Heavy metal musician turned priest uses his talents in church fundraiser


Andy Eldred, a priest who ministers at St Mark’s Anglican Church in Carterton, has a passion for music, but not just of the variety found in traditional hymn books.

He was once a heavy metal musican about to hit the big time when he put a rifle to his head and contemplated pulling the trigger.

But after “a radical encounter with Jesus,” he put down the gun and picked up a bible instead.

He laughs as he recounts the day in his early 20s when he had long hair and eyes black with eyeliner.

That was decades ago and, while his life has changed, Eldred still hasn’t put down his guitar.

Last Saturday Eldred performed with his band Good As Gold and cooked up some of his favourite recipes at The Ragin’ Cajun Louisiana Hoedown in Featherston’s Anzac Hall.

It was part of a fundraiser for the historic St Mark’s Church.

It is the oldest Anglican church in the Wellington Diocese still in daily use.

Eldred moved to New Zealand with his wife Justine in 2003 to work as a youth pastor in Kapiti.

He was appointed to Greytown’s St Luke’s Church in 2009 and then to St Mark’s in Carterton in May 2017.

His unique background gives him a somewhat unorthodox approach to his ministry.

He said he interpreted the bible in a way that related to the world as it is now.

“There’s been a lot of parishioners who over the last few years have passed away and they were regular contributors.

“Part of my job was to come here and revitalise things, get some younger families and people involved, and try and build that core of support and resource back up.”

Featherson, Greytown and Carterton are small rural towns in South Wairarapa.


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