Category: News

The Right Revd Dr Keith Joseph, Bishop of North Queensland

More Flooding At Selwyn College

Last month Selwyn College was flooded, and the school had to be evacuated and closed. The Right Revd Dr Keith Joseph, Bishop of North Queensland, looks back on his experience of flooding on Guadalcanal.

“I was a lecturer at Bishop Patteson Theological College in February 2009 when the first big floods to hit North-West Guadalcanal happened. Selwyn College was flooded, all the food garden around the college were flooded, but the floods were more widespread across all of the area from Selwyn College back towards Honiara. About 10,000 people lost their food gardens, sources of fresh water were polluted for months, homes and villages destroyed. At least twenty people drowned.

The heavy rains were not particularly new, though with Climate Change there might be more periods of sustained heavy rain than before. But in this case the new factor was deforestation. Before, when there were heavy rains, the forests on top of the hills and mountains held the water and released it gradually. But without the forests the rain just ran off the soil immediately and there was “flash flooding”. Since 2009 there has been more deforestation and more flooding.

The cause of deforestation and the cause of climate change are the same: human greed which sees the environment as something to be used and abused without consequences. The cash stays with the big men but does not get to the people who need it – but they are the ones who suffer the consequences of deforestation and climate change. The Churches must take a prophetic role: they must tell out that this abuse of the environment is ungodly and goes against the Bible. In Genesis 1.26 we humans are given “dominion” over creation – but this is never ownership. God owns creation. We are simply his stewards, entrusted with his creation for our use and that of our children and grandchildren, remembering that in the end we all will return to him. In the Old Testament the people of God are told to look after the land, to give it sabbath – and then condemned for not doing so (2 Chronicles 36.21). Like the prophets of old we are called to proclaim God’s justice against those who spoil his creation.”

+ Keith

The Right Revd Dr Keith Joseph
Bishop of North Queensland

Solomon Islands, Honiara, Main Street

Statement By The Archbishop Of The Anglican Church Of Melanesia On The Corona Virus

In recent weeks, the world was gripped by the impact of the corona virus in different countries including our own country, Solomon Islands. Last week, the World Health Organization declared the virus a pandemic. Governments around the world are taking various measures to prevent the entry and spread of the virus in their respective countries.

In our beloved Solomon Islands, the relevant government authorities through the Corona Virus Steering Committee have developed measures not only to prevent the entry of the virus into our country but also to prevent the spread of the sickness if it does get onto our shores. For example it issued its third Travel Advisory on the 13 March 2020. The Church appeals to its members and all citizens of our country to strictly comply with measures outlined in the travel advisory.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has issued a number of brochures and posters which explains in simple terms what we should do to protect ourselves, our families and communities. These includes guidelines on personal hygiene which we must practice in our homes, workplaces and in Church and community gatherings. We must not wait for a positive case of the virus to be reported before we start practicing these healthy habits.

Living with our extended families even in Honiara and other urban centres provides an environment for the easy spread of the virus. It might helpful to encourage relatives living with working families in Honiara to consider returning to our home villages if there are no urgent reasons to be in Honiara. Having a smaller number of people living in a home should help families in Honiara practice more effective measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Church also encourages its members to avoid any unnecessary travel overseas. And if the virus does enter the country, members are kindly asked to reconsider plans to hold large gatherings and celebrations. In Honiara, Church members are kindly requested to refrain from visiting public places and gathering unless absolutely necessary. We further encouraged members to avoid travelling from one house to another unless the visit is necessary.

The ACoM will be issuing further guidelines to our parishes as what we should or should not do as far as our public worship is concerned. Members are kindly requested to show understanding should some changes be made to our worship and liturgical practices. For now I call on all Christians in Honiara to steadfastly hold our beloved country in prayer; for the victims of the virus, the scientists researching for possible cure and for cessation of the spread of the virus.

