To the Parishioners of St Matthew’s, Hastings and St Peter’s, Riverslea
Announcement about the Parish of Greater Hastings
Greetings to you all in the name of Christ,
Over the past month I have been working my way through all the feedback that was received during
the consultation discussions around the proposal to create one single parish in Hastings. I have been
very encouraged by the responses that I received during the consultations and sense a strong desire
within both parishes to see change happen without a long delay.
I am pleased to announce today that we will move to create a single parish which for the time being I
will name the Parish of Greater Hastings, recognising the breadth that this parish will encompass. It is
my hope that in time, perhaps over the next year or so, we will also consider an alternative name in
conjunction with our Tikanga Maori partners, but that rightly will take some time in discussion.
In a desire to maintain the momentum that has been expressed from both parishes I have decided to
act now to lay out a process for the next 16 months that will lead us to Synod 2022 and the formal
creation of the Parish of Greater Hastings. The following steps will get us to that point without loss of
momentum and indeed with the right people in place who are already familiar with the worshipping
communities, Anglican Care Waiapu services and the St Matthew’s School to help make the transition
a positive and encouraging move.
- I will appoint The Rev’d David van Oeveren as Priest-in-Charge of the Parish of Greater
Hastings from 1 July 2021, full-time. Once the parish has received full recognition at Synod
2022 the role of Priest-in-Charge will become the role of Vicar of the Parish.
- I will appoint The Rev’d Alister Hendery as Associate Priest of the Parish of Greater Hastings
from 1 July 2021, full-time. Alister will remain in this role until a permanent appointment can
be made during the course of this year which will include a full parish consultation and Board
of Nominations process. I expect that Alister’s new role will come to an end at the latest in
February 2022. Alister will also move to a full-time stipend in his current role from 1 June
From July 2021 David and Alister will work with the Wardens and Vestries of both parishes, with
guidance from the Diocesan Registrar and me, to work through the details of changing to a single
parish with one Vestry, one set of Wardens and representation across the parish to Synod and
Regional Conferences. During this time we will continue to reflect on and learn from the experiences
of the Parish of Central Hawke’s Bay whose input has already been very helpful to the consultation
discussion. This work will take some time but I expect that by Synod 2021 we will have most of these
details confirmed and the Diocesan Registrar assures me that we have the financial systems in place
to begin to operate as one parish from 1 July 2021 in terms of accounting for income and expenditure.
The process of creating a new parish within the Synod requires two steps. First, a Motion will be
presented at Synod 2021, and then second, a Bill will be presented at Synod 2022. The passing of both
of these in turn will then confirm the change to a single Parish following Synod 2022.
My announcement today also paves the way for the formal part of the process that the Diocesan
Registrar will undertake with our paid lay staff in both parishes. The Diocesan Registrar has been in
conversation with the lay staff as part of a process that has run parallel to my consultation with both
parishes and I am pleased that this important process will be able to continue now and want to thank
our lay staff for their patience and contributions to the process to date.
The appointment of David as Priest-in-Charge/Vicar at my discretion means that we are able to
respond to the desire for change to one parish, capture the momentum in the parishes for change and
create the new parish without delay. David brings many gifts in ministry that will be a strength for the
leadership of this parish not least his strong pastoral intuition, and careful attention to planning and
liturgical presence, but also his experience with multi-centred parishes, school BOTs and from his role
as Regional Dean a broad understanding of the Diocese of Waiapu.
I am grateful for Alister’s willingness to continue in the parish for another 6-8 months to allow us the
time together to prepare for the appointment of a full-time permanent Associate Priest for the parish.
I look forward to this process beginning in a few months’ time, and you will see me include mention
of this vacancy in future announcements about the parish. We will call together a parish consultation
around this role and elect representatives of the whole parish to join me and Diocesan nominators on
a Board of Nominationsto consider applicants to the role. I expect that this process will begin between
August and October 2021, with a successful applicant welcomed to the parish between December
2021 and February 2022.
The past five years has been a significant time for both St Matthew’s and St Peter’s as we have worked
together to discern the right and appropriate timing and vision for change to meet the needs of both
parishes to continue to uphold and extend mission and ministry in the Anglican Church across this city.
Today marks a significant moment where we can continue to join together in support of this mission
and ministry. I am confident that David and Alister will work well together to support the parishes to
come together as one, identifying waysto respect the distinct character of St Matthew’s and St Peter’s
worshipping communities, and also build relationships across the parish as a whole. David and Alister
have already started conversations together about how they can share in ministry across both
worshipping communities from July so that they can share in supporting ministry across the parish as
a whole alongside the clergy and licensed lay ministers in St Matthew’s and St Peter’s.
I would like to pay special thanks to the Wardens of St Matthew’s and St Peter’s for their commitment
to the parishes and the roles they have played in supporting the clergy, lay staff and Vestries of the
parishes during this time of review and change over the past five years. I have valued the opportunities
to meet with them all and the contributions they have made to all our discussions together.
As we journey forth into this new endeavour may we find in one another the grace of God such that
we may see in one another the love of God and be joined together in harmony and peace as te whanau
a te Karaiti/the body of Christ.
In Christ’s service,
The Right Reverend Andrew Hedge