George Augustus Selwyn, Bishop of New Zealand
11 April -- Commemoration
George Augustus Selwyn was born in 1809, educated at Cambridge and ordained as
curate of Windsor. In 1841 he was made the first Bishop of
New Zealand and remained there for twenty-seven years,
during the first years travelling when few roads or bridges
existed. In the wars between colonists and Maoris he stood
out heroically for Maori rights, at the cost of fierce
attacks from both sides and grave personal danger in his
efforts to part the warriors, until later he was revered as
one of the founders of New Zealand as well as of its Church.
He taught himself to navigate and gathered congregations in
the Melanesian Islands. His Constitution for the New
Zealand Church influenced the churches of the
Anglican Communion and he
was a chief founder of the Lambeth Conferences of bishops.
In 1868 he was persuaded to become the Bishop of
England and died there on this day in 1878.
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival,
Common of Bishops, page 483