The Right Rev Peter Cheyne has been installed as the new Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, at a ceremony opening General Assembly 2010 in Christchurch.
After the earthquake of 4 September, the Presbyterian Church considered shifting its biennial gathering away from Christchurch. But after months of work, the organisers (from local churches) were keen for the conference to go ahead as planned to show the Church’s solidarity with the people of Christchurch and to bring much-needed business, because the Church has heard the message “Canterbury is open for business”. More than 350 delegates from around the country are attending.
An offering (donation) taken up during Assembly’s service of worship on Sunday 3 October will go to the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal (Mayoral Relief Fund).
Peter became Moderator in a colourful ceremony that involves the laying on of hands by past Moderators, and the transfer of a heavy ceremonial cloak, Te Korowai Tapu.
Peter lives in Gore and has been the minister of Calvin Community Church since 1990. Prior to that he was the minister of St Paul’s, Kaikoura. Peter was an electrical engineer before he trained for the ministry.
The theme chosen by Peter for his two years as Moderator is “making disciple-making disciples”. He says it emphasises the importance of growing in faith and of mentoring others.
Peter is married to Christine and they have three adult daughters.
The Presbyterian Church is the third largest denomination in Aotearoa New Zealand, with more than 400,000 people identifying as Presbyterian in the 2006 Census, and 30,000 regular church attenders.