Archdeacon William Bullock: Vicar 1922-1930
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The Rev. William Bullock was Vicar of St Matthew's from 7 June 1922 until 1930, when he was appointed Vicar of St Peter's, Wellington, to replace the Rev. Herbert Watson, who had resigned because of ill health. Mr Watson preceded Mr Bullock as Vicar of St Matthew's.
He appears to have been a popular and effective vicar, as the Evening Post of 23 April 1930 notes that the Vestry of St Matthew's received his resignation at a special meeting "with genuine and sincere regret."
The report goes on:
Mr. Bullock has been vicar of St. Matthew's for the last eight years, and in that period has made for himself a noteworthy reputation as an able, enterprising, and untiring minister of a parish with a total area of something like five hundred square miles.
During Mr. Bullock's term, also, important building additions have been made to St. Matthew's Church, and these were preceded by the erection of the Sunday School building known as the Parish Hall.
Mr. Bullock has played an active and helpful part also in promoting the prosperous expansion of the St. Matthew's Collegiate School for Girls.
Educated at the University of London, King's College, Mr. Bullock took his diploma in theology with honours. He was ordained in the Rochester Diocese, and his first curacy was at All Saints, Chatham. Here he spent two or three years in helping to build up a new parish. From Chatham he went to Bromley, in Kent, and was a curate in that parish until, at the first available opportunity, he went to France as chaplain to the Imperial Forces in 1916. Mr. Bullock received his first appointment as chaplain from the present Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr [Cosmo] Lang. Knowing that he had been selected to come to New Zealand, Mr. Bullock transferred to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1918, and remained with the New Zealanders as chaplain until he was demobilised in this country in 1919.
For the next two years and a half Mr. Bullock was actively engaged as organising secretary, to the Church of England Men's Society.
In 1922 he was appointed vicar of St. Matthew's. The St. Matthew's parish is of great extent, and its incumbent is called upon to do a great deal of travelling--twelve miles out on the Tinui road, thirty miles on the Brancepeth and Ngahape roads, and in other directions to Mount Bruce, Bideford, and Kopuaranga. The only near boundary is the Waingawa, on the south. The western boundary of the parish is the crest of the Tararuas, but there is not yet any call for Sunday services in the ranges.
Mr Bullock was appointed Archdeacon of the Wairarapa in 1934. In 1940, St Matthew's Vicar the Rev. Eric Rich, was appointed Archdeacon of the Wairarapa and Mr Bullock became Archdeacon of Wellington.
In 1937 Archdeacon Bullock was made Vicar-General, a role that involved considerable extra responsibility, including running the 1939 Diocesan Synod himself while Bishop Herbert St. Barbe Holland was overseas.
The difficulties caused by the absence of many clergy who were serving overseas as military chaplains, running a parish, serving as Vicar-General, SCF (Senior Chaplain Forces), and becoming totally blind, led to his death in office in November 19441.
DEATH OF ARCHDEACON BULLOCK. M.A.
A Noted Preacher.
An outstanding figure in the Wellington community and in the Church of England in New Zealand, the Venerable Archdeacon William Bullock died at the Vicarage, The Terrace, after a brief illness. He was 59 years of age. The courage with which he faced the handicap of failing sight never deserted him, and he seemed to draw on reserves of spiritual strength as his malady became progressively worse, culminating last October in an operation for the removal of an eye. Archdeacon Bullock's deep knowledge of Holy Writ and his wide reading on current events enabled him, to overcome the disability of total blindness which came on him last December. His cheerfulness and good humour remained unimpaired and he continued to deliver his sermons with his accustomed vigour and fervour. As recently as October he delivered a broadcast address which was a model of effectiveness, and these addresses were in themselves tributes to a phenomenal memory allied to the reading gladly undertaken, by his associates m the clergy and others.Archdeacon Bullock will be long remembered by many listeners-in in Hawke's Bay for his inspiring addresses, always rich with a deeply spiritual message.
Born at Tibshelf, Derbyshire, Archdeacon Bullock received his higher education at the University of London, King's College, where he gained his diploma in theology, with honours. He was ordained in the Rochester diocese, and his first curacy was at All Saints', Chatham. From Chatham he transferred to Bromley, in Kent. He went to France as chaplain to the Imperial forces in 1916. Knowing that he had been selected to come to New Zealand, Mr. Bullock transferred to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1918 and remained with the New Zealanders as chaplain till he was demobilised in this country m 1919. While in France he was wounded.
For the next two and a half years Mr. Bullock was actively engaged as organising secretary to the Church of England Men's Society.
In 1922 he was appointed vicar of St. Matthew's Church, Masterton. During eight years in that position he made, for himself a noteworthy, reputation as an able, enterprising and untiring minister of a parish with a total area of something like 500 square miles.
When in 1930 Canon H. Watson resigned as vicar of St. Peter's, Willis Street, Wellington, because of ill health, Mr Bullock succeeded him and speedily, became widely known for his gifts as a forceful preacher and an efficient organiser.
In 1934 he was appointed archdeacon of the Wairarapa, a position he held till 1940, when he became Archdeacon of Wellington. He retained that position, together with the charge of St. Peter's, up to the time of his death.
Since 1937 he had been Vicar-General of the Wellington Diocese, and in that capacity he carried great administrative responsibility, particularly during the absence of the Bishop of Wellington, Rt. Rev. H. St. Barbe Holland, from the diocese. One such period occurred during the Bishop's absence on a health recruiting visit to England, and Archdeacon Bullock presided over the Diocesan Synod with rare efficiency, tact and good humour.
Archdeacon Bullock is survived by his wife, formerly Miss Maud Bullen, whom he married at Tunbridge Wells, England, in 1916, and one son, Flying-Officer John Bullock, now on active service in the Pacific with the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
Striking evidence of the esteem and affection which the late Venerable W. Bullock, Archdeacon of Wellington and Vicar of St. Peter's Parish, evoked during his notable service for the Church of England and the community was given at the funeral, which took place from St. Peter's Church this afternoon. There was a very large attendance at the church, those present including the Primate, Archbishop West-Watson, of Christchurch, representing the Church of the Province of New Zealand. The Bishop of Wellington, the Rt. Rev. H. St. Barbe Holland, was unable to be present through indisposition. All the clergy of the Wellington archdeaconry were robed, as were the lay reader members of Synod, and there was a full choir, with Mr. John Randal at the organ.
The opening sentences of the service were taken by the Ven. F. H. Petrie, of Feilding, Archdeacon of Rangitikei, after which the choir sang "O Saviour of the World," and the congregation joined in Psalm 23. Archbishop West-Watson read the Lesson, and there followed the hymn, "Forever With the Lord." The Rev. A. Charles took with the choir the versicles and responses, and the Ven. E. J. Rich, Archdeacon of Wairarapa, took the prayers. The Archbishop gave the Blessing, and the service closed with the hymn, "Jesus Lives." The committal at the crematorium, Karori, was taken by Archdeacon Petrie.
The pall-bearers at the church were Canon N. F. E. Robertshawe and the Revs. J, A. Jermyn, E. Whyte, W. H. Walton, W. Langstone, and E. M. McLevie. At the crematorium the pallbearers were past and present church wardens and members of the vestry. A memorial service will be held at St. Peter's Church, Willis Street, at 11 o'clock tomorrow morning.
1Geoffrey M.R. Haworth, Marching as to War: The Anglican Church in New Zealand during World War II, Wily Publications, 2008