The Bishop of Waiapu, The Rt Rev’d Andrew Hedge has apologised for discrepancies in his 2016 investigation of the Dean of Waiapu, the Rev’d Dr. Michael Godfrey.
Bishop Andrew Hedge has acknowledged a tribunal finding that determined four ‘substantive and procedural shortcomings’ in his investigation that had led to Dr. Godfrey’s removal from office as Dean of Waiapu in May this year.
Bishop Andrew has expressed sincere regret to Dr. Godfrey and his family for the distress the investigation has caused them, and for any damage it may have done to Dr. Godfrey’s reputation. The Bishop has also acknowledged the stress caused to the Cathedral congregation and the wider church through the process.
After Dr. Godfrey appealed the Bishop’s decision earlier this year, the matter was referred to an Appeal Tribunal of the Church.
The Tribunal found two errors of law where it determined Bishop Andrew had acted on wrong principle in his interpretation of the canons.
As a result, the Tribunal moved to set aside the bishop’s original determination, and its accompanying outcomes of ‘deprivation and admonishment’, and directed that Dr. Godfrey be restored to office and ministry.
Dr. Godfrey, however, has now resigned as Dean, citing a wish to pursue other options. Bishop Andrew has indicated his support and blessing to Dr Godfrey as he moves forward. Bishop Andrew and Dr. Godfrey will not be making any public comment on the matter.
A farewell service for Dr. Godfrey will be held in Napier on Sunday 15 January.