We look forward to Andrew Butcher joining us as Senior Associate Lay Minister in February, together with his wife Yvette.

A letter to us from Bishop Peter Carrell: Dear Friends in Fendalton, Our search for a new Vicar of Fendalton has taken an unexpected turn. When we advertised the search for an appropriately experienced and ordained priestly leader to be appointed Vicar, we did not receive a suitable response from an ordained priest, however we were fortunate to receive a worthy “alternative” response to the advertising which the parish nominators and I determined should be explored and followed up. This response came from a skilled and experienced lay Christian leader, Andrew Butcher, who is currently the Principal/CEO Te Taiurungi of Bethlehem Tertiary Institute, a busy and diverse Christian community of 450 staff and students. Through conversation with Andrew, and with Yvette, his wife, with a number of referees, and with senior leaders in the Diocese, including the Reverend Jenny Wilkens, we have come to the decision to appoint Andrew as Senior Associate Lay Minister for the Parish of Fendalton. I am delighted with this appointment and look forward to seeing Andrew commissioned in this role early in the new year. In this role Andrew will work full-time on the pastoral staff of the parish, under and alongside the leadership of Jenny Wilkens, who will continue as Priest-in-Charge, and we will be discerning Andrew through 2023 on the possibility of his becoming an ordained deacon and then priest for our church. Our hearts are open to understanding what God is doing through this unexpected leading of the Spirit.  Arohanui, Bishop Peter.

Introducing Andrew and Yvette:  We look forward to joining you in Fendalton next February from Tauranga, where Andrew has been Principal/CEO Te Taiurungi of Bethlehem Tertiary Institute, a busy and diverse Christian community of 450 staff and students, since 2017 and Yvette is a private chef. We worship at Holy Trinity, Tauranga. 

Yvette was born and raised in East Malaysia, as an Anglican at St Michael & All Angels Anglican Church (est. 1888) in Sandakan. She studied Mass Communication at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, worked as a writer in Kuala Lumpur, and moved to New Zealand in 2005. Yvette completed ministry internship in worship leading and administration with International Student Ministries of NZ (ISMNZ) and Bible College NZ Manawatu (now Laidlaw College). Subsequently Yvette worked at Victoria University of Wellington for over eight years and then as Communication Manager at ISMNZ. She enjoys taking short courses at Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand. As the youngest of three, Yvette’s family now all live in Wellington. Her food blog is eatsbyyvette.weebly.com and can be found on social media as @eatsbyyvette 

Andrew was born and raised in Wellington, though his paternal ancestors first arrived in Christchurch in 1855 where, until his father, every subsequent generation was born – and even his father studied engineering at University of Canterbury. Andrew’s maternal grandparents were missionaries in China then a long time in Baptist ministry in Gore, Nelson and Tawa. Andrew studied History and Criminology at Victoria University of Wellington, has a PhD Sociology from Massey University, and is completing Theology at Otago. For almost ten years he was Research Director at the Asia New Zealand Foundation, which is part of foreign affairs, responsible for the research and diplomacy programmes. Having served in several boards and chaired two national boards for five years each, Andrew was also a church elder. His younger sister and her family live in Palmerston North. Andrew’s parents live in Wellington: his father is in the hospital wing of a rest home, and his mother in her own house in Tawa. 

We are both musicians. Andrew has sung in choirs for most of his life, is a pianist and cellist, and can play the organ. Yvette is a pianist, worship leader; was in her teens a church choir member, involved in tambourine and dance; and can play the guitar. We enjoy giving hospitality, going for walks together, playing Wordle, reading, and watching movies. We love each other, people and especially the Lord. And we love what we see of God’s work in and through the Parish of Fendalton and are very excited to be a part of it.

By Jenny Wilkens