Finally, I would like to once again appeal to all ACOM members, all Christian people and friends to support the efforts of the government authorities and other stakeholders by complying with instructions and follow public health messages issued to date. I understand that as Christians we have faith, I am asking us all to express our faith by taking full responsibility to work together with the Government, not only for our personal health but also for our families, communities and our nation of Solomon Islands.

ACoM Communications

Lambeth 2020 Postponed

The Lambeth Conference Reschedules To Summer 2021

With the worldwide rapid spread of COVID-19 and so many events being postponed, it is no surprise that the Lambeth Conference 2020 has been postponed until 2021.

Here the Archbishop of Canterbury explains why –

In recent weeks, the organising teams for the Lambeth Conference have been prayerfully thinking through the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the plans and preparations for this important event.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Lambeth Conference Company has been monitoring the situation and following advice from public health authorities.

The public health risk of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom has now been assessed as ‘high’ by the UK’s Chief Medical Officers and a wide range of governmental measures are in place to respond to the health crisis.

Following consultation with the Lambeth Conference Design Group, Primates and trustees of the Lambeth Conference Company, The Archbishop of Canterbury has taken the important decision to reschedule the Lambeth Conference to the summer of 2021.

This significant meeting of Anglican bishops and spouses will continue to be planned – with an exciting and engaging programme, being held in the same venue at the University of Kent and Canterbury Cathedral – just one year on. https://www.lambethconference.org/rescheduling-the-lambeth-conference/

Once the new dates have been announced, MMUK will look again at the hospitality programme for our Bishops and their wives.

Rt Reverend Willie Tungale, the new Bishop of the Diocese of Temotu

Tungale Now Made Bishop Of Temotu

THE Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) has consecrated and installed The Rt Reverend Willie Tungale as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Temotu (DOT) at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Lata last Sunday the 16th of February.

The consecration and installation service was officiated by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) the Most Rev. Leonard Dawea and assisted by the Bishop of the Diocese of Banks and Torres the Rt Rev. Patteson Worek, the Bishop of the Diocese of Ysabel The Rt Rev. Ellison Quity and retired Bishop the Rt Rev. Michael Tavoa who represented the Council of Bishops for this ceremony.

Rt Reverend Willie Tungale, the new Bishop of the Diocese of Temotu

Immediately after Bp. Tungale was consecrated, Rev. Daniel Vagi, the Vicar General of the Diocese escorted him to the episcopal chair of the Diocesan cathedral and installed him as the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Temotu.

The Rt Reverend Patteson Worek in his sermon at the consecration and installation service; reminded the fully parked cathedral and Reverend Tungale on the message of the great commission: – “go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” On this, he reminded the parked congregation on the questions of one’s origin; What am I doing now and Where are you going from here.

“The great commission message tells us that we all came from God who gave us life and therefore should live the life he wants us to be; to go out and make disciples,” he added.

Bishop Worek also reminded Rev Tungale that there will be a lot of challenges coming Infront as a chief shepherd.
“But be assured of our unceasing prayers to support you in your role as the spiritual father of this diocese,” Bishop Worek said.
In his first official address as the Bishop of Temotu, the Rt Rev Tungale acknowledged all the support rendered to him in one way or the other and shared his vision and plans for the diocese. He echoed , ‘Partnership in Church, Mission and growth and development,’ is his vision for the diocese.
“The call to partnership in church mission reminds all of us baptized Christians that it is our obligation and responsibility to do mission together”, he said.

Rt Reverend Willie Tungale, the new Bishop of the Diocese of Temotu

“This Partnership in mission does not rule out the involvement and participation of the National and Provincial governments, Sister Churches, NGOs, our communities, institutions and organizations but rather call on them to come forward and be part of the mission team,” he said.
“I am confident that small as we are, we need others and others need us to achieve huge goals,” he also said.
The premier of Temotu Province Hon. Clay Forau also pledged his support to the newly consecrated Bishop and the Diocese.
“Temotu Provincial government is ready to support you in your role as a spiritual father to the diocese and the province,’ Hon Forau said in his speech after the consecration service.

