The Archbishops have written to the House of Bishops, and to the congregations of Te Tairawhiti, expressing their honour at being able to announce that Don Tamihere has accepted the call to become the next Bishop of Te Tairawhiti.
And one of their number, Archbishop Philip Richardson – who is the Senior Bishop of the Tikanga Pakeha Dioceses, says he’s been impressed by how much aroha there is on the ground in Te Tairawhiti for Don Tamihere.
Archbishop Philip was in Gisborne yesterday, and he was moving around the city with the Bishop-elect.
“What was really clear to me,” he says, “is that Don has the overwhelming support not only of the people within the Anglican Church in Te Tairawhiti, but also among the leadership across Te Tairawhiti.
“I was amazed by the number of people who stopped him to greet him.
“It was lovely, too, to see the genuine affection his children have for him, and to see the relationship he has with his wife, Kisa.
“The respect in which Don’s held, and the confidence that people have in him was very evident to me.
“So on behalf of Tikanga Pakeha, I welcome him into this leadership role – and I look forward to working with him in partnership in the gospel.”
In their letter to the congregations of Te Tairawhiti, the Archbishops have commended Don and his family to their prayers:
“Reverend Don, his wife Temukisa, and their children will soon be moving into a new phase of life and ministry. We ask that you uphold them in your thoughts and prayers, asking every blessing be theirs through Jesus Christ our Lord. The church joins with you in thanksgiving for God’s calling and grace.”
They have also composed a prayer which asks God to give grace to the Bishop-elect:
He Inoi mō te Pīhopa Kōwhiri / A Prayer for the Bishop-elect
E Te Atua Kaha Rawa, Ora Tonu,
kua karangatia tātau i roto i tāu Tama
ki te whiwhinga tahitanga o tāu Hāahi puta noa i te ao:
whakarongo mai ki tō mātau inoi mō tāu hunga whakapono
meinga rātau, i roto i ā rātau mahi, hei tohu o tōu aroha
ā, homai ki tāu pononga a Don Tamihere,
ākuanei ka tū hei Pīhopa mō mātau,
te taonga o tōu atawhai;
ko Ihu Karaiti hoki tō mātau Ariki, tō mātau Kaiwhakaora. Āmine.
Almighty and eternal God,
you have called us through your Son
to be one with your Church around the world:
hear our prayer for your faithful people
that in their callings and ministry
they may be instruments of your love,
and give to your servant Don Tamihere,
who will soon be our Bishop,
the gift of your grace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Mā te Atua koutou e ūhia ki te rau aroha, te rau manaaki, te rau mārie.