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Current Feasts, Saints and other Holy Days

Frederick Augustus Bennett, First Maori Bishop - 23 May

Frederick Augustus Bennett

Frederick Augustus Bennett was born on 15 November 1871 at Ohinemutu, Lake Rotorua. His mother was Raiha Ratete (Eliza Rogers), a high-born woman of Ngati Whakaue in Te Arawa, and his father was Thomas Jackson Bennett, a storekeeper who had emigrated to New Zealand from Ireland in 1849.

His early years were spent in Maketu, where he was baptised by S. M. Spencer. In 1883 he gained a scholarship to St Stephen's Native Boys' School in Auckland, and in 1884 he continued his studies at Te Wairoa Native School at Lake Tarawera. Around this time Bennett met with Bishop A. B. Suter of Nelson. With the consent of his parents, the Bishop took Bennet to Nelson to continue his education at Bishop's School where he was a prefect.

In 1893 Bennett accepted a post at Putiki, Wanganui, as lay reader at the M?ori mission, but by the end of 1895 he had returned to Nelson to engage in further study. He was ordained deacon in 1896, completed his licentiate in theology and was ordained priest in 1897. As assistant curate at All Saints' Church he organised the choral singing, and was influential in building a church at Motueka, and a school at Whangarae Bay.

In 1905, Bennett moved to Rotorua superintendent of the Maori mission. His area extended from Rotorua to Taupo and south to Tokaanu. After serving in Rotorua for 13 years, Bennett moved on to Hawke's Bay to carry out further mission work. In 1917 he was installed as pastor at Waipatu, and his mission area extended from Nuhaka to Waipawa. He was elected a member of the standing committee for the diocese of Waiapu, and served on the Te Aute Trust Board.

In 1925 it was suggested at General Synod that a Maori diocese be established with its own bishop, partly in response to the formation of the Ratana church. On 2 December 1928 he was consecrated bishop of Aotearoa, the first Maori bishop in New Zealand's history.

In 1935, Bennett was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.In 1948 he attended the Lambeth Conference in London, and during this visit preached at Westminster Abbey. In the 1948 New Year Honours he was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Frederick Augustus Bennett died at his home at Kohupatiki, Hawke's Bay, on 16 September 1950, survived by his second wife and 18 children. He was buried beneath the sanctuary of St Faith's Church, Ohinemutu.

Source: https://www.anglican.org.nz/Resources/Worship-Resources-Karakia-ANZPB-HKMOA/For-All-the-Saints-A-Resource-for-the-Commemorations-of-the-Calendar/For-All-the-Saints

St Dunstan - May 19

Archbishop of Canterbury and Reformer, 909-988

St Dunstan

Dunstan was an extraordinarily able and gifted archbishop of Canterbury in the late Anglo-Saxon period. He inspired the renewal of the church and the revival of the monasteries.

Dunstan was born in 909 at Boltonsborough, near Glastonbury. He received his education from Irish monks. In 923, when his uncle Athelm became archbishop of Canterbury, Dunstan joined his household. The following year Athelm commended Dunstan to King Athelstan, and he served at court. However his impressive scholarship and considerable influence created jealousy so Dunstan left, took monastic vows and returned to Glastonbury.

In 939 Edmund became king of Wessex and Dunstan returned to court as his Chaplain. The king, convinced that Dunstan’s prayers had saved him from death, appointed him Abbot of Glastonbury. Because of the Danish invasions, religious life in England was at a low ebb. Dunstan reformed the monastery, insisting on close observance of the Rule of St Benedict. Under his leadership Glastonbury became a centre of learning, attracting many new members to the Church.

In 956 Dunstan was exiled as the result of some personal hostility towards him from the royal court. He went first to Flanders, then to a monastery in Ghent, where he became acquainted with the reforms invigorating monastic life on the continent. Recalled by King Edgar in 957, he was appointed Bishop of Worcester, then Bishop of London.

