Bishop from New Zealand joins diocese of Leeds with Maori ceremony

Sun 04 Feb 2018
By Cara Bentley

Rt Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley was welcomed into the Church of England as the new Bishop of Ripon on Sunday with guests flying in from New Zealand to conduct the ceremony. 

Speaking to Premier, Hartley said she was "excited, it's [been] quite a time preparing for it since I knew about the appointment last year so it's at that point where I've moved in and ready to get started!"

Describing the service she said: "It's going to be probably a bit different in the sense that, because I'm moving from another part of the Anglican communion, from New Zealand, some Maori priests from New Zealand have made the journey to England, which is amazing and they're going to start the service off by handing me over to the diocese of Leeds."

"That will involve them walking me into the cathedral and then doing a sort of Maori ceremony to hand me over, so the service itself will incorporate that element from the beginning which I think will probably be something quite unique for the people there."

Having grown up in the UK, Helen-Ann Hartley then studied theology and is a Doctor of Philosophy. She moved to New Zealand in 2011 and in 2013 became Bishop of Waikato on the North Island. 

Several clergy have flown across the world to join her for the service, something with she was immensely grateful for: "Six people have travelled from New Zealand representing different parts of the life of the church to support me in this new endeavor which is amazing as it's not exactly up the road! It's quite a significant commitment on their part so it's really moving. "

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