Tag: ACoM

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

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

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

Melanesian Brotherhood Great Conference 2019

Great Conference of the Melanesian Brotherhood – October 2019

What a huge joy it was to be in the Solomon Islands again and to spend two weeks at the Headquarters of the Melanesian Brotherhood at Tabalia. I was very privileged to be invited by the Melanesian Brotherhood to lead the Brotherhood Retreat and Workshop for Brothers and Companions for their Great Conference 2019. It was wonderful that two of our Companions from the UK Barbara Molyneux and Ruth Chesworth also took part and presented the report from our UK Companions.

The new Archbishop and Father of the Brotherhood The Most Revd Leonard Dawea attended the retreat, and chaired the election of new leaders and the conference presiding at the feast day of St Simon and Jude and the admission of 26 new Brothers. The Melanesian Brotherhood (MBH) elected Br. Jairus Honiseu as their new Head Brother and Br. Augustine Paikeni as Assistant Head brother. Br. Jairus is from Lenga village in Ulawa Island, Makira Ulawa Province and Br. Augustine is from Isabel. The brothers also elected Br. Alister Knights as the Regional Head Brother for Solomon Islands Region; Br. Enis David as Regional Head Brother for Southern Region, that includes Vanuatu, and Br. Joe Narui as the Regional Head Brother for Papua New Guinea.

Archbishop Leonard Dawea and the New MBH Leaders
Archbishop Leonard Dawea and the New MBH Leaders

I found the Melanesian Brotherhood in very good heart. The Headquarters at Tabalia is looking more beautiful than ever and we and many others were welcomed with such overwhelming generosity and hospitality. Brother Nelson Bako who studied with us at Chester College had done a wonderful job as Head Brother for the last three years. Huge gardens had been prepared so that all the many guests could be fed and we were overwhelmed by the care and planning that had gone into making this conference such an inspiring event. It really was like living the Beatitudes. The retreat I led focused on the foundation stones of religious life- silence, service, sacrament, scripture, sharing and stability and in the workshop we explored these themes with Brothers and Companions really participating. In the evenings we had talks, dance and music and it was wonderful to see a great production of Ini Kopuria about the founder of the Brotherhood, a play I first wrote for the community more than 20 years ago. I was also so pleased to be there with our UK companions Barbara and Ruth who really have served as such faithful Companions: our Companions and support and prayer for the Brotherhood in UK is so deeply appreciated and the Melanesian Brotherhood particularly asked me to convey to all Companions, the Melanesian Mission UK and all their friends- their greetings, thanks and prayers.

Richard Cater and Most Reverend Leonard Dawea
Richard Cater and Most Reverend Leonard Dawea

The Brotherhood Conference focused on the work in all the Regions including Papua New Guinea Vanuatu and Philippines. Particularly moving were the stories of how the Brothers had soi bravely faced the volcano on Ambae in Vanuatu and relocation of their household. Other exciting developments were the training programme and library at Tabalia, the new mission household in Australia and the new household planned for the Torres Straits and the courage and perseverance of the the Brothers in Palawan in the Philippines. I was particularly impressed by the wise and careful strategic planning and financial management of the Melanesian Brotherhood through the wise oversight of Alphonse Garimae. His very important role and dedicated work was acknowledged by all at the conference. Our new Father of the Brotherhood and Archbishop presided over everything with such a wonderfully refreshing humility, wisdom and grace. It was so wonderful to be back with this inspiring community and to worship and pray with them again.

Revd Richard Carter

Dean of St Barnabas Cathedral receiving Prince Charles before the service

HRH The Prince of Wales – Honiara, Solomon Island Speeches

In November His Royal Highness Prince Charles made his first visit to the Solomon Islands, delighting crowds with a speech at the Lawson Tama Ground in Pidgin and an address to Parliament, which focused on democracy and protecting the natural environment.

