The new Bishop of Wellington will fulfil two very different callings when he visits Wanganui Collegiate this weekend.

As part of the school's chapel centenary celebrations tomorrow, Bishop Justin Duckworth will consecrate the chapel that was built as the cornerstone of the school from funds raised by old boys and dedicated in Easter 1912.

But once that ceremony is over the bishop will disrobe and put those now-famous bare feet into his size 9 soccer boots and turn out by special invitation for the annual Old Boys' versus School soccer fixture.

The invitation was extended by friend and former Old Boy soccer captain Ian Rogers, who has known Bishop Duckworth since they first worked on Wellington's Summer City festival in the 1980s.


"I knew Justin was here for the service and I thought he might like a game. We can make him an honorary Old Boy for the day, given he has a standing role on the board of trustees," Mr Roger said.

"I hear he's playing regularly and he used to run marathons so fitness won't be a problem. We're a little older than the opposition these days so some divine intervention may be a help during the game."

He said he had known Bishop Duckworth for a long time and described him as "a very, very cool guy" who can connect with anybody and any audience.

Collegiate Headmaster Tim Wilbur is impressed by the Bishop's outing.

"We're thrilled to have Bishop Duckworth here for the chapel centenary, and then with this game he really is connecting at grass roots with the school - in more ways than one," Mr Wilbur said.

The 1pm appearance will be marked by a personalised playing shirt for the "Bishop in boots", bearing his initials "JD" and the number 1 on the back.