St Peter’s vicar retiring but not slowing down

St Peter’s Anglican Church vicar  Fr Hugh Bowron is retiring tomorrow, after more than 40 years...
St Peter’s Anglican Church vicar Fr Hugh Bowron is retiring tomorrow, after more than 40 years as a vicar. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
Hugh Bowron is realistic.

The 68-year-old St Peter’s Anglican Church vicar knows, just because he is retiring, it does not automatically mean he will get to sleep in on Sundays.

He has far too many personal projects to finish before those days come.

Fr Bowron has been a vicar for 41 years — the past nine years have been in Dunedin at St Peter’s.

Following his final Easter Sunday sermon, he plans to move to Christchurch where he wants to complete his University of Otago PhD on the parish’s history.

He started it about four years ago and expects to complete it in mid-2022. It will then be published as a book in 2023, he said.

"I plan to go to daily Mass still, and then I’ll spend a couple of hours each morning working on my PhD and deep reading on theology.

"And my afternoons will be spent in recreational pursuits.

"I’m not a hiker. I’m afraid my interests are more metrosexual, really. I’m the kind of guy who likes wandering around the inner city, going to art house movies and reading novels and stuff like that."

Fr Bowron said he trained at the College of the Resurrection, in Mirfield, England.

During the past 40 years, he had been a vicar at Ellesmere (Mid Canterbury), St Mary’s (Christchurch) and St Peter’s (Wellington), before moving to St Peter’s (Caversham).

"The great thing about being a parish priest is that you become involved in the lives of a wide variety of people, and come to share in their joys and sorrows at major turning points in their lives.

"There have been occasions when I have felt out of my depth in encountering people at times of primal need, and have thought to myself, ‘This is more interesting than just about anything else I could have done’.

"I thank God for the people of God who have enriched me in so many ways through the privilege of ministering to them."

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