Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (Māori: Te Hahi Mihinare ki Aotearoa ki Niu Tireni, ki Nga Moutere o Te Moana Nui a Kiwa; formerly the Church of the Province of New Zealand) is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion serving New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands. Since 1992 the church has consisted of three tikanga or cultural streams: Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia. The church's constitution says that, among other things, it is required to "maintain the right of every person to choose any particular cultural expression of the faith". As a result, the church's General Synod has agreed upon the development of the three-person primacy based on this three tikanga system. It has three primates (leaders), each representing a tikanga, who share authority.
|Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia|
|Archbishops||Donald Tamihere (Aotearoa)|
Philip Richardson (New Zealand)
Fereimi Cama (Polynesia)
|Region||New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands|
|Headquarters||Meadowbank, Auckland, New Zealand|
|Other name(s)||Te Hahi Mihinare ki Aotearoa ki Niu Tireni, ki Nga Moutere o Te Moana Nui a Kiwa (in Māori)|
The Anglican Church is an apostolic church, tracing its bishops back to the apostles via holy orders. A New Zealand Prayer Book (ANZPB), containing traditional liturgies, rites and blessings, is central to the church's worship. Since the 1960s and 1970s, the New Zealand Anglican Church has pursued a decidedly more liberal course; it has approved the marriage by a priest in a church of someone whose earlier marriage was dissolved (even though the former spouse still lives), and has approved blessings for same-sex couples.
The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is not established as an official church of any sovereign state, unlike the Church of England from which it grew. However, Anglicans have taken a leadership role on New Zealand state occasions. The 2013 census recorded 469,036 Anglicans in the New Zealand part of the church.
Until 1992, the church was known as the "Church of the Province of New Zealand", and was often referred to as the "Church of England". It is now known as the "Anglican Church", reflecting its membership of the Anglican Communion. Members of the church are referred to as "Anglicans".
First New Zealand AnglicansEdit
The Māori name for the New Zealand Anglican Church, te Hāhi Mihinare (the missionary church), reveals its origins in the work of the first missionaries to arrive in New Zealand.
Anglicans began missionary work among Māori in 1814 through the Church Missionary Society (CMS), a voluntary evangelical group within the Church of England. Evangelicalism began as a movement within 19th-century Protestant churches in Britain that combined humanitarian activism with an emphasis on the personal experience of sin, and the salvation gained through the death of Jesus Christ.
The CMS mission to New Zealand was begun by Samuel Marsden, the Anglican chaplain in New South Wales. He had met the Ngāpuhi chiefs Te Pahi and Ruatara when they travelled outside New Zealand, and they encouraged him to visit their country. Ruatara provided protection for the first mission station, at Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands.
For the first years of the mission, intertribal Musket Wars hampered the missionaries’ movements and Māori interest in their message. Personal disputes between the early missionaries, and their involvement in trading muskets, also compromised their efforts. However one of the first CMS missionaries, Thomas Kendall, successfully produced the first written versions of the Māori language.
Henry Williams arrived to lead the New Zealand mission in 1823 and gave firm local leadership and new direction, emphasising evangelisation and peace-making between tribes. After Hongi Hika's death in 1828 the mission became less dependent on the goodwill and economic support of Māori.
Henry's brother William Williams arrived in 1826 and led the work of translating the prayer book and the Bible into Māori. As Māori became literate, some also became evangelists for the new teaching. The number of Māori converts grew rapidly in the 1830s and early 1840s and Māori began to include Christian ideas in their world view. The conversion of a whole tribe together contrasted with the missionary emphasis on individual conversion.
Missionaries and the Treaty of WaitangiEdit
In England the church and state were interlinked and the Church of England had a special status guaranteed in law. Evangelicals, as loyal Anglicans, accepted this status and encouraged Māori to look to the British Crown for protection and recognition. As a result CMS missionaries, especially Henry Williams, played a leading part in encouraging Māori to sign the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.