In 960 Dunstan became Archbishop of Canterbury. He planned and carried out a thorough reform of both Church and State through a reformed monasticism. He improved the education and discipline of the secular clergy and encouraged the use of Anglo-Saxon in teaching and for translating the Gospels.

Dunstan is remembered as man of ability and action, someone who would spend long hours in prayer, a practical administrator and a gifted artist. The extent of the popular affection in which he was held was indicated by a spontaneous acclamation of his saintliness upon his death in 988.

Source: https://www.anglican.org.nz/Resources/Worship-Resources-Karakia-ANZPB-HKMOA/For-All-the-Saints-A-Resource-for-the-Commemorations-of-the-Calendar/For-All-the-Saints

Tamihana Te Rauparaha - May 18

Missionary to Te Wai Pounamu

Tamihana Te Rauparaha

Tamihana longed for Maori and non-Maori to live together in peace, and he related well to the ways of both peoples. He and his wife were noted for their warm hospitality.

Tamihana Te Rauparaha was the son of the great Ngati Toa chief, Te Rauparaha. He was born in northern Taranaki in the early 1820s while the Ngati Toa tribe were moving south from their original home in the Waikato area to set up their new base at Otaki and on Kapiti Island. His original name was Katu.

By the 1830s the Maori tribes of the Cook Strait area were aware of the changes that the gospel and the missionaries were bringing to the tribes further north, especially in their inter-tribal relationships and the arts of reading and writing. In 1836 Te Rauparaha himself wrote to Henry Williams asking for a missionary, but nothing could be done at that time. About the same time, Ripahau, a slave freed by the death of his master in the north, returned to his people at Otaki. He had learned to read and write at the mission school in Paihia. He taught some of the people at Otaki to read and write, using as his text-books a Prayer Book and the remaining parts of the copy of St Luke’s Gospel which had originally belonged to Ngakuku, and which had been taken from Ngakuku’s daughter Tarore by her murderers.

Katu Te Rauparaha and another young chief, Matene Te Whiwhi o Te Rangi, already disillusioned about warfare and determined to end the fighting, decided in 1839 to go to the Bay of Islands to ask for a missionary. Given the continuing grievances between Ngati Toa and Nga Puhi, this was no easy task. Despite opposition they went. Henry Williams was so impressed with their zeal that he offered to go himself, but his fellow missionaries decided he was most needed among the Nga Puhi. Octavius Hadfield had recently arrived in New Zealand and, chronic asthmatic though he was, he volunteered to go with them, since, as he said, “I know I shall not live long, and I may as well die there as here.” Henry Williams accompanied them to the south, and thus, thanks to the two young chiefs from Otaki, began Hadfield’s long and very successful missionary enterprise at Otaki and Waikanae.

Katu was baptised by Hadfield on 21 March 1841, and it was then that he took the name Tamihana (Thompson). He and Matene Te Whiwhi became trusted teachers for Hadfield. When Hadfield himself was unable to travel to the South Island, they were entrusted with the missionary task. They set out in December 1842 and visited relations and the former enemies of Tamihana’s father. For the last part of the journey, which took him as far as Ruapuke and Stewart Island, Tamihana was by himself. The Kai Tahu people wanted to know whether Te Rauparaha intended to come and attack them again. Tamihana’s reply was: “He indeed will not come; for I have indeed come hither to you to bring an end to warfare, and to bind firmly peace by virtue of the words of the Gospel of the Lord.”

Tamihana broke off his work and hurried home on hearing news of the Wairau affray in June 1843, and a little later that year married Ruta (Ruth) Te Kapu at Otaki, with Hadfield conducting the service. The following year Tamihana acted as guide to Bishop Selwyn on his journey to the South Island, taking him to the places he himself had visited the previous year. Therefore, Tamihana Te Rauparaha played an important part in ending warfare in the South Island and bringing the gospel to those parts.

In 1846 Tamihana and Matene were at St John’s College in Auckland. Following the arrest of Te Rauparaha by Governor George Grey, Ngati Raukawa planned to join Te Rangihaeata in an attack on Wellington, but Te Rauparaha sent his son and Matene south with the message: “Repay only with goodness on my account. Do not incur ill will with the Europeans on my account, for only by Good will is the salvation of Man, Woman and Child.” Tamihana and Matene took this message to Otaki, and no reprisals were made.

