Anglicans choose Philip Richardson as new Archbishop

The Bishop of Taranaki, Philip Richardson, has been confirmed as Archbishop-elect at a meeting in Wellington on Saturday.

From May 1st the 55-year-old  becomes the Archbishop for Tikanga Pakeha and will work alongside the leader of the Maori arm of the church, Archbishop Brown Turei, and Archbishop Winston Halapua who is Bishop of Polynesia.

He will also continue as the Bishop of Taranaki.

Richardson says his top priorities as archbishop will be helping the church to work together for the common good, to advocate for people on the margins, and to help the church to “deepen its discipleship” – in other words, to live out its faith.

“The church,” he says, “really does exist for those who are outside itself. We’re not a club. We are people who are committed to building communities which are healthy. Lifegiving, just communities where everyone has a place, where every individual has the ability to live full and meaningful lives.

“The church is really committed to that. We are committed to the common good. So a really high priority for me is to work in whatever way I can to enhance our ability to work together as a church to contribute to that common good.”

Richardson was born in Devonport on Auckland’s North Shore in 1958 and studied at Rangitoto College.

Ordained a priest in 1982, he helped set up a community house and ministry in Glen Innes before being sent in 1984 to Whangarei parish as an assistant priest.

In the 1990’s he was appointed warden of Selwyn College at the University of Otago.

During his seven years at Selwyn College he became increasingly involved in serving the Anglican Church at a provincial level and in 1999, aged 40, was elected as Bishop of Taranaki.

He says the real challenge for him now is to translate the work he has built up over 14 years with regional and civic leaders in Taranaki on to the national stage.

He succeeds Archbishop David Moxon, who is moving on to take up a position in Rome as the Anglican Communion’s chief ambassador to the Catholic Church.


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