Former Oamaru doctor and recently elected Anglican Bishop of Dunedin Steven Benford will return to Oamaru this weekend to share his experiences with parishioners.
The Rt Rev Dr Benford was ordained and installed as the 10th Anglican Bishop of Dunedin at St Paul’s Cathedral on September 23.
The qualified medical doctor relocated from England, where he served as vicar of St Joseph the Worker, Northolt, in the Diocese of London, to take up the post vacated by the Rt Rev Dr Kelvin Wright, who retired earlier this year after seven years in the role.
He will be well known to many Oamaruvians, having worked as a GP in the town in the early 1990s.
During that time, he established a free clinic, and worked one day a week as an anaesthetist at Dunedin Hospital.
Dr Benford will speak at the St Luke’s Church hall in Oamaru from 7pm on Saturday about his experiences as a GP and being ordained as bishop. He will preach at the church’s 10.30am service the following morning.
St Luke’s vicar, Rev Andrea McDougall, said Dr Benford was well respected in the local community and many looked forward to his visit.
“Many who knew Steven from his time in Oamaru have spoken very warmly of him, and are delighted he’s returning to this part of the world.
“They are really looking forward to re-connecting with him and his wife.”
His wife, Lorraine, was born in Dunedin and grew up in Gore. They have four adult children.
During Dr Benford’s ordination, the Otago Daily Timesreported the Anglican Archbishop of New Zealand, the Most Rev Philip Richardson, told Dr Benford his calling was an important one.
“To love Jesus means to act for the benefit of the other,” he said.
“To be a bishop is as simple as that. To be a Christian is as simple as that.”