In later years this missionary support for the treaty led to increasing disillusionment among Māori as the treaty was ignored by the colonial and settler governments. The emergence of Māori religious movements such as Pai Mārire and Ringatū reflected this rejection of missionary Christianity. When the missionary Carl Sylvius Völkner was suspected of spying by Māori in 1865, the fact that he was a member of the Anglican clergy afforded him no protection, and he was executed.
After missionary work among Māori, the second major influence shaping the Anglican Church came from rapidly growing numbers of Anglican migrants. The early CMS missionary beginnings and the large number of settlers who came from England resulted in Anglicans becoming the largest of the religious denominations in New Zealand. In 1858 more than half the population was Anglican.
George Augustus Selwyn became Bishop of New Zealand (the only Anglican bishop to have this title) in 1841. He headed both the Māori and settler Anglican parts of the church. Evangelical missionaries were suspicious of his control over them and his emphasis on the authority of the church, while settlers were hostile towards his pro-Māori stance. He increasingly found himself caught between Māori and Pākehā issues of land and sovereignty.
In 1865, Selwyn, who had served as a chaplain during the New Zealand Wars, wrote of the Anglican Church's relationship with Māori, "oh! how things have changed! how much of the buoyancy of hope has been sobered down by experience! when, instead of a nation of believers welcoming me as their father, I find here and there a few scattered sheep, the remnant of a flock which has forsaken the shepherd".
While Anglicans carried some of the privileges of the Church of England to New Zealand, they struggled to devise a method of church organisation which took account of their new non-establishment status alongside other churches. In 1857, after 15 years of consultation, a constitution for the New Zealand church was finalised on the basis of voluntary compact. Links with the traditions of the mother-church in England were guaranteed in their worship, ministry and beliefs. At national and regional levels, bishops, and representatives from the clergy and laity met together but voted separately on church matters, ensuring that each group had an equal voice. The constitution resolved problems for the settler church but failed to deal adequately with the administrative and leadership needs of the Māori church.
Selwyn's diocese was progressively divided into sub-districts, beginning in 1856 when Christchurch became a new diocese; Wellington, Nelson and Waiapu (East Coast) followed in 1858, and Dunedin separated from Christchurch in 1869.
Each diocese developed its own identity. The Christchurch diocese, formed out of the Canterbury Association of colonial settlers, had a strong English element. Under its second bishop, Andrew Suter, Nelson developed an evangelical flavour which continued in the 21st century. Waiapu had missionary beginnings, holding its first four synods (official church conferences) in the Māori language. That missionary influence was overtaken by the New Zealand wars and the growth of settler influence.
20th and 21st centuriesEdit
By 1936 the proportion of Anglicans in the total population had dropped from half to 40%. Anglican numbers declined more sharply from the mid-1960s. Around 900,000 people identified themselves as Anglican in 1976, 800,000 in 1981 and 580,000 in 2001. In the 2013 census 12% of the population, or 460,000 people, identified themselves as Anglicans. Anglicanism was the country’s second largest religious denomination after Catholicism. In parishes (local church communities) that no longer had enough church members to financially support a stipended priest, schemes for local people or self-supporting (in part or in whole) priests to take responsibility for the tasks of ministry were developed.
The General Synod of the church adopted a revised constitution in 1992. This introduced the tikanga system.
A New Zealand Prayer Book (ANZPB), was published in 1989 (after a period of revision starting in 1964). It was received with general enthusiasm and has largely supplanted usage of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) since the 1990s.