Chancellor of the ACOM, Justice Lyn Stevens and Vice Chancellor Gabriel Suri who also took part in the legal aspect of the consecration service, assured the bishop of their support to the new Bishop. Justice Stevens also representing the trustees of Melanesian Mission Trust Board (MMTB) in New Zealand pledged his support on behalf of the chairman Mr Brian Corban and members of the MMTB.

Representatives from the sister churches and house of chiefs in the diocese also pledged their support to the new bishop.
The Rt Rev. Tungale was elected by the Diocese of Temotu Electoral Board of the Anglican Church of Melanesia on the 22nd of November 2019. He succeeded the Most Reverend Leonard Dawea who was enthroned and Installed as the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia and Bishop of the Diocese of Central Melanesia in September 2019.

The Rt Rev. Tungale was serving as the Chaplain and New Testament Teacher at Mona Community High School in Santa Cruz, Temotu Province when he was elected to this episcopal office. He was also the Principal and deputy Principal at the said school in 2010 and 2011.
He holds a Bachelor of Theology (Degree) from the University Auckland, New Zealand and Diploma in Theology from Bishop Patteson Theological College. He also holds a Diploma in Education and Leadership from the University of the South Pacific (USP) here in Honiara through DFL mode of study.

The Rt Rev. Tungale comes from Napir village, Graciousa Bay, Santa Cruz, Temotu Province. He is married to Ruth Tungale and they have five children.

The Archbishop calls on all members of the Anglican Church of Melanesia to uphold The Rt Rev. Tungale and his family in prayer as he now takes on this important responsibility in the church.

Rt Reverend Willie Tungale, the new Bishop of the Diocese of Temotu

ACoM Communications

Litany of Environmental Lament Header

Litany of Environmental Lament and Repentance From Melanesia

Minister General for the Society of St Francis Br Christopher John, was recently asked by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network to ask Franciscans in Melanesia to write a litany of environmental repentance. Br Chris expanded the brief and held a short workshop for all four of the Orders in Melanesia to write the piece for Ash Wednesday. The below is taken from the original, Litany of Environmental Lament and Repentance From Melanesia, and is free for further distribution.

God of the whole human race.
You have given us responsibility to care for each other. But we have exploited and hated each other by our wickedness.
We turn to you in sorrow and repentance.
Please help us to look to you and care for each other.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

O God of creation.
You have created land for us to make our gardens and for trees, animals and all living creatures on the earth.
Forgive us for our destruction of the land by logging and poisonous chemicals.
We turn to you in sorrow and repentance.

Help us O Lord to care for the land that you have given us.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

God of the universe, the ocean and of love.
You have given us the ocean for fish, shells, reefs, whales, waves, corals, and for ships and boats.

We have destroyed the ocean and everything in it, and not cared for it.
We turn to you in sorrow and repentance.
Please help us to care for the ocean, and to recognise that it is your blessing for us.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

God of the forest, in which all living things survive and engage their life and move peacefully.
You have given us wisdom, knowledge and understanding to use our resources well in a manageable manner.

We have been careless, short-sighted, and selfish and failed to share with other people throughout the world.

We turn to you in sorrow and repentance.
Please help us to think positively of your goodness and loving kindness. Please help us  to see the needs of others as you have Litany of Environmental Lament and Repentance From Melanesia seen us living in your beautiful forest.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

God of the universe, the God who created the atmosphere. By your power of creation you made the sky so beautiful, the sun to give us light during the day and the moon and the stars to give light during the night. You have given us clouds to bring rain and give life to your creatures.

Lord, we turn to you with a penitent heart for all the destructions we have caused to the atmosphere.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

Merciful God, God of love and everything in this world. You have created the rain, winds, storms, cyclones, earthquakes, volcanoes and floods to renew your creation. Help us to understand their existence in your world.

We turn to you in sorrow and repentance. Please, Father, forgive us for the human activities which have overpowered the weather and caused destruction of our environment.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

God you are our creator, the source of all wisdom and power. You have created humans and animals and you have appointed us humans to be responsible for them.

