Diocesan Council

Diocesan Council is the oversight group for both Diocesan process and planning.

Its Roles include:

  • To oversee and support Mission and Ministry in the Diocese, including property decisions under Statute 3 (see flowchart)
  • Provide advice to the Bishop
  • Present a budget for the Diocese to Synod
  • To ensure the Diocese’s bi-cultural responsibilities are met
  • To act on behalf of Synod when Synod is not in session.

A more detailed description of the role can be found in the Diocesan Statutes; Statute 1 5:5 and Statute 3: 45-49


Current Members

The Bishop of Dunedin: Rt Rev Steven Benford

Rev’d Liz Cheyne [Southland];
Rev’d Natallie Milliken [Dunedin City]
Rev’d Canon Michael Wallace [Dunedin City]
Rev’d Eric Kyte [Dunedin City]

Mr Keith Gover [Southland];
Mrs Dot Muir [Southland]
Mr Steve Mitchell [Southland]
Ms Lynda Turner-Heaton [Southland]

Ex-offcia members with a right to be present, but no voting rights are:

The Diocesan Registrar: Andrew Metcalfe
The Diocesan Ministry Educator: Rev’d Dr Michael Godfrey
The Diocesan Children Youth & Families Educator: Rev’d John Graveston
The Diocesan Community Ministry Enabler: Rev’d Dr Anne van Gend

In each even numbered year, the annual synod of the Diocese elects Diocesan Council from the members of Synod. Normally there are 5 Lay members and 5 members of the clergy. Lay members elect the lay representatives, and similarly the clergy elect the clergy representatives.



To support he work of the Diocesan Council 4 groups have been formed to oversee various work in the Diocese. Members of the Diocesan council have been allocated to each of these groups to support their work and provide connection and feedback to the Diocesan Council.

Committees are being reviewed in October 2022. The current groups and Diocesan Council representatives are:

Ministry Committee: Anne Gover, Ven Michael Godfrey, Rev’d John Graveston, Rev’d Anne van Gend, Diana Abercrombie.

Mission Committee:  Dot Muir (Chair), Keith Gover (for 12 months), Stuart Young, Caroline Oliver, Lynda Turner Heaton.

Social Transformation Committee:  Lisa Burton and Dot Muir as Diocesan Council committee members, other members include Ven Jan Clark, Fred McElrea, Ondine Godtschalk (Chair), Liz Liddell and Rev’d Rose Scott.

Stewardship Committee:  Steve Mitchell (chair), Rev’d Liz Cheyne, The Very Rev’d Dr Tony Curtis, Rev’d Canon Michael Wallace, Rev’d Eric Kyte and +Steve Benford.

The Diocesan Trusts Board: The Elected members of Diocesan Council along with the Bishop also hold responsibility as the Diocesan Trusts Board (not the Trust Board). The Trusts Board has responsibility for making appointment to various boards and groups in the diocese.

Have a look at the Governance Structure – Diocesan Council and Committees May 2022 and the Conflict of Interest Policy May 2022.


Diocesan Council and Trusts Board October 2020: (Back row) Rev’d Brett Roberts, Bishop Steve Benford, Rev’d Liz Cheyne, Ven Michael Godfrey, Steve Mitchell, Very Rev’d Tony Curtis, Rev’d Canon Michael Wallace, Rev’d John Graveston, Keith Gover
Bottom row; (Marley the dog!), Dot Muir, Diana Abercrombie, (inset) Rev’d Eric Kyte, Ms Lisa Burton

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