The church has decided that three bishops shall share the position and style of archbishop, each representing one of the three tikanga. These are the three archbishops presently sharing the title of Archbishop of New Zealand:
- Donald Tamihere, Bishop of Aotearoa for the head of Te Pīhopatanga o Aotearoa, who oversees ngā Hui Amorangi for the Māori people of Aotearoa New Zealand
- Philip Richardson, Bishop of Taranaki, who oversees dioceses in Aotearoa New Zealand for Pākehā (people of European heritage)
- Fereimi Cama, Bishop of Polynesia, who oversees the Diocese of Polynesia for the Oceania region of the Pacific Islands that predominantly lie north and east of Aotearoa New Zealand
Te Pīhopatanga o Aotearoa, one of three tikanga, oversees churches for the Māori people of Aotearoa. Aotearoa is made up of five pīhopatanga or regional bishoprics (sometimes called hui amorangi, i.e. synods), each led by te pīhopa o... (the bishop of...):
- Manawa o Te Wheke (literally the heart of the octopus, i.e. north island central region)
- Tairāwhiti (literally east coast)
- Tai Tokerau (literally north coast)
- Upoko o Te Ika (literally the head of the fish, i.e. the southern part of the north island; Wellington/Taranaki)
- Waipounamu (literally south island)
The tikanga of New Zealand is made up of seven dioceses:
Formerly, the dioceses in New Zealand were led by a "senior bishop" elected from among the diocesan bishops. However, as the church moves towards a three-person primacy, the leader of the dioceses in New Zealand is elected as co-presiding bishop and styled as an archbishop. The current co-presiding bishop is Philip Richardson, Bishop of Waikato and Taranaki.
St Paul's Cathedral in Dunedin
Christ Church Cathedral in Nelson
Cathedral of St John the Evangelist in Napier
St Peter's Cathedral in Hamilton
The Diocese of Polynesia, or the Tikanga Pasefika, headed by Archbishop Winston Halapua, serves Anglicans in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands. The diocese's first bishop was consecrated in 1908. The diocese's cathedral is Holy Trinity Cathedral in Suva, Fiji. As the province moves towards a three-person primacy, the Bishop of Polynesia is automatically a co-presiding bishop and styled as an archbishop. The Bishop of Polynesia is currently supported by two suffragan bishops: Bishop Winston Halapua, now the new Bishop of Polynesia, formerly led the ministry to Polynesians in New Zealand, Bishop Apimeleki Nadoki Qiliho serves Vanua Levu and Taveuni, and Bishop Gabriel Sharma serves Viti Levu West, as well as the archdeacons of Suva and Ovalau, Samoa and American Samoa, and Tonga.
Diocese Of Polynesia Holy Trinity Cathedral in Suva, Fiji
The Anglican Church embraces three orders of ministry: deacon, priest (or presbyter) and bishop. Increasingly, an emphasis is being placed on these orders to work collaboratively within the wider ministry of the whole people of God.
Residential theological training is carried out primarily at St John's College, Auckland, which is also organised according to the three tikanga approach. Theological training was formerly carried out by Selwyn College, Otago in Dunedin and College House in Christchurch, currently these colleges are hall of residence for students from all faculties of the University of Otago and the University of Canterbury. While the two colleges still fall under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Diocese of Dunedin and Anglican Diocese of Christchurch and have the extensive theological holdings in their libraries, they no longer train ordinands.
Worship and liturgyEdit
Use of the 1662 and 1928 versions of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) of the Church of England are permitted, along with the prayer books of other provinces within the Anglican Communion.
A New Zealand Prayer Book (He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa), providing liturgy for "a multitude of voices", contains the Calendar of events in the life of the world wide catholic church and this local Church, Liturgies of the Word (such as Morning and Evening Prayer), of Baptism, of the Eucharist (also known as Holy Communion and the Mass), for Pastoral use (in the home), for Marriage, for Funerals, for Ordination and a Catechism (teaching on the faith). All these are central to this Church's worship.
Social issues and theological divisionEdit
Ordination of womenEdit
The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has allowed the ordination of women as deacons, priests and bishops since 1977. Penelope Jamieson, Bishop of Dunedin from 1990 to 2004, was the world’s first Anglican diocesan woman bishop.
Divorce and abortionEdit
In 1970 it became possible for divorcees to be married in Anglican churches with the permission of the diocesan bishop; since 1984 this permission is no longer necessary. From the 1980s society's acceptance of unmarried couples living together and the use of secular marriage celebrants further undermined the church's traditional attitude towards and role in controlling marriage.
