The Anglican Bishop of Wellington Justin Duckworth laughs
with his audience during his public talk at the University
of Otago yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Christians are prepared to ''pay the price'' for their
beliefs, including in social justice, recently-appointed
Anglican Bishop of Wellington Justin Duckworth says.
In his mid-40s, the Bishop looks quite a bit different from
most Anglican senior clergy.
He has tied-back dreadlocks, often wears shorts and goes
But his passionate desire to renew the Church, to help change
its direction and to attract more young people to it, was
clear from a public talk about his life and faith, which he
gave on the University of Otago campus yesterday. He was in
Dunedin to attend a two-day bishops' leadership forum,
involving Anglican and Catholic bishops, which began at St
Margaret's College yesterday.
At 5pm more than 120 people packed into a large room at the
college to hear him participate in a ''public conversation''
series, organised by the university's Centre for Theology and
And he answered sometimes ''provocative'' questions from
centre staff member Dr Andrew Shepherd.
Later, during a question-and-answer session, a member of the
public said many people wanted a better society but were
ultimately reluctant to make any sacrifices to achieve it.
Bishop Duckworth agreed with the concern.
He had earlier said many people, including some parishioners,
were too focused on personal wealth, entertainment and
security. But Christians were ultimately people who made
sacrifices for their beliefs.
Some church-owned land could be used to build affordable
housing for those in need, and churches also had some money
which could contribute to the work, he suggested.
Bishop Duckworth and his wife Jenny run a ''community
monastery'' at Ngatiawa, north of Wellington, which they
founded about 10 years ago.
They earlier spent more than two decades fostering teenage
girls and working with the street community in Wellington.firstname.lastname@example.org