Goodbye Rev Hayhoe
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.