Wellington Cathedral of St Paul was full to the brim on Saturday the 17th of November 2018, as our diocesan whānau gathered to celebrate the ordination of eight new priests, and ten new deacons in a day full of worship, thanksgiving, fun, laughter and friendship.
There was a strong sense of joy and the palpable presence of God as our newly ordained deacons and priests were prayed for by Bishop Eleanor and Bishop Justin, anointed by Archbishop Philip, and received tautoko and waiata from their parish and whānau support groups. When the bishops presented the newly ordained, the Cathedral was filled with whoops and hollers of delight – and hundreds of green paper leaves rained down from the ceiling as a gesture of new life – matching the rather large “tree of life” that stood towering over one of the pulpits!
The congregation were then invited to write what they were thankful for on the leaves and peg them to the roots of the tree, which extended across the floor of the Cathedral, stretching from the choir stalls in the chancel, and right down the full extend of the nave.
The Thanksgiving continued with a relaxed and jovial atmosphere, as friends and family caught up over a delicious shared meal and great coffee from our own baristas (Rev Caleb Rowe, Rev Tim Duxfield, Archdeacon Gendy Thomson to name a few!) and food sold as a fundraiser by the Anglican Chinese Mission and other diocesan groups.
Bouncy castles were on hand for the children – although they seemed to attract a slightly more senior crowd, with the Archbishop having a go with newly ordained deacon, Rev Graham Conlon…
They set the trend for episcopal and clerical bounciness, so of course Bishop Justin had to have a go!
The eventful day was capped off with a celebratory Eucharist, at which our new deacons administered Communion and our new priests offered prayers of blessing to those who wished for it. The day was a beautiful finale to what has been a stunning year of God’s goodness amongst us.
Meet our new ordained priests and deacons:
Reverend Catherine Froud, Parish of Northland-Wilton
I’m married to Jeff Sissons, with two adult children, live in Karori, and recently joined St Anne’s Northland-Wilton. Previously I was on the leadership team at St Hilda’s Island Bay, and before at St Mary’s Karori, studying Theology through Laidlaw College while working in Communications roles in government ministries. However, God’s call to ministry proved much more compelling – with its ready-made whanau of diverse followers of Jesus, sharing life in His Kingdom work. It’s exciting encouraging others to join in, as we gather, building teams for discipleship, ministry and mission.
Reverend Fiona Thomson, Parish of Pauatahanui
Fiona is deeply honoured to be called to Priesthood, and concurrently studying for her BMin. She and Julian recently celebrated 30 years of marriage together, and are blessed with a daughter Rosemary and son-in-law Thomas. Fiona serves God passionately, imbuing every role with creativity – building discipleship through small groups, enabling others to discover their talents and strengths, loving God and loving people.
Reverend Andy Hickman, Parish of All Saints, Palmerston North
Along with my wife, Bek, and our daughters Abigail, Lizzy, Grace and Ena, we love being in our Wellington Diocese as much as we love being fans of Doctor Who. I have a passion for social justice initiatives and I feel called to be a shepherd in the church and in our local community, and so I am honoured to be priested. Arohanui, Andy
Reverend Ana Fletcher, Urban Vision
I’m originally from Sri Lanka, but have spent most of my life in Mt Roskill, Auckland. I am married to Paul and we have one son Ishmael and another baby due in March. We now live in Whanganui as part of an Urban Vision team based in Gonville. I also work as the Intercultural Communities Enabler for our Diocese as part of a partnership with NZCMS.
Reverend Paul Fletcher, Urban Vision
Originally from Scotland, I’ve been in New Zealand since 2012. I’m married to Anashuya (also being ‘priested’) and we have a young son, Ishmael. Most of my life in Aotearoa has been spent in Auckland, though we have recently moved to Whanganui as part of Urban Vision. The past decade has been spent giving our best energy toward the local neighbourhoods we’ve been part of… and obsessing over coffee.
Reverend Murray Wills, Parish of Lower Hutt
Kia ora. I’m Murray and I have had the privilege of being part of the family and serving God in the Parish of Lower Hutt for a number of years, most recently as Deacon Assistant. I’m married to Amanda and we live with our two university age sons. Thanks be to God, and to those who have journeyed with me, encouraging me to answer God’s call. I look forward to serving alongside you as a priest.
Reverend Emile Pacifique, Journey Christian Fellowship
My name is Emile Pacifique and I am married to Persis, we have three grown up children, Jerome, Evangeline and Melissa. Persis and I live in Silverstream, Upper Hutt. It is a good thing to serve the Lord!
