New Vicar for St Mary’s

David with his wife Trish, and two daughters, Emilie and Fleur.

St Mary’s Anglican Church in Gordonton has a new Vicar – Rev David Smithson.

David has been the locum priest at the Church since February, with a view to this becoming a permanent part-time position. At a Vestry meeting in June he announced he would like the role to be permanent.

An induction service will be held at the Church on Sunday August 4 at 3.30pm.

David takes over from Rev Rosemary Carey, who retired in June 2012 after eight years.  He works full time Monday to Thursday in the public sector but is at St Mary’s every Friday from 9am to 2.30pm in the vestry/office. Sunday services are at 10am.

St Mary’s was built using Huntly brick in 1934 by the local Anglican and Maori Communities.

Bishop Cherrington insisted that all money for the building of the church had to be in-hand before building commenced, or that it had to be debt free on completion. This was accomplished with a lot of community goodwill, and was no mean feat in those days during the depression.

The Church cost seven hundred and ninety two pounds, leaving the congregation with a fund of only twenty two pounds nine shillings and seven pence after the building was completed.

In 2004 St Mary’s gained its own ordained deacon Rev Rosemary Carey. Rosemary was sent by the Bishop to help build up a dwindling congregation, as there were concerns whether it could remain a viable worship place.

For the next three years, Rosemary built up the congregation. Services were increased to once a week. At the Waikato Diocese Synod in October 2007 Rosemary Carey with the support of the congregation and St Albans Parish Council made a motion for St Mary’s to be independent of St Albans and become part of the Mission District of the Diocese of Waikato.

After her retirment, from end June 2012 to February 2013 St Mary’s was in the early stages of an interregnum, or the temporary pause in a line of succession.

During this time services were taken by rostered on Ministers from the Diocese, enabling the usual pattern of Services to be maintained.

One of the visiting Ministers was Rev David Smithson. He took a liking to St Mary’s and St Mary’s congregation took a liking to him in return. David decided to apply for the job as the new vicar. And the rest is part of St Mary’s new history.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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