Dear Friends and Colleagues
It is with sadness that I advise of the death of the Very Rev Andrew Norton in Auckland on Monday 9 September.
Andrew trained at the Theological Hall between 1981-83.
He was ordained as Assistant Minister at St Andrews in Invercargill - Southland Presbytery on 12 February 1984. Andrew, Sue and family undertook an exchange ministry in 1988-89 at Pelham Centre United Church in the Niagara area, Ontario, Canada.
He received a call to Glenfield- Albany parish - part of the North Shore Presbytery - and was inducted there on 26 July 1990. The parish changed its name to Glenfield in November 1993 and Andrew continued serving as minister there.
He then was called to St Columba, Pakuranga - Auckland Presbytery in April 1999. He led the parish through a major transition which included selling the original site; purchasing a new site and building a new building and a change in name to St Columba at Botany to reflect those changes from 4 September 2002.
Andrew served in a number of roles at Presbytery level - including the Moderator of Auckland Presbytery.
He was elected and served as Moderator of the General Assembly from 2014-16. He served with passion, enthusiasm, courage, insight, innovation and care. He longed to see the church flourishing in every setting. Andrew had ways of challenging; of turning the questions around or daring to dream of a different future.
He was again elected Moderator Designate in 2016 but was unable to serve a second term as moderator due to ill health.
Andrew exercised leadership in variety of settings across the life of the church - including as the Chair of PressGo; many and various national church task-groups and workgroup memberships. In addition he was part of groups that encouraged and shared ideas with fellow ministers of larger Presbyterian churches; encouraged younger ministers; and most recently worked with Northern Presbytery as their Congregational Review Coordinator and had just finished work on a new way of doing Ministry Reviews.
Andrew had a number of wider interests - which included poetry and photography. In more recent times he has been a guide on Tiritiri Matangi wildlife sanctuary. He was an executive leadership coach and a retreat leader.
Above all however Andrew was a husband, father and grandfather.
He leaves a rich legacy.
We give grateful thanks to God for Andrew's life, ministry and friendship. We pray for Sue and the family.
A celebration of Andrew's life will take place on Friday 13 September at St Columba Church, 480 Ti Rakau Dr, Botany at 1pm.
Assembly Executive Secretary