The Ven. Peter Carrell will become the ninth Bishop of Christchurch, succeeding the Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews. The diocese nominated Carrell, and the General Synod Te Hīnota Whānui confirmed the choice.

“Peter’s experience and gifts are widely appreciated across our church, and his deep knowledge of the diocese and love for its people provides a solid foundation for his ministry going forward,” Archbishop Philip Richardson said.

The bishop-elect also is known through his weblog Anglican Down Under, and his occasional essays for TLC. He says one of his key tasks is “to keep gently reminding us, as Anglicans, that the most important thing we can do is to share the good news of Jesus.”

He supported the 2018 General Synod decision to bless same-sex couples. “Christchurch is a theologically broad diocese,” he said. “It includes some Anglicans who are delighted by that decision — and some who are deeply disturbed by it.”

He faces a situation in which four evangelical parishes have expressed an intention to separate from the diocese. He says he will try to lead the diocese “towards a deeper understanding of being Anglican: to live with difference and to not divide because of it. I’m prepared to authorize blessings where I’m satisfied that this will enhance the unity of the ministry unit concerned.”

He will not bless same-sex partnerships, believing the Church’s historic doctrine that marriage is between a man and a woman. He said, however, that “in my view … our mission to our diverse population is diminished when the church is not perceived to love and care for those who identify themselves with the LGBT community.”

The bishop-elect is married to Teresa, lay chaplain at Christchurch’s Cathedral Grammar School. They have four grown children: Leah, 28; Bridget, 26; Andrew, 24; and Alice 21.

His consecration and installation will be held in February, on a date to be announced.

John Martin

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