This past Saturday, CEO Robert Kereopa was fortunate to spend time in Taranaki at the Interim Cathedral to celebrate and give thanks for 60 years of Ministry and Mission of the Very Reverend Michael Bent. This is what he had to say.
On behalf of the Anglican Missions Board, please accept our prayers and sincere good wishes as you celebrate 60 years of Ministry and Mission as an ordained priest.
As a young man, Michael served in my role as General Secretary of the “Anglican Board of Missions” as it was called at that time, beginning 50 years ago and working from 1966 to 1970. I feel very fortunate and privileged indeed, to serve in a Mission legacy, the foundation of which has been laid by those who have gone before, including the Rev Canon Ron Taylor who passed away recently, having served as General Secretary from 1993 until 2000. St John sums it up for me in his gospel when he says:
“I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor." John 4 v 38
Before serving as General Secretary, Michael had already served in Mission for a number of years with the Mission Diocese of Polynesia, a relationship that would continue in the years to come in various capacities.
Michael also has a strong relationship with the Anglican Church in Papua New Guinea where he served in Mission with distinction in various capacities.
Michael, I cannot close with out making a mention of your devoted wife Rosemary. She has been with you through thick and thin. I am so grateful for her passion for Mission – and that she was serving on the AMB when I first arrived. Rosemary I want to thank you for the incredible support and assistance you gave me to help me settle at that time.
Michael, you and Rosemary are truly a power-house for Mission.
Ma te Atua kōrua ko Rosemary e manaaki i ngā wā katoa.
Michael, may the Good Lord continue to richly bless you and your dear wife Rosemary.
For 60 years of Mission and Ministry, well done, His good and faithful servant!
Rev Robert Kereopa
Chief Executive Officer
Anglican Missions Board.