Greetings friends and family, it has been a busy end to the year. I have just finished the prizegiving season with our schools. I joked with the Principals that I was running league tables judging each Principal’s speech for content, delivery and most of all length. I was once again impressed by the calibre and achievement of the young people in our schools. However it also reminded me of the Biblical principle “for whom much is given much is expected” – we are involved in education so that our young people can be formed and educated to take their place in creating a just world; reflective of God’s Kingdom coming on earth as it is in Heaven.
Raetihi Vicarage makeover
I managed to escape for a few days and join many others from the Diocese in Raetihi as we DIY’d the Vicarage. It was a great few days that had many Kingdom ingredients. There was at least 35 of us from all around the Diocese; 25 were young people, and it was intergenerational (even my Dad came from Melbourne). We worked hard and laughed a lot. It was a joy to see old ones pass on skills to younger ones – Chris Casey teaching teenagers to scrape and prepare window sills for painting, and then teach them good painting technique (not that I am saying that Chris is that old!)
We experienced amazing hospitality with phenomenal meals and enough baking to force a growing Bishop to consider a diet. People have been so generous in donating building materials. However even with this input, Alison from Raetihi informed me that they were rebuilding in faith; the giving income was less than the upgrade expenditure. We both agreed though, that God’s provision was always good for his projects (just in case you missed it, this was a subtle hint to consider donating a few dollars to help!!) When I reflect on our Diocese commitment to “being family” I thought this was a great example of the family in action. I came away energised and thanking God for the people of this Diocese.
Support and goodwill
I want to take this opportunity as the year grows to an end to just say how much I have appreciated the support and goodwill we as a family have experienced as we have started this new season of ministry. I am still humbled daily by people’s grace and encouragement as I grow into this calling.
Ted Dashfield mentioned in despatches
I finish this Advent news with a few words I received from Archdeacon May Croft reflecting on her attendance at an Evensong at St Matthew’s, Masterton; a celebration of Reverend Ted Dashfield’s 60th anniversary of being Priest.
“Ted’s address was wonderful …he has a way with words and can be quite profound. He ended by saying something like ‘… oh just one more thing … it’s all about Jesus you know and how we relate to him … who we think he is.’”
The 2012 Diocesan Ordination Service was held in Wellington Cathedral on Saturday, 24 November.
Nine deacons were ordained to the priesthood, and one to the diaconate. (See list of names of those who were ordained here.)
Bishop Justin’s sermon – enthusiastically endorsed with laughter and applause – asked the 10 new ordinands to live dangerously, to live adventurously. And the outreach benefits of hitchhiking. Great listening!
The Rev’d Ted Dashfield celebrated Eucharist in fine style at 8 am, on Advent Sunday, 2 December 2012, 60 years exactly since he celebrated his first Eucharist – at this very altar – in 1952.
The beautiful Meredith stained-glass windows formed a backdrop to Ted as he celebrated. The text – from Matthew 5:16 – that flows across the bottom of the windows, seemed to sum up Ted’s wonderful ministry perfectly:
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven
Tinui joins in
The Rev’d Steve Thomson points to the photo of a young Ted Dashfield
A large contingent of Tinui people joined members of the Dashfield family, Masterton and other Wairarapa parishioners for this special service. Tinui’s Priest-in-Charge, the Rev’d Steve Thomson, produced a photo collage of the first eight vicars of Tinui, including a dashing, youthful, Ted Dashfield. He talked about Ted’s role as his mentor: “Preparation, Steve. Preparation.”
Ted, in turn, described Tinui as his “spiritual home”.
Ted’s address was a walk through his career, from the influence of Wanganui Collegiate head, F. W. Gilligan, to being part of J Force (occupation of Japan, immediately after the Second World War).
Those who interviewed him as a prospective candidate for ordination included former St Matthew’s Vicar, (then) Archdeacon E. J. Rich.
Marriage to the lovely Helen Berney was followed by a stint in England and Ted was offered the Parish of Tinui. He accepted “by return post.”
Tinui loved Ted and Ted loved Tinui. An up-hill-and-down-dale parish, spanning 80 miles from end-to-end (and most of it on gravel roads) kept Ted more than fully occupied. And, if meeting the pastoral and liturgical needs of such a widely spread congregation wasn’t enough, he also found time to get St John the Evangelist, at Homewood, and St Peter by the sea at Castlepoint built as well.
Four years at Carterton (which also involved another huge building programme which Ted didn’t mention) was followed by an invitation in 1969 to be (much loved) Headmaster of St Matthew’s Collegiate School for Girls. This was followed by stints at various other Anglican schools.
He was looking for a fresh challenge in 1983 when Bishop Edward Norman asked him to “fill in” for six months at Tinui. This brief appointment stretched to six years.
Soprano Katherine Sprowson sings Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus during the Administration
At a time in life when most clergy are happier in a comfy armchair reading the Church Times, Ted continues to make a huge contribution at Choral Evensong and 8 am Eucharists at St Matthew’s, as well as supporting children and youth activities. He can often be spotted at St Andrew’s in the Paddock. Forward thinking, supported by a life of prayer, loved by both young and old throughout the parish, Ted offers a style of ministry leadership as relevant today as it was forty years ago, when he was in his prime. Actually, he still is in his prime.
Heads together: the Rev’d Ted Dashfield, former Headmaster of St Matthew’s Collegiate School for Girls,with another former principal, Erik Pedersen.
Here’s to you, Ted. We’re looking forward to the 70th anniversary!
In possibly a first for St Matthew’s, not one, but three photographers (Caryl Forrest, Bruce Levy and Judy Wagg) were busy at the 7 pm Choral Evensong on Advent Sunday, 2 December 2012, when Anglicans across the Wairarapa, together with members of the Dashfield family, joined together in a triumphal service to mark the 60th anniversary of the Rev’d Ted Dashfield’s ordination to the priesthood, in 1952.
Caryl Forrest also photographed and wrote about the 8 am Eucharist here.
All the photos from the great day are available here and here.
I have been reflecting this month about the centrality of Jesus to our faith. I was impacted when I sat through three different talks by gifted Anglicans. All talks were inspirational and had great content; they all talked about the parables, teaching and ethics of Jesus. However in each case I can’t remember Jesus actually being mentioned by name. It made me reflect on my own life, whether my faith has become a “formula” based on Jesus but no longer actually connected to Him.
As a follower of Jesus I am more convinced than ever that the core of our faith must revolve around Jesus. It has been my pleasure to be involved in a few Confirmation services in this last month. I particularly remember wonderful services at All Saints’, Palmerston North, St James’, Lower Hutt, St Philip’s, Stokes Valley and St Peter’s, Pahiatua. It was a great privilege to set these people apart as they commit themselves to following Jesus for life. To pray afresh for each of them that God’s Spirit would empower them in emulating the way of Jesus and strengthening their relationship with the living God. Each Confirmation reminds me of my own life commitment to follow Jesus where ever he leads, and to willingly embrace the joy and struggles of that calling.
I would encourage us all, as we head into Advent, to reflect on the centrality of Jesus to our lives. As Anglicans it would be great if we were not primarily known for our great church services, our slick programmes, our wonderful Choirs or even our compassionate social services; but for being people of Jesus.
What excites me at the moment is the courage shown by the Wanganui Archdeaconry. As a family they have undertaken to do a significant makeover of the Raetihi Vicarage. I even believe that John Rowan had Bishop Mwita Akiri from Tanzania up there helping! I am planning to join the youth of the Diocese in lending a hand on 10 and 11 December. I find these times often the richest times: joining with other followers of Jesus, rolling up our sleeves and getting stuck in to make a tangible difference. Returning the Vicarage to a livable standard will enable us to place a gifted Missioner in our Northern most Parish. When I talk to Archdeacon Elizabeth Body I am overwhelmed with the stories of God’s provision through God’s people. A loaf and a fish here and there, and slowly the place is being transformed – one small miracle of generosity at a time. Well done Family.
May you be captivated once again by the passion, person and mission of Jesus.
On December 2, Advent Sunday, Ted Dashfield celebrates the 60th anniversary of his ordination as a priest.
Ted, who has spent 58 of his 60 years in the church in the Wairarapa, was born in 1926 in Wanganui, the fourth of five children. “It was quite a good year,” he says. “The Queen, Marilyn Monroe, Phar Lap and President Mugabe were of the same vintage.”
Service not self
In 1931, at the start of the Depression, the barefoot Sunday-School regular became a pupil at Queens Park School, close to the Sarjeant Art Gallery and what is now the Whanganui Regional Museum. He remembers passing through the entrance archway inscribed with the school motto: Service not self.
Eight years later he entered Wanganui Collegiate, whose then headmaster, F.W. Gillgan, had kept wicket for Essex and was to exert a strong influence over Ted’s life. There he was confirmed in the school chapel and regularly fainted from hunger before the 8am Sunday service.
When World War ll broke out “boys were leaving school and going away and being killed,” says Ted.
“The war, the Holocaust and the atomic bomb were somehow the background of my life.”