Prince Charles Delivered His Speech In Pidgin To A Packed Lawson Tama Ground

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales at the Solomon Islands Parliament, Honiara

In this shared endeavour, it is my dearest wish that The Solomon Islands might become a beacon – in this region and across the Commonwealth as a whole – showing how extraordinary natural capital can be harnessed sustainably to guarantee the prosperity and security of future generations.

Your Excellency;
Honourable Speaker;
Honourable Prime Minister and Ministers of the Crown;
Honourable Members;
Officers of Parliament;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

I need hardly say how delighted I am to be able to join all of you here this morning and to bring with me the warmest greetings of Her Majesty The Queen, who has asked me to convey her heartfelt best wishes to this assembly.  For my part, I cannot tell you what pleasure it gives me to have this opportunity to visit the Solomon Islands and to be able to speak to you here, at the very heart of Solomon Islands democracy.

It has long been my wish to visit these islands, having heard so much about them from The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh following their own visits, which they both recall so fondly.  I remember my father telling me about the warmth of the welcome he was given on his first visit here in 1959, when an extraordinary multitude of canoes was paddled out to greet the Royal Yacht Britannia and escort her as she approached Gizo Island. Much more recently, my son and daughter-in-law, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, greatly enjoyed their visit to the Solomon Islands in 2012, as part of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and were enormously touched by the welcome extended to them.

Over the years I have had the particular pleasure of meeting a large number of remarkable people from these islands, either in London or at Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings and other gatherings, and have followed closely the journey that this country, and her people, have taken.

Your journey has not always been an easy one, of course, as each of you will know far better than I do.  This building, and this city, are built on the very ground on which the Battle of Guadalcanal was fought. This was a crucial turning point of the Second World War, when so many Solomon Islanders endured such immense suffering, and served with such distinction, in order to defend their own freedom as well as that of their Allies. We must never forget their sacrifice, or the immeasurable difference it made to the course of the war, and to the preservation of the democratic freedoms we all hold dear.

Those freedoms thrive today, as demonstrated by the public support and enthusiasm for the election which took place here recently. The triumph of democracy is a fitting tribute to all those who laid down their lives in these Islands, not just in the Second World War, but also during the difficult period of the tensions in the Solomon Islands almost twenty years ago.

As all of you know, Ladies and Gentlemen, since 2017 and the end of the RAMSI stabilisation mission, the Solomon Islands Government has had sole responsibility for the security of this country.  To have so successfully and peacefully held elections this year without the presence of any external security is a mark of the Solomon Islands’ success in this regard, and a tribute to the Solomon Islanders’ remarkable resilience and commitment to democratic values.

A strong and vibrant democracy, it seems to me, offers the firmest foundation on which to build the future – ensuring that the Solomon Islands and her people are able to rise to the many challenges that lie ahead. How best to maintain peace and understanding. How to improve access to education and healthcare – including the eradication of malaria. And how to empower future generations to achieve their full potential.

With seventy percent of the population of the Solomon Islands aged thirty or under, it seems to me that there is such great opportunity to harness your human capital in support of your future economic growth and collective wellbeing. This means giving young people the skills and personal development training they need to lead productive, fulfilling lives.  It also means tackling the appalling scourge of gender-based violence, as I know so many of you are determined to do, and empowering women to play a full and equal role in your society. In the Solomon Islands, as elsewhere, as long as women face the despicable threat of physical and sexual violence, or discrimination on the basis of their gender, your economy and your society will simply never be able to achieve their full and extraordinary potential.

Alongside this country’s remarkable human capital, the precious natural environment and biodiversity of these islands, both on land and below the water, represent an immense reserve of natural capital.

For, Ladies and Gentlemen, as you appreciate far better than me, your islands are blessed with astonishingly high levels of biodiversity. Your forests are of global importance, as are your coral reefs which are the second most diverse in the world.  But such natural capital wealth – which, if sustainably managed, should be the bedrock of your economic growth is, at the same time, so very fragile.  And, as I am sure you are only too aware, its very fragility is increased immeasurably, and alarmingly, by the growing impact of global warming, climate change and natural capital depletion. As elsewhere in the world, the uniquely precious ecosystems on which we depend for our very existence, are perilously close to a tipping point – after which it will be impossible for them, and indeed for us, to recover.  This is surely a risk we cannot run, for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

However, despite the daunting challenges we face, there are nevertheless immediate remedies to hand which both conserve biodiversity and help to build climate change resilience and economic prosperity.

