Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley: ‘O Marvelous City of Hamilton’

Chapter 6 Hamilton Christmas Vignettes: The Bishop-Elect

‘O Marvelous City of Hamilton’ (to the tune of ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’)

O marvelous city of Hamilton
How excited we see thee lie
Above thy deep and creative-filled sleep
the silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
New Zealand’s biggest Christmas tree
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.

‘MooLoo Bells’ (to the tune of ‘Jingle Bells’)

Mooloo bells mooloo bells
Mooloo all the way
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-moo open sleigh, ‘moo’!

Mooloo bells, mooloo bells,
Mooloo all the way
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-moo open sleigh, ‘moo’!

Dashing through the streets
In a one-moo open sleigh
Across the Waikato we go
Mighty all the way

Bells on bobtail ring’
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A Mooloo song tonight, ‘moo’!…

We know you as the Waikato’s new Bishop. How would you best describe what you do?

I’m almost the new Bishop! Currently I am Bishop-elect, and will be ordained Bishop at a special service in St Peter’s Cathedral at 1pm on February 22nd. What does a bishop do? That is a good question! If you look at a Bishop, there are some special things that they wear and carry, and that tells us quite a lot about the role. Firstly there is a cross a Bishop wears, which symbolises that a bishop is to proclaim and good news about Jesus. Secondly, the bishop wears a special ring, which symbolises that they are to be a focus of unity for the whole church; and thirdly, the bishop carries a crozier, a shepherd’s crook, which symbolises that they are to be pastor to the pastors, to care for all the clergy and people of the Diocese. So those three elements: teaching, uniting and shepherding are crucial to a bishop’s role.

What is your Hamilton citizenship status?

I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. I grew up in the city of Sunderland in the north-east of England, and we moved to New Zealand in February 2012 for me to take up a job in Auckland. So in terms of Hamilton, we are new arrivals, but delighted to be here =)

Where do you currently call home?

We are very much looking forward to making Hamilton our home. Currently ‘home’ is scattered in a number of places, where family and friends are. Probably ‘home’ in a deep sense is the north of England where I grew up, and where my parents still live.

Will you be in Hamilton for Christmas?

We will be in Hamilton, probably still unpacking boxes from our move!

In 10 years’ time, you will look on 2013 as the year that you…

Turned 40, was elected as the Bishop of Waikato, and moved to Hamilton! They do say that ‘life begins…’!!

What is your biggest wish for this Christmas?

My biggest wish for Christmas is that we won’t forget people who struggle with the season. People who have lost loved ones, or who don’t have access to the resources that can bring all the good things we enjoy like food and presents. Christmas is really about whanau, and giving thanks for God’s amazing presence in our midst. If we look out for the least, the last and the lost we will be entering into that deep sense of what Christmas is all about.

The thing you are most looking forward to in Hamilton this Christmas is…

Seeing the Hamilton Christmas tree, which I have heard so much about!


Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley is the Bishop-Elect of Waikato. She was previously a religious advisor to the BBC. She will be heading to Hamilton this Christmas, so make sure to make her feel welcome in our lovely little city. Follow her on Twitter @H_AHartley or head to the beautiful St Peter’s Cathedral on Victoria Street to say hello!

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One thought on “Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley: ‘O Marvelous City of Hamilton’

  1. […] my head around what ordination actually is came as a big relief, and I will forever me indebted to Bishop-elect Helen-Ann Hartley for the help she gave me in getting there.  Writing about the challenges facing the Church […]

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