Presbyterian parish has a new minister, the Reverend Mike Kirkby-Sing.
After recently completing a two-year ministry internship programme in the Rotorua District Presbyterian Church, Mr Kirkby-Sing was inducted to the position on December 15.
Mr Kirkby-Sing said his family – his wife Christine, children Adele (8), Hugh (6) and Nathanael (3) – had been made very welcome and were enjoying living in the new manse.
“People have been really generous and really open and kind to us,” he said.
In his teenage years, Mr Kirkby-Sing had struggled with his Christian faith.
“I felt that Christians were hypocrites and it was just not really real.
“I was wanting people that took faith seriously.”
When he was at university he formed friendships with Christians that drew him back to God.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God; it was more I kind of was just a bit lost and confused.
“My journey back to faith was the kindness of community that shared more of God’s love with me.”
Before training for the ministry, the couple had spent three years living in Japan and Taiwan and Mr Kirkby-Sing had worked as an English teacher for speakers of other languages and as a secondary school teacher.
Part of his job as minister was to help people discover their gifts and what God had planned for them, Mr Kirkby-Sing said.
“One of my roles is to bring the word of God to the community that they may also hear God speak to them afresh and they might be encouraged to follow God in the way he is calling them.”