For example, I have been particularly struck by what I have heard about the great success of the Arnavon Community Marine Park. Such initiatives are absolutely vital for the survival of the critically endangered hawksbill sea turtles, and for the protection of significant areas of coral reef that support such high levels of biodiversity.

At the same time, the Marine Park is, of course, crucially important for the local communities who rely upon it for food.  And as has been proved in these Islands, and elsewhere in the world, Marine Protected Areas are an utterly essential mechanism to increase fisheries catch in the surrounding area. Indeed – and this point requires constant stressing – if the world achieved the target of protecting thirty percent of the Ocean by 2030, the global fishing catch would actually increase by thirty-seven percent. Now I hope you will forgive me saying so, but it seems to me that there is such immense potential for the Solomon Islands to take a leading role in this regard, by protecting, and thus enhancing, more of your marine environment. This would, above all, help to increase dramatically the productivity of your fisheries whilst also offering a major boost to your tourism sector. With this in mind, I have been greatly encouraged to learn of the Solomon Islands’ new Oceans Policy and can only urge you, if I may, to maintain the highest level of ambition in protecting the priceless asset that your oceans represent.

Because the rewards of sustainable oceans management have never been higher, and the costs of inaction have never been more clear. Choosing a healthy ocean, and an inclusive and sustainable blue economy, will require investment and effort, but this will be repaid many times over –  not least through tourism.  And one compelling example of this can be found in the Galapagos islands, where the market price of a shark is about $300, but it has been estimated that the amount the same shark generates over its life through tourism is $5million.

In the same way, on these islands, I know just how crucial your native forests are to your economic prosperity, and how vitally important it is that you secure them as the natural capital from which to draw a continuing income for the future. As the world finally wakes up to the potential of a truly circular economy to decarbonize our world, and to set it on a genuinely sustainable course, it is becoming only too apparent that the bio-economy is going to be of enormous importance. And here again, if you do not mind me saying so, there is an opportunity for these Islands to lead by example and to secure and strengthen your own future prosperity at the same time. Your precious forests, smartly managed, offer a rich and durable source of income, as a uniquely sustainable supply of biodiversity for the new technologies that are now already emerging. At the same time, we have to remember that they play an indispensable role in improving our shared resilience to climate change, which threatens the prosperity and security of us all, by capturing carbon and maintaining essential rainfall.

Now responding to these challenges will require us all to work together across boundaries, and between Governments, the private sector, and populations. At last, the financial services sector and the capital markets have woken up to the huge potential now available from genuinely sustainable investment opportunities and the natural assets represented by your forests and the surrounding ocean could offer increasingly valuable structured investment opportunities.

In this shared endeavour, it is my dearest wish that The Solomon Islands might become a beacon – in this region and across the Commonwealth as a whole – showing how extraordinary natural capital can be harnessed sustainably to guarantee the prosperity and security of future generations. It is my dearest wish that the Commonwealth might become an ever-more important means by which its members, united as we are by historic ties and common values, work together to make full and sustainable use of the natural and human capital upon which, collectively, we can draw in order to secure the future for our grandchildren.

Honourable Members, I know how seriously you take this responsibility which rests with each of you. I know you are determined to do what is right, not just for today, but in the interest of the generations that will follow. For my part, I can only say how closely I will be following your progress, wishing you well, and praying for your success.

May God bless each of you and may God bless the Solomon Islands.

ACoM Communications
Photo Credits – Solomon Focus and Alex Waimora

Daphne Jordan, His Excellency Sir David Vunagi, Lady Mary Vunagi and Cate Edmonds

General Report of Melanesian Trip September 2019

After a long journey it was great to be greeted by Father Rayner in Port Villa. After settling into our hotel, we were visited by Karen Bell the new High Commissioner for Vanuatu. Karen explained her new role as there hasn’t been a HC in Vanuatu for fourteen years. It was interesting to note that with Brexit looming the British Government were setting up fourteen new High Commissions in the South Pacific, the West Indies and in Africa. Karen explained that she had three main roles; Working with the Government on issues of democracy, World relations and especially trade with Britain, and Climate Change. We introduced her to the work of MMUK and the schools and links programme as well as promoting the Article One project. Karen has a limited budget for projects but would be interested in a proposal from Article One. She was also interested in being introduced to Bishop James and I have forwarded his contact details. She saw that the three important and leading groups in the Vanuatu life were the Government, the Chiefs and the Church.

Cate Edmonds, Rt Rev James Tama Bishop of Vanuatu and New Caledonia and Daphne Jordon
Cate Edmonds, Rt Rev James Tama Bishop of Vanuatu and New Caledonia and Daphne Jordan

The next day we departed early for Espiritu Santo where we were met by old friends Joses, Diocesan Secretary, though recently retitled Operations Manager and Augustine, Director of Education. We later met with Bishop James and his staff at the Diocesan offices. We were able to explain a little about ourselves, they were shocked that as a Rural Dean I had responsibility for oversight of 32 parishes, and our project. The next few days were spent visiting school and a report has already been made.

We were invited to a special service at the Cathedral on the Sunday for a Mother’s Union Service where 10 new members were admitted by Bishop James. It was a wonderful, joyous service and an honour to be present.

Before leaving Santo, we visited a Rural Training Centre which had been relocated from Ambae, they were struggling in the limited facilities. They we pleased to receive visitors but looked forward to returning to Ambae.

Finally, we met with members of the Mothers’ Union who explained their work. We were particularly interested in their work around gender-based violence. Much good work is being carried out by the MU.
Leaving Vanuatu, we departed for the next leg of the project to Honiara to start the school visits etc. a separate report is available.

We were honoured to be part of the Enthronement of Archbishop Leonard and took the greetings from Bishop Robert and the Diocese of Exeter as well as greetings from ASM associates and people of Feniton. Following the 4-hour service and speeches we were invited to lunch, presentations and entertainment.

Cate Edmonds at Archbishop Leonard Dawea’s Enthronement
The highlight of the afternoon was the Cathedral Sunday School’s presentation of a worship song by dance and drama. They were inspirational and certainly raised the roof.

Cathedral Sunday School worship song by dance

The next day Rev Cate travelled out to Verana’aso to visit the Sisters, see separate report and Daphne spent time in the Education Office. The Sisters are struggling to raise funds for a new chapel as theirs is unsafe. Sadly, it feels that the Sisters are the “poor relation” and receive little support and guidance.

During our stay in Honiara we also visited the Mother’s Union Headquarters and received updates on their work. They were preparing for a grand celebration of 100 years of Mother’s Union later that month.

We also visited the Christian Care Centre, at present there are 40 residents including children and many of these residents were teenage girls who had escaped their abusive homes. The Sisters of the Church and the Melanesian Sisters work together at the CCC to provide a safe and homely environment. We were very impressed by the facilities in a beautiful setting. On arrival we met Sister Veronica who was visiting as well. Most residents are only there for a couple of weeks before they return home if it is felt safe. Sadly, many return again later.

During our stay we made a courtesy visit to David Ward the British High Commissioner to explain our project. It was interesting to meet up with him before he departs for Samoa and to hear more about the political situation in the Islands.

After negotiation we were invited to tea at Government House to meet Sir David and Lady Mary Vunagi, the recently appointed Governor General of the Solomon Islands. It was lovely to meet up with old friends, who certainly were having to get used to a very different way of life.

Eventually it was time to return home. It had been an exhausting but interesting and enjoyable 3 weeks. We hoped that we have made some significant contributions in education and relationship building. We thank MMUK for all their support and look forward to further engagement.

Rev Canon Cate Edmonds