New vicar hails from South Africa

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BY MARGARET PHILLIPS

The new vicar of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Gore is moving from South Africa to take up the position.

However, the Rev Gary Griffith-Smith is not unfamiliar with New Zealand, having been the vicar of St Matthew’s Anglican Church in Dunedin from 2001 to 2005.

Anglican Archdeacon of Southland Keith Gover, of Gore, said the Gore parish was looking forward to the lively ministry of their new vicar.

Mr Gover said Mr Griffith-Smith had a passion for Christian outreach and worship, sport and music.

He played in a blues band with three colleagues, Mr Gover said.

“He is an energetic leader who works easily with young people and enjoys relating to the elderly,” Mr Gover said.

“In parish life Gary enjoys preaching, teaching and pastoral ministry across a wide age range from children to the retired,” he said.

Mr Griffith-Smith’s experience was wide-ranging and included involvement in a variety of settings. He had worked in both inner city and rural areas, including lower socio-economic areas, he said.

Mr Griffith-Smith had spent the past 10 years working as a school chaplain to 700 pupils and staff in South Africa.

His job also involved taking part in outdoor educational activities such as leading 44 pupils on an 18-day 500km excursion.

“In all his work he has [strived] to be obedient to his Christian calling,” Mr Gover said.

During Mr Griffith-Smith’s time in Dunedin he led a mission team to Fiji, he said.

Mr Griffith-Smith will move to Gore with his wife Debbie, who is a teacher and counsellor, and three of their four children.

Mr Griffith-Smith will be installed at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church by Bishop of Dunedin the Rt Rev Kelvin Wright at 7pm on Sunday.