Michael Blain is the parish priest at St Michael's Anglican church in Kelburn, Wellington. He is from a large Christchurch family. After studying classics at Canterbury university (MA Honours in Latin) he trained for the priesthood at the College of the Resurrection (Mirfield) in Yorkshire.
Michael has worked as a priest in varied places - coal mining Yorkshire, inner city suburbs, rural South Westland, new housing estate in Christchurch. Chaplaincy service has included in the Wellington Polytech (now Massey university), the Cathedral Grammar School (Christchurch), Seaview Psychiatric hospital (Hokitika), and Holy Name Grammar School in Dogura (PNG). He did a couple of years lecturing for the College House Institute of Theology.
Michael had a life-changing experience in rural Zimbabwe. He was priest for over a dozen congregations on the Zambesi escarpment and principal of a secondary school. A similar service in a sister church was a few years’ service in Papua New Guinea, where he was diocesan secretary. This complex task included running a post office, a trade store, a five-crew boat, and a radio station as well as the coordination of the 25 parishes of the Dogura diocese with concern for lay and priestly training.
More recently Michael has developed a strong interest in New Zealand colonial history, and has written several books and articles. His latest book, a commissioned history of the newly consecrated cathedral in Wellington Wellington Cathedral of S Paul a history 1840-2001 was published by Victoria University Press in 2002.
He is now researching two hundred clergy families in the early goldrush days of Otago.