Tamihana became a successful and well-to-do sheep farmer in the Otaki district and adopted European clothing and lifestyle. In 1851 he visited England and returned a strong advocate for a Maori king as a means to unity, law and security among the tribes. When the first Maori king was installed in 1858, Tamihana saw the kingship as a bastion against further sales of Maori land. Later, when some Kingites adopted a policy of resistance to the government, Tamihana broke with the movement and opposed its influence at Otaki and in the Wairarapa. He and Matene Te Whiwhi advocated the recognition of the Wellington area as a peace zone when war broke out further north. In this they were largely successful, though they did not prevent those who wished going to join the fighting.

Tamihana died on 22 or 23 October 1876, and is said to have been buried in an unmarked grave beside that of his wife Ruta at Otaki.

Source: https://www.anglican.org.nz/Resources/Worship-Resources-Karakia-ANZPB-HKMOA/For-All-the-Saints-A-Resource-for-the-Commemorations-of-the-Calendar/For-All-the-Saints

Wiremu Te Tauri - May 17

Missionary in Wanganui

Wiremu was noted for his contribution to the spread of the gospel in his own area of Wanganui.

Our information about the missionary work of Wiremu Te Tauri is gleaned almost entirely from comments made about him by Richard Taylor of the Church Missionary Society. Taylor arrived in New Zealand in 1839 and was appointed to Wanganui in 1843, where he served till 1866. He enlisted Wiremu Te Tauri as his head teacher and took him with him on a number of his missionary travels. Te Tauri also worked independently and in partnership with other Maori missioners. His full name was Wiremu Eruera Te Tauri, and he was a chief at Taupo of Ngati Tuwharetoa and Wanganui descent. The dates of his birth and death are not known.

Taylor and Te Tauri in May 1846 shared the burial service over the spot where a pa had stood in the Te Rapa valley at the south end of Lake Taupo. The once fruitful valley had been buried, in many places more than twenty feet deep, by the bursting of a natural dam, which caused a huge land slip to sweep down the valley. Among those killed was the Ngati Tuwharetoa chief, Te Heuheu Tukino II. Taylor says of that event:

When I read the burial service over the spot where the pa stood, accompanied by Wiremu Tauri, my head teacher, even then the mud was so soft that we sank in it nearly ancle [sic] deep. It was a solemn moment; an entire village laid buried beneath us, with all its inhabitants - the young, the old, the infant, and the hoary-headed - all in one awful moment were deeply entombed.

At Christmas time that year Te Manihera and Kereopa were preparing to go on what was to be their last missionary pilgrimage. Taylor reports:

Wiremu Eruera, and Tahana, two of the teachers, came forward and said that as these two were now devoted to the Lord, they did not think it right the servants of God, as ambassadors of Christ, should go forth without suitable clothes; they immediately gave each a pair of black trowsers, the only Sunday ones they had; others contributed coats; one person gave one garment and another gave another, until the two were perfectly provided with proper clothing.

Te Manihera’s and Kereopa’s journey eventually led to their martyrdom. A meeting was held at Taupo on 1 April 1847 after their tangi, and the subject of utu was discussed. Wiremu Te Tauri endorsed the opinion of those who were against utu and argued that the loss of a teacher would not hinder the gospel, saying

"A minister was like a lofty Kahikatea tree full of fruit, which it sheds on every side around, causing a thick grove of young trees to spring up; so that although the parent tree may be cut down, its place is thus more than supplied by those which proceed from it."

Source: https://www.anglican.org.nz/Resources/Worship-Resources-Karakia-ANZPB-HKMOA/For-All-the-Saints-A-Resource-for-the-Commemorations-of-the-Calendar/For-All-the-Saints

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Email: stpeters@inspire.net.nz
Phone: (06) 358 5403

Office Hours

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Closed on Public Holidays

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