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Ed Sheeran

Bishop walks to recall Marsden message

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The Anglican Bishop of Dunedin hopes a month-long hikoi from Stewart Island to the Waitaki Valley will help him set a new destination for the church.

Kelvin Wright started the hikoi today at Wohler’s Cross, the memorial for early missionary Charles Wohler, with a reading from the Gospel of Luke that was used by Samuel Marsden and Ruatara for the first service at Oihi in the Bay of Islands on Christmas Day 1814.

He says Te Haranui - A Hikoi of Joyful News celebrates 200 years since the beginnings of the Christian gospel in New Zealand.

Dr Wright says the church has lost its way over the past half century, and the walk is a sort of prayer for the land, its people and its future.

"We need to recall ourselves to the central message that Marsden and Ruatara first brought. That’s forgiveness and acceptance of all people and willingness to live in peace rather than war. It’s that basic message I’m hoping to draw our own people back to," he says.

Bishop Wright will be joined by others as he travels across Southland and Otago, including the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.

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