Through Ninety Years
The Synod at this session failed to elect a successor to the Bishop. However, at the next session held on September 24th to 28th, 1877, the Synod unanimously elected Rev. Edward Craig Stuart to fill the position. He had lately retired from a missionary post he had held in India for a number of years, and had come to visit his brother in New South Wales and friends in New Zealand.
After his election had been approved by the other dioceses of the province, Rev. E. C. Stuart was duly consecrated at St. John's Church, Napier, on December 9th by the Primate, Bishop Harper of Christchurch, assisted by Bishops Cowie of Auckland and Hadfield of Wellington.
Since the new Bishop's election, Bishop Williams's health had continued to fail; though it did not permit him to attend and take part in the consecration of his successor, he was very pleased in the afternoon to have the privilege of bestowing his blessing on Bishop Stuart as he knelt at his bedside, and of presenting him with a copy of the Maori Bible.
Two months later, on February 8th, 1878, Bishop page 306 Williams passed quietly and peacefully to his rest; the funeral took place in the Napier cemetery.
The translation of the New Testament, his Maori Dictionary, the founding of the Diocese of Waiapu, the Hukarere Maori Girls' School, and the assistance he gave to the Te Aute Boys' School, were fitting memorials to his laborious life's work.