Good­bye Rev Hay­hoe

Waitaki Herald - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ES­THER ASHBY-COVEN­TRY

Over the past 11 years Rev­erend John Hay­hoe has taken about 2,500 ser­vices as the vicar of Geral­dine, and now he is pre­par­ing to move back to Eng­land.

Hav­ing em­i­grated to New Zealand in 2006 with his wife Kathryn, a mid­wife, and their three chil­dren, they had en­joyed their time here.

Humble about his ser­vice to the com­mu­nity, Hay­hoe said he had re­ceived a lot of sup­port.

‘‘I once cal­cu­lated that 30 dif­fer­ent peo­ple are in­volved in the min­istry of this par­ish each and every week. The sup­port I have been given has been very hum­bling.’’

The fam­ily’s re­turn to East Devon, to the fam­ily farm, was due to the needs of el­derly rel­a­tives. Though Hay­hoe had no job to go to, he was not con­cerned as about three were coming avail­able in parishes within a 10 kilo­me­tre ra­dius of the Upot­tery vil­lage he will re­side in.

Look­ing back on his time in Geral­dine, Hay­hoe was proud to be leav­ing the par­ish in good or­der. Church at­ten­dance had risen at the churches he ser­viced in­clud­ing Pleas­ant Val­ley, which had gone from 12 peo­ple to more than 20.

‘‘That’s the big­gest con­gre­ga­tion in the old­est church still in use in South Can­ter­bury since the 1970s.’’

St Anne’s Church in Pleas­ant Val­ley was built in 1863.

More fam­i­lies are tak­ing an in­ter­est in wor­ship since Hay­hoe in­tro­duced Car­toon Church in 2013 to ap­peal to chil­dren by us­ing vis­ual aids.

He said he would miss the peo­ple of Geral­dine as his wife had de­liv­ered many ba­bies for the cou­ples he had mar­ried and they had seen the chil­dren grow up.

‘‘It is time for some­one else to take over with a dif­fer­ent skill set.’’

Hay­hoe’s last ser­vice as the vicar of Geral­dine will be at the Holy In­no­cents Church at Peel For­est at 10.30am on Septem­ber 10.

Af­ter more than 11 years of ser­vice Geral­dine vicar Rev­erend John Hay­hoe is re­turn­ing to his home­land, Eng­land, to live in Septem­ber.

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