Father Bill Chapman concludes a storied ministry in Crownthorpe
As they have for so many years, the faithful gathered at the Memorial Chapel of St George in Crownthorpe, Hawke's Bay, on Sunday, 12 December to acknowledge Remembrance Sunday. Like those many Remembrance Sunday's before this one, they were warmly welcomed by Father Bill Chapman, a community priest in the Diocese of Waiapu and a clergyman with a particular love of the church in Crownthorpe.
What marked this Remembrance Sunday as different, however, was that this would be Father Bill's final service leading in Crownthorpe. After many years of ministry, he has made the difficult decision to hand over his priestly duties in the communities of Crownthorpe and Puketapu and to instead give more attention to his role as Chaplain to Vetran's and as husband to Mavis.
Father Bill is remembered for his warmth, his stories and for his ability to leave you wondering where he is going only to (most of the time) find yourself laughing away at a solid one-liner or joke.
Bishop Andrew was able to be present and to preach at the service, commenting on both the significance of Remembrance Sunday but also of the role of priests within communities.
The church of Crownthorpe, alongside the church of St Michael in Puketapu, have come under the care of a Parish of Taradale. The Reverend Alan Burnett, Vicar of Taradale, was at the service alongside his son, Isaiah (3). The service was also attended by the Venerable David van Oeveren, Archdeacon of Hawkes Bay Cities who has held care for Crownthorpe in the past.
To read more about Father Bill, see the Hawke's Bay Today article published here