CBA’s Rev Frank Ritchie is fast becoming a recognisable media personality

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

Rev Frank Ritchie
Rev Frank Ritchie

With a knack for answering the hard questions with a quiet confidence and great sense of humour, Frank has become a frequent feature on New Zealand’s television and radio stations. 

While the nation tackled lockdown, Frank was interviewed by nearly every major news outlet from his home office in Hamilton. This included a segment with Duncan Garner on TV3’s AM Show, a sermonette on Radio New Zealand, and a full-page spread in the Dominion Post.

Topics ranged from the place of religion in a COVID-19 world, to how churches were adapting to lockdown. Most of his interviews have been shared thousands of times across social media.

This smorgasbord of media opportunities has come about largely due to his role as CBA’s Media Chaplain, connecting with newsrooms across the country. Frank has spent five years building relationships with media personnel and, in turn, is becoming a trusted religious public voice. 

The media interest was also fueled by the release of CBA’s podcast Friday Prayers – a seven-part series in which Frank interviewed key media personnel who reported on the mosque attacks on March 15, in Christchurch.

Frank, who has been part of CBA’s team of broadcasters for ten years, said the lockdown has piqued a lot of interest in faith and spirituality. 

“Most of our nation, even if they don’t identify with organised religion, are curious about spirituality and want someone they can have those conversations with,” he said. 

“I think people are craving stable voices through this, voices that are warm, encouraging, and welcoming and I think this is the best that faith has to offer in a situation like this.”

The national lockdown was a busy time for Frank in his role as Media Chaplain as he supported many affected by pay cuts, job losses and the closure of both Bauer Media and Radio Sport.

Frank said the media shakeup has also driven home the importance of CBA’s Salt network and its role of supporting Christians working in mainstream media. 

“For CBA and its supporters to have the foresight to put that in place means we have come into this time in a place of strength,” he said. “As people have lost their jobs, or incomes have disappeared, there has been a support network which otherwise wouldn’t have existed without CBA.”

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