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Fr Ron Smith RIP

Fr Ron Smith – the avatar he used for his online presence

UPDATE: video of the Requiem Mass

Fr Ron Smith died on Friday, March 10, 2023, aged 93. There are many reasons to celebrate him on this site.

He was avid in his contributions online – clear that in the 21st Century this is where people live, and a place where he (and others) made community. There are about three hundred and fifty comments by him on this site. He had a strong anti-Anglican-Covenant stance, ardently supported LGBTQ+ people, strongly advocating for their full equality and participation in every sphere, and he was deeply devoted to the Eucharist, particularly to the ongoing provision of daily Mass.

Because of his frequent, often-long contributions as a commenter here, I suggested he might like to have a blog of his own as well, and I proposed he start a WordPress blog. He enthusiastically took up this advice, and began Kiwianglo on 29 September 2010. He continued to contribute vigorously and intelligently to other sites, particularly Thinking Anglicans and Bishop Peter Carrell’s Anglican Down Under. Peter has his own tribute to Ron here.

Ron had been a Franciscan for some years, was part of charismatic renewal and the St Paul Singers in Auckland; he loved the Anglo-Catholic tradition, and had a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was ordained deacon in 1980 and priest in 1981. He served in the Auckland, Dunedin, and Christchurch Dioceses. He was an Honorary Associate Priest at St Michael and All Angels, the Christchurch parish where I was Priest in Charge in the second half of last year. Fr Ron presided every Friday at the lunchtime Mass there, continuing to do so including in the week before he died. He had cancer, but even on the Sunday before he died, he drove to church with his wife, Diana, and I’m so pleased that I went over to give him a hug and have a chat – he was his usual, enthusiastic, positive, faith-full self. Fr Jordan Greatbatch – recently appointed as vicar of St Michael’s, to Ron’s delight – has asked me to take on presiding at the Friday lunchtime Masses at St Michael’s. I am delighted to take this up, and will be very conscious of stepping into Fr Ron’s shoes.

Our prayers are for Ron’s wife, Diana, the children, Alex and Jude and their spouses Ruth and Nick, and grandchildren Zoe, William, and Rita. The Funeral and Requiem Mass will be held 11am on Saturday 18th March 2023, at St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church, Oxford Terrace, Christchurch.

You can see Ron chanting the Gospel here, and leading the Angelus here.

Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord: And let light perpetual shine upon him.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.

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3 thoughts on “Fr Ron Smith RIP”

  1. Many thanks for this post. I never met Fr. Ron, living some way off, but read his posts with great pleasure, and was constantly impressed by his superabundant capacity for charity, empathy, sympathy and understanding. I imagine that he was a first rate, and very popular, priest. I read the news of his death with some shock because, whilst I realised that he was of a certain age, I never knew that he was so ill, and the great physical pain that he must have been suffering did not alter the quality of his contributions one bit. The shock is all the greater since I recall him posting only a few days’ ago, as cogently as ever. This puts me in mind of Ps. 73:26: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”. We are all the poorer for his passing. Thank you again.

    1. Thanks for your comment, and the point that Fr Ron lucidly posted only a few days beforehand. As I said – he was like that when I saw him on Sunday. [As an aside, including for other readers of this, on this site we simply use the name we are called by – not a pseudonym]. Lent blessings.

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