's Missionary Fellowship were combined to form the Methodist Women's Fellowship.

The District is now known as Waikato-Waiariki, and contains some 33 parishes and about 50 regular Sunday congregations. Only 7 of the parishes in the District remain Methodist, the other 26 are Union or Cooperating parishes with Methodist as well as Presbyterian/Anglican/Church of Christ/ Congregational membership.

Most individual parishes and congregations in the Distict have published their own histories. Nearly all of these are held in Archives, c/o Methodist Centre, 62 London St, Hamilton, or the national MCNZ Archives in Auckland, Private Bag 11903, Ellerslie, Auckland 1542 (409 Great South Rd, Penrose, Auckland 1061, phone 09-5254179)

Alan Leadley, July 2011
Return to top of page