Anglican Church Archbishop-elect Philip Richardson says his idea of heaven is the 'skyline ridge' ski run at the Cardrona ski-field in central Otago.
After being confirmed as Archbishop-elect at a meeting in Wellington yesterday Bishop Philip conceded his skiing days were probably over.
The 55-year-old and his wife Belinda Holmes have enjoyed central Otago's ski slopes on a reasonably regular basis since his days as a theology student while living at Selwyn College in Dunedin.
He suggests the 'skyline ridge run,' his own private cathedral in the sky, will have to take second place to the Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary from now on.
He intends to stay in New Plymouth for the winters, rather than holiday in central Otago, where he will perform a dual role as Archbishop and Bishop of Taranaki.
''There's a very positive atmosphere in Taranaki. There's a character about the place and a feeling that people can do anything. I really appreciate the support we've been given there,'' Bishop Philip said.
The family will remain in their New Plymouth home where Bishop Philip is a well known cyclist on city streets.
He was born in Devonport on Auckland's North Shore in 1958 and studied at Rangitoto College.
Ordained a priest in 1982, he helped set up a community house and ministry in GlenInnes before being sent in 1984 to Whangarei parish as an assistant priest.
He was appointed warden of Selwyn College at the University of Otago in 1992.
During his seven years at Selwyn College he became increasingly involved in serving the Anglican Church at a provincial level and in 1999, aged 40, he was elected as Bishop of Taranaki.
He says the real challenge for him now is to translate the credibility he has built up over 14 years with regional and civic leaders in Taranaki on to the national stage.
He succeeds Archbishop David Moxon, who will take up a position in Rome as the Anglican Communion's chief ambassador to the Catholic Church.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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