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Hundreds pay respects to +Richard

Waves of mourners have arrived in Ōtautahi to express their mamae and aroha for the whānau, iwi and church family of Bishop of Te Waipounamu, the Rt Rev Richard Wallace who died peacefully in his sleep last Saturday.

Te Pīhopatanga o Aotearoa  |  09 Jan 2024  |

Hundreds of people have poured into Te Pā Mihinare in Ōtautahi Christchurch throughout today, Tuesday 9 January, to pay their respects to Bishop Richard Wallace as he lay at Te Tōmarangi o Ihu at Te Pā Mihinare in Philipstown.

Archbishop Don shared the shock and loss that so many across Te Hāhi Mihinare have expressed today. Sharing his own sorrow and emotion, he burst into the renowned Ngāti Porou haka Ruaumoko.

"We are feeling a deep sense of grief, because he meant so much to us," Archbishop Don said, saying that came not only through the many whakapapa connections that Bishop Richard shared with those arriving from around the motu, but through deep ties they share in the Hāhi.

Archbishop Don honoured the many contributions that Bishop Richard made to ministry amongst iwi, church and community across Te Waipounamu, Aotearoa New Zealand the Pacific and through global Indigenous Anglican networks.

"He was a champion for Oranga Ake for his people and he was a man of such stature amongst his own people that he was able to carry that with him wherever he went." 

Also arriving were Hui Amorangi representatives from Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui, the Māori Anglican Church across the upper South Island.

Archdeacon Harvey Ruru from Whakatū (Nelson) offered his condolences, highlighting Bishop Richard's many achievements, including upgrading and developing the Hui Amorangi's ministry training centre in Ōtautahi. Ven Harvey praised the way Bishop Richard had mobilised his knowledge and contacts across the motu to strengthen the mission of the Church amongst iwi and whānau. 

Pou Mihana for the Anglican Māori Mission in Whakatū Rev Tapita Ching said she will miss the way Bishop Richard had expanded her own vision of the Church's role in Māori whānau and communities.

"He led a big change in our understanding of ministry, to see ourselves 'on a mission,' there to reach out, not only to whānau in the church, but to those whānau and iwi outside the church."

Rev Tapita said that had translated into a wider mission field and saw minita going out to offer pastoral and healing ministries in iwi and community spaces much more so than previously.

Assistant Minita in Whakatū Pariha Rev Paula Puha knows she’ll miss Bishop Richard's aroha and manaakitanga.

"Bishop Richard made sure he looked after everyone, he'd fill our cups with teaching, with information, and energise us for our mahi in each rohe."

"And he was generous, he made sure no one was left behind."

Whakatū-based Kapa Haka group Te Kuru Marutea came to pay their respects to the Bishop and his whānau, rekindling connections with Bishop Richard from the time he supported Māori communities as Missioner in Te Tau Ihu, and more recently through his mokopuna.

In mid afternoon mourners from Hui Amorangi o Te Tai Tokerau and Te Tairāwhiti arrived at the same time.

Bishop of Te Tai Tokerau Rt Re Te Kitohi Pikaahu honoured Bishop Richard as a ‘Tauira o Te Rangimarie’ affirming his role as a symbol of peace, especially in his work to build positive relationships with the three South Island Pākehā Dioceses and his episcopal peers. 

"He was able to build bridges because he was a conciliatory person and he could stand on his rangatiratanga here."

Sir Selwyn Parata, Chairman of Te Pīhopatanga o Aotearoa stood for Te Tairāwhiti, to speak of how he had seen Bishop Richard come into his own as a leader, a shepherd and a bishop over the last seven years.

“He, his wife the Venerable Mere Wallace and whānau have been instrumental and inspirational in bringing Te Pihopatanga o Te Waipounamu together, as an integral part of Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa and Te Hahi Mihingare.”

“Te Tomairangi o Ihu Karaiti is a fitting testimony to his ministry.”

A Eucharistic service of thanksgiving for the life of Bishop Richard Wallace will take place at 11am on Wednesday 10 January at Christchurch’s Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square.