Anglican submissions to the McMillan Committee on Abortion in 1937 opposed abortion, regarding both abortion and birth control as part of a general moral decline. The church’s submissions to the 1974 Royal Commission on Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion showed a considerable shift from this earlier position, with a range of opinions on abortion and an attempt to balance religious care for the mother and the rights of the foetus. This diversity indicated a lack of an authoritative Anglican Church position on issues like abortion and a loosening of traditional attitudes.
The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has no official policy on homosexuality. It has also been one of the many churches of the Anglican Communion considering same-sex unions. In 2018, the General Synod/Te Hinota voted in favour of allowing the blessing of same-sex relationships including civil marriages and civil unions. In 2011, the Diocese of Auckland voted in favour of ordaining partnered gay and lesbian priests. Congregations in the Auckland Diocese may offer a 'relationship blessing' for two partners. In 2005, a same-sex couple was joined in a civil union at St Matthew in the City in the Auckland Diocese. A gay priest was licensed in the Auckland Diocese as of 2009. The Dunedin Diocese also provides a blessing for the relationship of "two people" irrespective of gender. In the Dunedin Diocese, "Blessings of same-sex relationships are offered in line with Diocesan Policy and with the bishop’s permission." The Dunedin Diocese also ordained an openly gay deacon in "a committed same-sex relationship." Subsequently, the same deacon was ordained a priest. In 2011, the Waiapu Diocese adopted a resolution affirming the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy and asking for an authorised liturgy for blessing same-sex relationships. The Bishop's chaplain in the Waiapu Diocese has also performed a blessing for a same-sex couple. In 2017, the Bishop of Waiapu installed an openly gay priest, who is married to his partner, as the dean of Waiapu Cathedral.
In 2012, some bishops and four dioceses supported a rite of blessing for same-sex unions. Motion 30, adopted by the 62nd General Synod on 14 May 2014, designated a working task group with the purpose of creating a "process and structure" that would allow the blessing of same-sex unions, while also upholding the traditional doctrine of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. This proposal drew the opposition of the most conservative factions of the province's clergy and laity, with a submission presented by two clergymen and a layman stating that the Church's Constitution stated that "No doctrines which are repugnant to the Doctrines and Sacraments of Christ as held and maintained by this Church shall be advocated or inculcated by any person acknowledging the authority of General Synod." While the blessing services were being developed and discussed, the resolution said "clergy should be permitted 'to recognise in public worship' a same-gender civil union or state marriage of members of their faith community."
In 2016, the committee responsible for developing the rites of blessing released its proposed liturgies for same-sex couples to be discussed by the General Synod. The General Synod 2016 voted to 'receive' the report on blessings but left the option to "[lie] on the table" and the issue will be reviewed again in 2018. The church's spokesperson said that "[the Synod] needs more work and time to create a structure that can allow for blessing of committed life-long monogamous same-sex relationships." "However, Synod did pass a constitutional change allowing bishops the right to authorize (sic) a service for use in his or her diocese". In 2018, Synod voted in favour of approving Motion 29 and allowing blessing rites for same-sex unions.
Relation with the Anglican realignmentEdit
The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in New Zealand was started on April 2016 with two conferences that took place in Auckland and Christchurch reuniting nearly 500 members from the province. The FCA of New Zealand is the local expression of the GAFCON, whose chairman, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, from Kenya, sent a message of support read at the conferences. Video greetings were also sent by Archbishop Foley Beach, of the Anglican Church in North America, and Bishop Richard Condie, of the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania and chairman of the FCA Australia. Rev. Jay Behan became the chair of the FCA New Zealand. The creation of the FCA New Zealand was a result of the passing of Motion 30 by the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and the subsequent document "A Way Forward", proposing the blessing of same-sex marriages, presented at their General Synod in May 2014. Bishop Richard Ellena, of Nelson, an Evangelical Anglican, is a supporter of the Anglican realignment, having attended the Global South Fourth Encounter, in Singapore, at 19–23 April 2010, and the GAFCON II, in Nairobi, Kenya, at 21–26 October 2013. The FCA New Zealand was represented at GAFCON III, in Jerusalem, Israel, at 17–22 June 2018, by a 56 members delegation, plus two from Fiji, led by Jay Behan.
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