Forgive us who destroy your creatures. We turn to you in sorrow and repentance. Help us Lord to love and to care for them as you care for us.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

Written by members of the four Religious Orders in the Anglican Church of Melanesia.
Melanesian Brotherhood, Society of St Francis, Community of the Sisters of the Church, Community of the Sisters of Melanesia.

The Anglican Church of Melanesia includes 9 dioceses in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. It is one of the areas of the world most vulnerable to climate change  due to sea level rise

To find out more about the impacts of climate change
https://abcnews.go.com/International/solomon-islands-disappear-pacific-ocean-result-climate-change/story?id=38985469

Anglican Communion Environmental Network Logo

Litany of Environmental Lament Footer

Selwyn College Flooding

Selwyn College Flooded & Evacuated

Last Friday (7th February), torrential rain resulted in the complete evacuation and closure of Selwyn College on Guadalcanal. ACoM reported: “The College has decided to evacuate the students. According to the College Chaplain, Fr. John Roroi, most of boys dormitories are filled with mud and really needs good cleaning up. Not only that, but water and sanitation as well as power supply too would become problem if the rain continues, which is more likely to continue as according to the Solomon Islands Meteorological Services. The school is arranging transportations as we speak (11:30am) for all students to be transported to Honiara. Parents and guardians who have higher vehicles can also go down to pick up their children should they wish to. The College administration and ACOM Education Authority are also making arrangements for other students who may have no places to stay in Honiara. All students are on safe hands.

Selwyn College Flooding

The school now need to hire pump trucks to pump out the toilet septic, plus purchase water blasters to clean the laundries. The total cost should be around SBD$30,000, nearly £3,000, and the work needs to be completed as soon as possible, and before students and staff return to the site. If you would like to send a donation to MMUK please use the reference Selwyn Flood.

Selwyn College Flooding

Lambeth Conference & The BIG Hello

Lambeth Conference & The BIG Hello

In the summer of 2020, over 1,000 Anglican bishops and spouses from across the globe will attend the fifteenth Lambeth Conference in Canterbury.

Convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference is a once-a-decade meeting of bishops and spouses. People will travel from over 165 countries of the Anglican Communion – one of the largest Christian communities in the world, with tens of millions of members.

The Big Hello’ is a large hospitality programme that will see dioceses and churches in England, Wales and Scotland hosting guests for up to a week in advance of the event. It is open to every active bishop and spouse invited to the Lambeth Conference in 2020.

Getting ready for ‘The Big Hello’ from Lambeth Conference 2020 on Vimeo.

MMUK is delighted that the Archbishop and eight Bishops from Melanesia along with their wives will be attending the Lambeth Conference and will also be meeting friends in Cheshire, London and Devon as part of the BIG Hello programme. Over the next couple of months MMUK will be sharing details of where you can meet the Bishops and their wives at services and events.

Please do pray for the Lambeth Conference and this hospitality programme.

People wishing to join the Prayer Journey for the Lambeth Conference can access a seasonal Prayer Diary. The journey also invites people to send in prayers, which will be displayed on a prayer wall to encourage those attending the conference. Some of these will also be featured on the Lambeth Conference website between now and the event.

Get your copy of the Prayer Diary and Join the Prayer Journey for the Lambeth Conference.

The Lambeth Conference Ltd

Archbishop and Bishops of Melanesia

Christmas and New Year Letter from the Archbishop of Melanesia and the Anglican Church of Melanesia

We send to you all greetings and blessings for a joyous Christmas celebrations and a happy and prosperous New Year 2020. (Greetings to you all!)

We celebrate Christmas and New Year to mark the closure of year 2019. Looking back into year 2019, we can only marvel with thanksgiving for the great mystery of God’s presence guiding us through the many challenges and opportunities of the year to enable us reach this transition point into another year of service in 2020.

Through the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas day God had pitched into our human flesh making “God Emmanuel – God with us in Jesus Christ (Mt.1:18). Through this birth God had acted to reach out to touch and to heal our sinful humanity and to re-anoint and empower us to carry out the ordained purpose for His church in the new season called 2020.This Emmanuel Community ought to live in UNITY, LOVE, JOY and PEACE; respecting and valuing all members of our families, communities, Churches and nation regardless of our diversity.

This makes Christmas an important historical point marking the beginning of a new destiny for God’s Church in our nation Solomon Islands. For everything we will do in the New Year 2020 must draw their meaning and purpose from our encounter with the God Emmanuel – God with us in Christ on Christmas day. This divine encounter brings upon us a blessing and commission to rise up and build this new “Emmanuel Community – God with us in Jesus Christ in our families, in our churches and communities, in the leadership and governance of our nation Solomon Islands in the New Year 2020. This is the message of hope given to our families, the church, and our nation Solomon Islands through the Christmas and New Year festive season celebrations! This is the message of hope that we must carry with us into the New Year 2020. Indeed, this message of hope makes the New Year 2020 a truly happy New Year indeed!

We send you our love and our best wishes and our unceasing prayers for a prosperous New Year 2020.

ACoM Communications

Welcome at Chester Rest House

A chance to see : The Solomon Islands

A chance to see : The Solomon Islands
A chance to meet : Melanesians
A chance to learn : The life and faith, challenges and hopes of the people of these islands

Two weeks in Guadalcanal and Nggela Islands.

Visiting : Four Religious Communities in their households (Melanesian Brothers and Sisters; Franciscan Brothers, Sisters of the Church), villages, schools and local sites.

Tuesday September 15th to Thursday October 1st 2020.

For many this may be a ‘once in a lifetime’ visit to the far side of the world, so we are suggesting everyone makes their own way to and from Honiara (via Brisbane, Port Moresby or Nadi) – you may wish to visit India, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, China , Philippines, USA, New Zealand en route. The choice is yours! (We will certainly help search for flights if you wish!).

Accommodation : Chester Rest House in Honiara, Religious Communities’ and Mothers’ Union Guest Houses.

Travel : Public Transport in Honiara district is by mini-bus and ship.

  • The Religious Communities have their own ‘trucks’ which may not be very comfortable, but very memorable.
  • The Church of Melanesia owns the ‘Southern Cross’ ship, which it may be possible for us to use, depending on its September schedules.
  • 15-seater Mini-bus if and when needed.

Cost : Depending on your route, you should be able to get to Brisbane and back for around £750. The Air Fare from Brisbane to Honiara is about £400 return.

Travel costs around the Solomons are impossible to calculate. A Self-drive 15-seater would cost about £150 per day + fuel.

Tony and Alison Sparham spent two years in Melanesia in 1998/99 working at Kohimarama Theological College. They have agreed to lead this proposed group.

At present, we would like to know who is interested – we can arrange a meeting(s) to go over more details in the New Year.

Be warned!! Anyone who has visited the Solomons Islands has become very committed to developing relationships with them. The people and the places grow on you – life will never be the same again!

Please contact MMUK to receive more information. Numbers will be limited.

Tony Sparham

The City is my Monastery: A Contemporary Rule of Life - Richard Carter

The City is my Monastery: A Contemporary Rule of Life

New Book – The City is my Monastery: A Contemporary Rule of Life

Canterbury Press published October 2019

This book is based on my experiences of being a Melanesian Brother and then returning to the UK to become a priest at St Martin-in-the-Fields in the centre of London. It tells of my search to live more prayerfully and sustainably in the middle of the city and to live out the values I had learnt from the Melanesian Brotherhood. The book describes my search through silence, service, sacrament, scripture, sharing, Sabbath time, and stability to build community that is generous, spacious and welcoming and to live values which can sustain us in all the stresses of the modern world.

Rowan Williams writes in the afterword of this book:

“This wonderful book is both recognizable and startlingly new. What we have here is a workbook for living in and with meaning. Christian meaning. Jesus shaped meaning.”

Rev Richard Carter