In a letter to archbishops Philip Richardson and Winston Halapua, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed his sadness at the recent passing of Archbishop William Brown Turei. The three archbishops share leadership of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia.
“I know that Archbishop Turei was greatly beloved in your church, and his reputation as a strong, wise and gentle leader, who freely gave of his wisdom is well-known,” wrote Tveit. “Having served the church for over 60 years as a priest and 25 as a bishop, he has had a long and rich ministry. As officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, his gifts further enriched both the Pakeha and Maori communities beyond your own church.”
Archbishop Turei exemplified and offered inspiration for our common life together as Christians, continued Tveit. “The call to unity, ‘that all may be one,’ is strengthened by those who can build relationships and fellowship between different cultures, theological and liturgical traditions, and people of other faiths or those of none,” he wrote. “I believe that who he was and all that he did will have a legacy in your church.”
Tveit visited Aotearoa New Zealand in October 2016 as part of an ecumenical and interfaith tour. In the letter, he said he looked forward to deepening the WCC’s relationship with the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia.
WCC general secretary visits Aotearoa New Zealand
WCC Letter of Condolences to Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia