Ted’s 60th anniversary Eucharist

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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

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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”.

History recalled

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.

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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.

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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!

More photos from the big day are available here.