Norman Lesser

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Norman Alfred Lesser (16 March 1902 – 12 February 1985[1]) was an Anglican bishop and Archbishop of New Zealand from 1961 to 1971. He was the Bishop of Waiapu[2] from 1947[3] to 1971.

Education and early ministry[edit]

Foundation stone at St Johns Church in Dannevirke laid by Norman Lesser

He was educated at the Liverpool Collegiate Institution and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. He began his ecclesiastical career with a curacy at St Simon and St Jude, Anfield, Liverpool.[4] He then held similar posts at Holy Trinity, Formby and Liverpool Cathedral. In 1931 he became Vicar of St John, Barrow-in-Furness. From 1931 to 1939 he was Rector and Sub-Dean of Nairobi Cathedral and from then until his elevation to the Waiapu See its Provost.

Episcopal ministry[edit]

Lesser succeeded Archbishop Reginald Herbert Owen as Primate of the Anglican Church of New Zealand on his death in 1961.Norman Lesser Drive in Auckland is named after him.


  1. ^ “Who was Who” 1897-2007 London, A & C Black, 2007 ISBN 978-0-19-954087-7
  2. ^ Lesser on the Waiapu Cathedral website
  3. ^ The Times, Tuesday, Dec 24, 1946; pg. 7; Issue 50642; col B Ecclesiastical News New Bishop Of Waiapu
  4. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory1948 Oxford OUP 1947

External links[edit]

Church of England titles
Preceded by
George Cruickshank
Bishop of Waiapu
Succeeded by
Paul Reeves
Preceded by
Reginald Owen
Archbishop of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Allen Johnston