In an exceptional move the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand has re-elected its recent leader as its future leader.
The Very Rev Andrew Norton of Auckland has been elected Moderator designate and will take up the role of Moderator in 2018. The result of the election was announced at the Church’s General Assembly 2016 in Dunedin on Friday 18 November.
The Presbyterian Church elects a different person as its leader every two years, however the Church has called on Andrew, who was elected Moderator from 2014 to 2016, to take up the role once more from 2018 to 2020.
Andrew says that it has been a privilege to serve as the Church’s Moderator and he is honoured to have been elected once more to continue this important work for the Church.
He says the Church and NZ society are undergoing massive change and moving forwards what is needed is continuity of leadership which invests in relationships, calling the Church into community with one another and speaking out for the most vulnerable in our nation.
“The Church needs leadership that helps us face up to the challenges before us and gives voice to the hopes, hurts and hungers of all New Zealanders.
“I am prepared to continue to lead with poetic insight, prophetic courage and a pastoral heart,” Andrew explains.
Born in Fairlie, Andrew studied at the University of Otago and the Presbyterian Theological Hall. After completing his training in 1984, he ministered at St Andrews in Invercargill until 1990, when he shifted to Glenfield-Albany, and Glenfield Presbyterian Church in 1993. From 1999 he has ministered at St Columba Presbyterian Church, Pakuranga, which in 2002 was renamed St Columba Presbyterian Church at Botany after its relocation to Botany Downs.
Andrew serves as the Chair of the National Church Leaders in their dialogue with the NZ Government.
As well as being a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Andrew serves the wider Church as chairman of Press Go, which resources new mission ventures throughout the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand. He has also been moderator of the Auckland Presbytery and he was instrumental in establishing a partnership between the Church and the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar.
Andrew is also a poet and photographer.
He is married to Sue and they have four adult children.