Off to Japan
After two unsuccessful applications to Australia’s Royal Military College – Duntroon he joined J Force in the 22nd Battalion in 1946. The proud motto of the 22nd, once commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Haddon Donald, was Second to None. His ship arrived in Kure, Japan, base of the miniature submarines that penetrated Sydney Harbour, and the 2000-strong brigade was based in Yamuguchi Prefecture, very close to Hiroshima.
There, “a ‘mad’ padre got under my skin,” says Ted. “I’ll talk about him at the Advent Sunday services. I also remember a little Japanese boy calling out to me, ‘Shoeshine? Shoeshine, soldier?” at about 2am at the Osaka railway station and giving up my hopes and plans to be a soldier. I thought the army was not the best way for me any longer. I’ll be talking about that, too.” (For ten years Ted was part of the army’s army’s Chaplain’s Department.)
He served two terms in Japan, the best part of three years, then came home and applied for ordination. “To my surprise, after quite a wait, I was accepted.”
After two years’ training at College House in Christchurch Ted was ordained deacon in 1951, priested in 1952 and served as curate at St Matthew’s, Masterton, for three years. Kingi Ihaka, later Sir Kingi, was a curate there at the same time.
In Masterton he met Helen Berney, twin daughter of Dr Hugh and Lilian Berney. Strangely, says Ted, Hugh Berney was the doctor who attended the riot by Japanese prisoners of war at the Featherston military camp.
In 1955 they married and immediately sailed to England where Ted was to spend two years as curate in Cannock in the diocese of Lichfield. “They were wonderful people; a vicar, five curates and a Church Army captain.”
The Rev’d Ted Dashfield welcomes the Douglas family to St Andrew’s, Whareama, 1958 – 01-25/129.digital
At the end of his term he received a letter from the Bishop of Wellington Reginald Owen asking him to become vicar of Tinui. “The bishop said it’s the only vacancy, and please let me know by return post!” He did so.
The lovely light interior of St John the Evangelist, Homewood
In Tinui from 1957 to 1964, he was involved with the establishment of St John’s, Homewood and, with great help from Castlepoint residents Jack and Erica Broad, he helped prepare the ground for St Peter’s by the Sea. They obtained land from the government of Sir Keith Holyoake, Ted chose the name St Peter’s by the Sea and things were underway when he left Tinui to become vicar of Carterton.
The Dashfield family, taken while Ted was Vicar of Carterton. Left to right: Helen, James (standing), Ted, with Philip and Prue sitting in front.
Then, “out of the blue”, he was appointed headmaster of St Matthew’s Collegiate School, serving there from 1969 – 1980 and starting a fashion for male principals in girls’ schools.
School chaplaincies at Nga Tawa and Huntly followed; then two terms as interregnum headmaster of St George’s School Wanganui in 1982.
Back to Tinui
Pressed then by Bishop Eddie Norman, “the soldier bishop”, to become priest in charge of Tinui, Ted felt he had been there, done that and politely declined. The bishop politely insisted, and Ted said “I’ll do it for six months which will give you time to find somebody else.” The six months became almost six years! Home for the duration was their Riversdale bach.
Ted eventually “retired” in 1988.
Join us at St Matthew’s Church for 8am Eucharist and/or 7pm Choral Evensong, Advent Sunday, December 2. All are very welcome.
The Faith Based Unit (FBU) at Rimutaka Prison will close in November and Prison Fellowship NZ will celebrate its work at the prison with events over the weekend of November 24th and 25th.
Although the Prison Fellowship knows they have made a difference in the lives of many men, they have been unable to prove this satisfactorily to the Department of Corrections.
The Prison Fellowship continues to support the Department’s work to reduce recidivism, using the interest and skills of their mainly Christian communities.
They want to work across the entire prison system so more volunteers and churches get the opportunity to help transform lives
They are looking for a place in the correctional system that fits both Christian communities’ needs and the Department’s. At the moment that seems to be in the self-care units in 10 prisons.
They are exploring with Corrections ways of using the experience gained from the 9 years in the FBU to identify new opportunities.
They are keen to make the self-care units a “village” which prepares men and women well for their eventual release.
They will continue support for men and women in the community through the Community Throughcare schemes, including
assisted accommodation, etc
so that they can remain crime free.
They have done this after a great deal of prayer and discussions.
They are working with the Prison Chaplaincy Service of Aotearoa to ensure that the spiritual needs of the men they have been caring in Unit 7 at Rimutaka continue to be met, and will be walking alongside those for whom they have already started making transition plans for as they leave prison.