A Likely Lad

Judy Mills
  • Title: A Likely Lad
  • Author: Judy Mills
  • Serial #: BX 5770.L632 MIL

The life of Norman Lesser, Archbishop of New Zealand

How did Norman Lesser, a boy from a terrace house in Liverpool, become the Archbishop of New Zealand?

The answer lies in sheer native ability, great energy, a talent for leadership, a happy outlook on life and a bit of luck – or if you prefer, the Grace of God.

Following effective ministry in different English parishes, he served as Provost of Nairobi Cathedral for seven eventful years before coming to be Bishop of Waiapu in 1947.

Lesser’s 24 year tenure saw the building and consecration of the Cathedral in Napier, the establishment of several old people’s homes and rapid growth in the parishes.

A gifted preacher and speaker, and blessed with the common touch, his quickness of mind, sense of humour and dramatic story-telling are still vividly remembered. As Archbishop he guided the church through the tumultuous changes of the 1960s and for years was at the forefront of Church Union negotiations.

Norman Lesser’s world might seem different from ours. But the values of faith, resolution and compassion that we see in his life-story are still relevant today, offering challenge and inspiration.

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