Archdeacon John Malcolm RIP

Tric and Jean Malcolm write:

We’d like the wider whanau of the Wellington Diocese know that our dear Dad, mentor and friend died on Wednesday 3 October.  Our family gathered around Dad’s bed on Wednesday evening for Eucharist.  As the service progressed, Dad’s breaths came less and less often.  Tric and I held his hand with ours on the bread and then the cup at the consecration (he held very tightly to the bread!!).  We shared bread and wine with each other around the circle (putting some wine on his tongue)… then while Chris read a Joy Cowley reflection, John took his last breath.

So beautiful!!

On the evening when Franciscans celebrate the Transitus of St Francis from life into LIFE, Dad transitioned to the great feasting table of eternity.

John Douglas Malcolm was born on 6 March 1932, the youngest son of Jessie Malcolm and Archdeacon Douglas (D B) Malcolm, in the Gonville Vicarage (where Justin and Jenny Duckworth now live!).  He was a Wanganui Collegiate boy and then went to Otago (Selwyn College) to study medicine, where the path took a sideways bend.  He realised he was called not to cure people’s bodies, but to be a Curé of Souls.  After completing a science (zoology) and arts (psychology) degree at Victoria he headed to seminary at College House in Christchurch, and was ordained deacon in February 1960, and priest in 1961.

He served in Petone (1960-1962), Kelburn (1962-1965), Eastbourne (1965-1971), Levin (1971-1979), at Porirua Hospital (1979-1985), and Feilding (1985-1997).  He chaired Diocesan and Provincial Christian Education Boards, being Canon for Education in the Diocese of Wellington, and mentoring the first EfM group in the Diocese as the programme was rolled out in Aotearoa for the first time.

John was Archdeacon of Rangitikei from 1992-1997.  He and Val retired to Waikanae in 1997, where he joined the ministry team of the Kāpiti parish as Associate Priest (on two occasions acting as Priest in Charge), and continued to mentor EfM groups with Val.  He re-retired in his mid-70s.  He and Val moved to Seven Oaks Retirement Village in 2011.  John was an examining Chaplain for over 20 years, and a Spiritual Director.  Many people who discussed their faith and vocation with him remember him for his wisdom, discernment, encouragement and incisive challenge.

We feel privileged to have shared our Dad with the wider church family, and to have had our own sense of belonging to the universal church shaped by Dad’s sense of humour, his love of questions, his willingness to be vulnerable, his creativity, his deep rootedness in tradition that allowed him to step outside the boundaries and his attention to the mystery of God.

May he rest in peace, and rise in glory.