Reverend Hera Whitehead, Parish of Newlands-Paparangi
Ko Makio te maunga; ko Waiaua te awa; ko Waiaua te marae; ko Nga Patumoana te hapu; ko Te Whakatohea te iwi; ko Mataatua te waka; ko Mokomoko toku tipuna; ko Hera Mokomoko Whitehead ahau. St Michaels & All Angels Newlands Paparangi is our place of worship. My ministry in the community is to serve our God with all my heart and soul to encourage and reconcile others to the kingdom.
Reverend Froduald Mugiraneza, Journey Christian Fellowship
Kia ora Koutou, I am married to Cecile and God blessed us with two daughters and one son. We live in Stokes Valley and we’re part of Journey Group based at St Paul’s church Waiwhetu. My passion is to see people transformed and I look forward to joining hands with others to win more souls for Christ in this incredible journey.
Reverend Mark Henderwood, Parish of Island Bay
What a privilege to follow the call into ordination! My background includes nursing, music and education. Big thanks and love to Gillian, Summer and Molly for their part in this journey. I’m intrigued to see what God has in mind for us going forward.
Reverend Graham Conlon, Parish of Oroua
My wife Su and I moved to Feilding from England with our girls 15 years ago. I am a teacher at Feilding High School where I act as the school’s chaplain among other roles. I also serve as part of the ministry team in the Oroua Parish. I have a passion for rural ministry and pastorally supporting students and colleagues.
Reverend Simon Falconer, Parish of Waiwhetu
My wife, Jessica, and I live and worship in the Parish of St Paul’s Waiwhetu where we have lived since 2014. We have two sons, Sam and Eli who like to make a lot of noise running around the back of the church. Together we run our technology company ‘Resolve’ with offices and staff across New Zealand. We are both excited and nervous about the call God has on our lives. We want to bloom where we are planted and share the Good News that we have come to know.
Reverend Alan Wilson, Parish of Miramar-Seatoun-Strathmore
I am married to Alana and have four adult children, Rebekah, Miriam, Ben and Rachael. I am privileged to be part of and serve within the St Aidan’s Peninsular Parish church family in Miramar. I am a paramedic working as a lecturer on the Paramedic programme at Whitireia Polytechnic. I am humbled and honoured to be taking this next step into service in ordained ministry.
Reverend Wendy Thornburrow, Parish of St Matthew’s, Masterton
Since being a teenager, I have known a call to ordained ministry which is now being fulfilled! I ministered alongside my late minister/pastor husband in several parishes and an independent Pentecostal church. I have been a Funeral Celebrant for 25+ years, first in Auckland and now in the Wairarapa since moving here almost three years ago. I am a proud mother of four children and Nana to eight wonderful grandchildren. I look forward to continuing to serve God both within the church of St Matthew’s, Masterton, and as a locum hospital chaplain.
Reverend Sonya Lewthwaite, Victoria University Chaplaincy
Sonya is a chaplain at Ramsey House Anglican Chaplaincy (VUW). She has a background in Theology through Otago and has worked and taught at Salvation Army Booth College of Mission for the past two years. She and her husband Jon worship at St Paul’s in Waiwhetu, where they are involved in youth and children’s ministry. They are expecting their first child in December.
Reverend Māmari Stephens, Parish of Kelburn
Māmari (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Pākehā) is married to Maynard Gilgen, and they live in Newlands with their three children, Te Rangihuia, Havelund and Jessica-Lee. Māmari worships at St Michaels and All Angels, Kelburn, where she is involved in youth and children’s ministry. Māmari also attends tikanga Māori services at St Michael’s Newlands, and is engaged in prayer ministry at Victoria University in support of the Anglican Chaplaincy.[/symple_toggle]
Reverend Chris Kirby, Urban Vision
I am a husband, father, counsellor, youth worker and soon to be deacon. After a season living in Wellington in the Mt Cook team of Urban Vision, then a short stint at St John’s College, my wife, our son Reuben and I now live Whanganui seeking to live out God’s missional call in our suburb of Gonville.
Reverend Chelsea Kirby, Urban Vision
Tēnā koutou katoa. I am a mum to Reuben, wife to Chris and a teacher by trade – living in the beautiful city of Whanganui after seasons with Urban Vision in central Wellington and St Johns’ College in Auckland. Chris and I are so excited to begin serving our neighbourhood and this Diocese as deacons and feel really privileged to be on the journey. Ma te Atua tātou e manaaki.
Whānau together on mission artwork
You’ll remember the white crosses that have begun to be featured at diocesan events this year. Check out this story on Movement Online, where Rev Annette Cater has been encouraging us to think about what “whānau together, on mission” looks like for each of us, and to display that artistically on one of these white crosses.
Once you’ve completed your artwork ready for it to be part of the installation at the Thanksgiving and Ordination, we would appreciate it being dropped off at the Anglican Centre by Wednesday the 14th of November, or if that’s not possible, please bring it with you on the day.