Moderator of the General Assembly




The Right Rev Rose Luxford of Oamaru is the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Rose was installed as Moderator on 27 September 2023 at the Church’s General Assembly held at Saint Kentigern College, Auckland.

She is the fifth woman leader of the Presbyterian Church in 122 years, which she says is both daunting, humbling and an honour.

Rose is the minister of St Paul's Maheno-Otepopo Presbyterian Church in Oamaru.

Born in Dunedin and raised in Milton, she undertook secretarial studies at Otago Polytechnic. Subsequent jobs included short-hand typist for the University of Otago’s Department of Medicine; apple grading; grape picking; secretarial work in Wanganui and Hawke’s Bay;  secretarial work for the University of Otago’s Department of Zoology, and administrative assistant for the University of Otago’s Division of Sciences.

Rose married in 1980. Following the death of her husband, she studied for a BA (Geography) at Otago, graduating in 1990.

In 1995, she studied at the Presbyterian Theological Hall, completing three years training for ministry and a Bachelor of Divinity (with credit) in 1997.

Rose was ordained and inducted at Iona Presbyterian Church, Blockhouse Bay in 1998 and served there for 12 years.

From 2010, she has served as minister at St Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Oamaru – now St Paul’s Maheno-Otepopo.

The theme that Rose has chosen for her moderatorship is ‘Authentic and Hopeful in Christ’. 

Rose says that being authentic is also being realistic about the challenges and anxieties that we face. "Yet undergirding all of this is the fact that we are people of resurrection hope. We are ‘in Christ’, the one who grounds us and gives us a sense of hope in our living. May we be guided by the Spirit in our decision making."

She says that she has chosen a Moderator theme logo of stylised flames/leaves and cross/body/stem because "the ‘arms’ of the cross depict the faith in Christ that holds us in the world. The flames/leaves indicate the burning bush and life in Christ in our context in authentic ways. Also our care for creation".

Rose has served the Presbyterian Church as Moderator of Auckland Presbytery, Moderator of the Southern Presbytery, as a Ministry Development reviewer, and in 2023 stepped down after five years as Convener of the Ministry Work Group. In 2023 she will step down as a member director of the Beneficiary Fund Trustee Company, and she will also take leave from the Church Property Trustees during her term as Moderator.

She has undertaken study leave in the following areas: 'Exploring Forgiveness', 'Insights into questions about death, and ministers and grief', and 'Moving from co-operation to community in multicultural congregations'.

Rose has a close and supportive family network, including siblings, siblings-in-law, nephews, nieces, and also great nephews and nieces. She enjoys and values her family connections immensely.