Archbishop Sir Paul Reeves was a towering figure in the recent history of his native New Zealand and in the worldwide Anglican Communion. Reconciliation and service were his watchwords, and as bishop, archbishop and as Governor General he expressed in his life the gospel imperative of reconciliation and the breaking down of barriers of all kinds in church and society. He celebrated and brought to prominence his Maori heritage in the life of the nation and the church in a way that honoured and respected all.
After retirement as Governor General in 1991 he served the worldwide church as the first Anglican Communion Observer at the United Nations in New York from 1991 to 1993 – a position he shaped and made his own. There he gave voice to the unique perspective a church can bring to the many pressing issues facing the United Nations and its related organisations, and strove to awaken the church to its responsibilities to the international community.
The themes of reconciliation and service continued with his subsequent work in Fiji, South Africa, Guyana and Ghana. With his death the church and the global community have lost one of its great iconic figures. I extend my prayerful sympathy to Lady Beverley and her family.
“Well done good and faithful servant” (Matt.25.23)
The Revd Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion