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by Bill Wallace

Introducing Bill Wallace

The death of Bill Wallace brings to an end the life of a very talented man. Born in Christchurch, and a candidate for the ministry from the Durham St congregation, he trained at Trinity College and graduated from Auckland University. He served the Church from 1961, beginning in Dunedin, and finishing at Wainui-o-mata.

William Livingstone Wallace (Bill) was a Methodist Minister from Aotearoa/New Zealand who spent all his working life in parish ministry. However, he always sought to reach beyond the boundaries of the parish and of his own denomination into ecumenical and latterly inter-faith activities. In later years one of Bill's main concerns had been to attempt to bridge the gap between the thought world of traditional Christianity and the thought world of the new scientific view of human beings and the universe.

In addition to hymn writing, Bill produced worship resources which have appeared in anthologies. Bill also composed melodies, designed sculptures and church windows and created a garden of spirituality.

In contrast to many contemporary hymns, Bill's writing stands within that tradition in which hymn singing is seen as a major avenue of clearly articulating theological beliefs. Bill's hymns always seek to be inclusive in the widest sense, focusing on the mystery and the experience rather than on dogma. In Bill's understanding we are not liberated (saved) by adherence to definitions but by allowing ourselves to let go and fall into the depths of the mystery--the mystery in the heart of God.