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New Dean of Christchurch has strong Methodist Links

The new Dean of the Christchurch Anglican Cathedral has strong links with the Methodist Church of New Zealand and plans to continue his relationship with Methodism well into the future.

The Very Reverand Peter Beck was installed at the Cathedral on December 8 and said he was excited about his new position.His background includes several years as the Vicar of St Matthew's in the City in Auckland during the 1990s, before working as a management consultant in Wellington for a couple of years. Then it was back to Auckland for almost a year running the Vaughan Park Retreat and Conference Centre before making the move to Christchurch late last year.

"It was always church work. As a management consultant I was working for a different paid employer but I was like a kind of corporate priest," Rev Beck said.

"I was acting as a kind of mentor."

Rev Beck also has significant ties with the Methodist Church.

"When I first came to New Zealand in 1981 from England I was working on the North Shore in the Glenfield Cooperative Parish which was Anglican and Methodist," he said.

"I have strong links with the Methodist Church and I'm looking forward to continuing that link.

"Rev Beck and his wife Gay West already love Christchurch and its Cathedral, which they believe is alive and energetic.

He said he hoped to continue the good work done by his predecessor at the Cathedral, John Bluck.

"I want to engage the Cathedral increasingly with the life of the city and be a place where people of all faiths and none can come and be inspired," he said.

Rev Beck believed the location of the Cathedral, right in the city centre, made it a unique place to work.

"The Cathedral is in the heart of the city and Christchurch was founded as an Anglican settlement in the early days. It's bigger than being an Anglican Cathedral, it represents more than that," he said."We have a very huge responsibility because of where we are. We have a huge responsibility to work with and be aware of the life of the city. We're not a closed off Anglican Cathedral."

The Cathedral is also visited by half a million tourists a year, who Rev Beck hopes will also be inspired by it.