The sixth Archbishop of the Anglican Church Melanesia and the Bishop of the Diocese of Central Melanesia (DoCM), the Most Reverend George Angus Takeli, was officially farewelled last month in a moving Liturgical service at Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral. Towards the end of the service, the Archbishop placed on the Altar the two symbols representing his pastoral oversight; the Primatial Cross of the Archbishop of Melanesia and the Pastoral Staff of the Bishop of Central Melanesia. These will be handed to the new Archbishop when he is installed later on this year.
A large congregation including the Bishops from the nine Dioceses, representative from the Melanesian Mission Trust Board in New Zealand, supporters from Melanesian Mission in UK and other government dignitaries came to witness the service.
In his Sermon, Archbishop George said the Liturgical Service marks the beginning of a time of prayer and reflection for the Church to uphold members of the Provincial Electoral Board, to seek the mind of God to reveal the next person to lead the Church.
“As we choose our next Archbishop, it is important for us to see the mission field and the future of our Church with fresh eyes or with the eyes of God,” he added.
“God did not allow me to continue on with the plans I have for the Church; however, he has already anointed someone amongst his Church to continue this work into the future.” he said.
In his farewell address, the retired Archbishop thanked the chairman and team from the Melanesian Mission Trust Board in New Zealand, members of the Trust and supporters of the Melanesian Mission in the United Kingdom, oversea partners, Diplomatic Offices in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands through relevant Ministries, Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) and Solomon Islands Full Gospel Association (SIFGA,) for friendship and support during his term as Archbishop.
In his three-year period, Archbishop George launched the Decade of Renewal and Evangelism, provided training for the Council of Bishops and their wives, clergy and lay administrators, in the areas of leadership and administration, mission work and pastoral care; raising the Clergy remuneration, and the building of a new office complex for ACoM Provincial Head Quarters; to name a few.
Garry Swift of MMTB New Zealand, Dr. Abraham Hauriasi, ACoM General Secretary and the Senior Bishop of the church, the Right Rev Nathan Tome, acknowledged the leadership of the retired Archbishop over the past three years. “You end your term of leadership with many and big achievements though within a short period of time.” Bishop Tome said.
The next Archbishop will be elected in June and installed in September.
News story and pictures from ACoM Communications