The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has welcomed news that the Bishop of Taranaki, The Right Reverend Philip Richardson, has been announced as the new Archbishop of the New Zealand Dioceses. Dr Sentamu met Bishop Philip when he visited Taranaki in 2010 and 2011.
Dr Sentamu said:
“It is wonderful news that Bishop Philip will be the new Archbishop of the New Zealand Dioceses. When I first met him I was struck by his passion for issues of reconciliation and his commitment to the importance of holding justice and love together. This found practical expression when he set up a charity to meet the needs of communities within Taranaki.
“Bishop Philip is a man of great intelligence, energy, humour, and prayer. He has a heart for community and the humility of spirit which will enable him to work together with members of all the churches as he approaches the challenges of this post.
“When I visited New Zealand I was deeply moved by the traditional welcome of hongi in which the breath of life from God is shared, and our common humanity is affirmed. In that custom, all of us, however great or small, have to approach each other on the same level. Bishop Philip’s ministry is built on this same understanding that we are all equally valued and loved in the eyes of God.
“He is a man who is able to reach out in welcome and fellowship to all, and I pray that he will be a blessing to the Church and all the people of New Zealand as he takes up this new role serving others and nurturing unity in that beautiful country.
“When my wife Margaret and I heard the news, we burst into a waiata (song), He Honore, hekororia, (All honour and glory to God):
He Honore, he kororia,
Whakaaro, pai e
Akeake, akeake, Amine
“Bishop Philip, may this be your song too. For we are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song. Have a Blessed Easter everyone.”