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Ruatara’s Mission: 200 years since the first Christian service in Aotearoa through Māori eyes

Ruatara’s Mission: 200 years since the first Christian service in Aotearoa through Māori eyes

A thoughtful and nuanced account of the two of the pre-eminent figures who, between them, introduced Christianity to Aotearoa. Kia ora.

First We Take Manhattan

Article originally written for the Salvation Army’s War CryIssue 6606 Christmas 2014.

On 12 April 1799, the Society for Missions to Africa and the East (later renamed the Church Missionary Society) was founded at a meeting of the Eclectic Society, supported by members of the Clapham Sect, including Henry Thornton, Thomas Babington and William Wilberforce.

Samuel Marsden was a member of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and chaplain in New South Wales, Australia. In that position, he frequently encountered Māori from New Zealand. Marsden lobbied for a Christian mission to New Zealand, and in 1809, missionaries William Hall, John King and Thomas Kendall were appointed to establish this mission.

On Marsden’s return from a visit to England in 1809 on the convict transport Ann, he met Ruatara, who was ill and neglected, vomiting blood because of the severity of his beatings on previous ships. Marsden cared for Ruatara…

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