Tag: Community of the Sisters of Melanesia

New Melanesian Sisters

New Chapel Appeal for The Community of the Sisters of Melanesia

PLEASE HELP THEM RAISE MONEY FOR A MUCH NEEDED NEW CHAPEL

New Melanesian Sisters

The Community of the Sisters of Melanesia (CSM) is an order of women in the Anglican Communion. They train young women for ministry and mission and provide teaching, pastoral and social care plus prison ministry. They also give essential support to survivors of domestic abuse at the Christian Care Centre. The current chapel at Verana’aso, was rebuilt after extensive damage during WWII. Years of cyclones and tropical rains have damaged its corrugated iron and palm leaf structure leaving it no longer safe for worship. This forces the Sisters and Novices to meet for prayer in their community dining room and dormitories. You can find out more about the community by watching our short film:

WHAT IS NEEDED?

The community is raising money to build a new, modern chapel able to withstand high winds and bad weather. Architectural plans have been commissioned but the £84,000 building work is too expensive for the community alone. The Sisters have already raised £46,000 through local and international donations but they need our help if they are to realise their goals.

New Chapel Design

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Please support the UK Associates of CSM in our appeal to raise £15,000 towards this construction project. Your donation will go towards the construction of a safe and modern chapel, which will serve the next generation of Sisters and ensure that Anglican religious community life in Melanesia will continue to thrive.

Please also download the UK Associates of CSM ‘New Chapel Appeal‘ flyer and share where you are able to do so.

HOW TO DONATE

There are a number of ways you can give to the UK Associates’ CSM Chapel Appeal.

Online: Visit mmuk.net/donate and give online using our Facebook or Virgin moneygiving fundraisers.

Bank Transfer: Go to mmuk.net/donate, phone 01404 851656 or email mission@mmuk.net for bank details.

By Cheque: Payable to The Melanesian Mission. Post cheques to: The Melanesian Mission, 21 The Burlands, Feniton, Honiton, EX14 3UN. Please use the reference ‘CSM Chapel’. To Gift Aid your donation please email mission@mmuk.net for a Gift Aid form.

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY OF THE SISTERS OF MELANESIA

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

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

Community of the Sisters of Melanesia New Chapel Plans

Community of the Sisters of Melanesia – December 2019 Update

Community of the Sisters of Melanesia New Chapel Plans
Community of the Sisters of Melanesia New Chapel Plans

Dear Associates, Friends and supporters of the Community of the sisters of Melanesia Greetings from the sisters, Novices, Chaplain, staff and children living with the sisters. In this regard, we have some updates to inform you with regards to the mission and ministry, life and service of the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia. As stated in my June Report, the community current population is up to 48 Novices and 50 sisters. However one sister have released during the feast of St. Stephen Taroniara and the Martyrs of Melanesia so now we have 49 sisters. From June up until now there are girls coming to observe and now they have submitted their applications to join as aspirants next year. The Community is expecting more girls to arrive in the couple of months time.

Chapel Project
We acknowledge the support all of you have given which contributed to the amount of $295,298.50 in balance. Thank you UK Associates and supporters and supporters in Australia.

UK Associates are keen to help the community progress their plans for a new chapel, which they have needed for quite a while. Here is a film which was shot in 2016 showing the condition of the chapel at that time.

Solar Project
The Community would like to also acknowledge the support you all made to the Community in funding the solar lighting. We still to have solar lighting for the Class room and the Aspirants. Thank you UK associates and supporters.

Training
The Community have three classes with five staff and two sisters as additional staff. These two sisters have completed their certificate studies at the Bishop Patterson Theological Education in Distance mode and are waiting for their graduation this month.

Mission
As usual, each of the Households have their own programs which they held teachings on various topics on issues and other biblical stories with Christian people. Sisters do more visits with the olds, widows, youth groups and families. Apart from this we have three (3) sisters posted to the Christian care centre to assist women and children brought with many problems.

The Community also received one of our sisters who is in PNG. Sister Marian Shanko forwarded her Report which she presented it to the Provincial Council meeting of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea. She reports on two parts Firstly; Daily Christians Ministry in the Parish she served-Madang and secondly “The Walkerton Ministry within 5 Parishes in Simbai Dean with its Outstations and Tsendiap Parish in Jimi Dean. We shared her challenges faced by herself which we cannot possibly send other sisters to assist her due to financial implications the Community is facing. However it is our prayer that God will work in His ways to send more sisters to reach out to establish this Household abroad. She highlights “Full maintenance of the sisters’ convent, admitting new novices and ministries to reach in both rural and remote places” as purpose of the fundraising drive she did in 5th July to 10th August 2019.

Events
The Community of the sisters of Melanesia have nominated the following candidates in reparation of the coming Election of new Leaders during the General Conference next year in September 2020.We hope to see some of you to attend this very important event. In your own time please remember the Election of the Community which will takes place next year.

This month the Sisters and Novices are preparing for the Christmas Mission in the Tasimboko Parishes in East Guadalcanal – Diocese of Guadalcanal. They will present teachings and dramatize the birth of our Lord. In your prayers remember them.

Visitors
This year we recorded few visits of our Associate Rev. Cate Edmonds, Ms Elizabeth and other guest attending the MBH great conference in Tabalia. The Community indeed so honoured to receive these well hearted friends and our supporters coming. It shows us the heart and respect you have towards this Community. We look forward for more visits in the future or maybe some of our Community members make some visit to associates and supporters abroad one day according to the time and will of God.

Community of the Sisters of Melanesia

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 

DoCM ACoM Provincial Youth Convention

Lizzie Campbell – Six Weeks In The Solomons

For six weeks this summer, I travelled to Solomon Islands to experience the Anglican Church and religious orders on the other side of the world. Having left Europe only once before in my life there was little that could prepare me for this life-changing experience.

Before leavingCSM Verana'aso home, I felt trepidation; would I be safe? Would I enjoy myself? How homesick was I going to get? I didn’t expect to see a whole new perspective on my faith and the church into which I will be ordained in 2 years.

Week One: I stayed in Verana’aso with the Melanesian Sisters. Living without running water or electricity was a shock at first, but the wonderful hospitality of the sisters eased the transition! I was delighted by the fresh fruit such as mangoes straight from the tree, and the wonderful sunrises, sunsets and starry skies.

The offices were the rhythm of each day for me, interspersed with attending the Youth Convention at Selwyn College. I’m currently a student at Selwyn College, Cambridge so it was a great experience to attend bible studies and worship at our sister institution!

DoCM ACoM Provincial Youth ConventionI sometimes struggled with the theology taught in the bible study classes, mainly because it was a lot more conservative than I am used to. This was a consistent paradigm shift for me over the course of my trip: namely, what does it mean to be ‘in communion’ with other Anglican churches, and how can the worldwide church live together with our differences in integrity? I believe I have a much better idea of what binds us together as an Anglican communion due to my time in Solomon Islands.

I spent week two in Tabalia with the Melanesian Brotherhood. This week was quieter than the week at Verana’aso, but the worship was louder! I loved to wake up for morning prayer and then to be truly woken up by the singing there.

I enjoyed chatting to the novices and walking along the beach with them. I visited Kohimarama and chatted to students, I edited Brother Christom’s thesis from which I learned a lot about the challenges facing those brothers who transition from life in the order to life in the laity.

Week Three was spent at TNK with the Sisters of the Church. Meeting Sr Veronica was wonderful and talking to her about the joys and challenges of being a woman who is ordained to the priesthood in Solomon Islands was very illuminating.

Week Four on Ysabel was a real highlight of my trip, from the beautiful location of the rest-house where I stayed in Jejevo, to the amazing hospitality I received from local people, inside and outside the church.

I went to an ordination in a town called Nareabu, followed by a feast. This amazing community event was a tremendously spiritual experience for me, reminding me of our call as Christians to serve and be served by one another.

Finally, I spent a week in Honiara, visiting the local schools, the cathedral, attending a celebration for Makira day, and saying goodbye to the friends from the religious communities that I had made during my stay. I also managed on a free day to go scuba diving which was incredible!

My time in Solomon Islands was life changing. I loved to see how others live their lives in such a different way to the one I am living, and yet we are joined together in the Anglican Communion, and the Christian Church. The friends I made will remain in my heart forever, and the experience will inform my ministry. I have learned the benefits of living slowly, welcoming openly and worshipping loudly!

Thank you MMUK for this opportunity, and for all your help and support throughout this once in a lifetime experience.

Lizzie Campbell

Newly admitted to the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia

Community of the Sisters of Melanesia Report – July 2019

Dear associates, friends and supporters of the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia

Greetings from the Sisters, Novices, Chaplain, staff and children living with the sisters. Through January to the end of the month of June we have a few updates to inform you of regarding the mission, ministry, life and service here.

The below briefly reports on the life and ministry, statistics, events and training undertaken.

The Community is glad to have the newly Elected Archbishop as Spiritual Father. We look forward to his enthronement and working together with him.

This year the intake of seventeen novices increased the population of the community, to 50 Sisters and 48 Novices. We have 7 novices admitted as professed sisters (shown above) and 17 aspirants admitted as first year novices during the feast of Pentecost, which was held on June 9th 2019.

Statistics

The table below shows the number of sisters and novices serving in the households within each country;

CSM Statistics Table July 2019
The statistics record five households in which the training headquarters is included and one which is located in Papua New Guinea that is yet to be officially opened.

Mission

The Community of the Sisters of Melanesia continues to post sisters to the households where an outreach mission programme is held. This year sisters were also sent to North West Guadalcanal at West Vaturaga during the Lent & Holy Week to Easter Celebration to conduct teaching and also during weekends in visiting people through the surrounding communities.

Apart from those postings and missions in Solomon Islands, we have three sisters serving in the dioceses of Banks and Torres (DOBT). Unfortunately, we are left with two sisters as one is already released. That does not mean the end, the two sisters worked their best to fulfil ministerial demands in that particular diocese. Part of the co-objective under article 2 clause 3 of the community constitution is to assist youths, and I believe the diocesan mission offices are expecting more mission outreach in the field.

Training

Training is the foundation in building up capacity to empower the work of the sisterhood, and it’s of great need in order to fulfil its goal in the mission and ministry. As usual we continue with the community training of novices this year and include some additional home skills and other activities as part of their training based on self-reliance. However, we need training material, especially for design and printing equipment, cooking and floral guides. We have been involved raising funds for these.

Three sisters continue to do their theological studies, one in Tasia and the other two at St Nicholas extension (BPTC).

Upcoming event

The Community of the Sisters of Melanesia is looking forward to the CSM Council which takes place this year in September 2019. Nomination of new candidacy for the post of Head Sister and her Assistant to be elected next year in the General Conference should be forwarded during the council. We seek your prayer assistance.

Apart from this event, the community is now looking forward for the General Conference next year in September 2020, which will coincide with the 40th anniversary celebration since the establishment of the community. We hope some of you will attend this very important event as we make this open invitation for all.

Community Projects

Chapel Project

We acknowledge the support all of you have given – we now hold a balance of $278,697.80 SBD. Thank you UK Associates and supporters for the amount of £1,000.00 towards the Chapel. However we continue to issue further appeals to our surrounding diocese in aid of this chapel building and we hope to reach the amount of $500,000.00 SBD to start on the work.

Solar Project

The community would like to also acknowledge the support you have all made to the community in funding our solar lighting. We still need solar lighting for the class room and the Aspirants. We acknowledge £600 donated by UK Associates and supporters and $1,000.00 AUD donated by Pru from Australia. This will go towards the remaining building – the Aspirants house costing $5,511.20 SBD and the class rooms, $15,661.40 SBD.

I would like to sincerely thank you all for your continuous encouragement and financial support rendered to the community since November up until now – especially for: novices lunches; staff training; and other staff support.

We will continue to work alongside you through our mission and ministry for the kingdom of God here on earth.

God bless UK Associates, Supporters and Friends and God bless the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia.

Flory

 

Chester Companions

Companions of the Melanesian Brotherhood – Report from Chester and the North Section to Companions and Associates Meeting at St Martin-in-the-Fields – 4th May 2019

In 2018 our Diocese remembered the 30th Anniversary of our Diocesan Link with the Anglican Church of Melanesia. Head Brother Nelson Bako and his Section Elder Brother at Tabalia, Brother Michael Bosawai visited the UK to meet and inspire Companions and friends and were present at our celebration day at Foxhill, our Diocesan Retreat Centre. Our Chaplain Father Richard was also present, along with members of the Pwaisiho Family and two Sisters of the Church. All these Solomon Islanders, I include Father Richard as a Solomon Islander, brought their love and joy of living with them. Father Richard celebrated the Eucharist and Head Brother spoke to us. The Brothers brought a gift of a large cross, constructed by a Brother, for this anniversary at Foxhill. Father Richard interviewed our guests and we has some lovely Melanesian singing, a special day for all at Foxhill. Our two Brothers spent a week in Chester and were able to visit Bishop Peter and Head Brother Nelson visited the University of Chester, from where he graduated in 2011. Section Elder Brother Michael, who has studied agriculture in the Western Province was very happy when Revd Canon Ian Davenport arranged a visit to a farm and a primary school in Malpas, Cheshire. They worshipped at the Cathedral and fitted in visits to St Bridget’s Primary School, West Kirby and Woodchurch High School, with a urban farm situated on a housing estate, both schools being linked with schools in the Solomon Islands. In addition, they visited the Sisters of Jesus Way who are supporting the Sisters of Melanesia. Our Sisters have recently sent books to the Sisters and tools to the Brotherhood which have been much appreciated. The Brothers were able to come to Holy Island on our annual pilgrimage to remember Ini Korpuria, their founder. The Brothers and 20 Companions were led across the sands by our Chaplain.

Chester Companions are able to send funds to provide lunches for Novices at Tabalia every quarter. We aim to meet close to those Feast Days that the Brothers remember. Our best attended meeting has always been on the Feast Day of SS Simon and Jude because for many years this has been hosted by Bishop Willie and Mummie Kate at Gawsworth. Bishop Willie retired at the beginning of this year and they have moved a mile or two down the road to the village of Henbury. The Pwaisihos have been so generous in their friendship, advice and feasting and we wish them a happy retirement and are glad they are still nearby.

We are grateful to Bishop Peter and our Diocese who have been able to help when crises arise as in Vanuatu when the regional HQ has to evacuate their beautiful island of Ambae and relocate at Beau on the island of Malo, where they started with nothing.

The Companions were pleased to welcome Bishop James Tema of Vanuatu and New Caledonia and Bishop Rickson Maomaoru of Malaita and Bishop Peter hosted a supper party for his senior staff and Companions. The two Bishops met with former Dean Stephen Smalley who opened Chester Rest House in1994 and has corresponded with Bishop Rickson since then.

Plans are in hand to have a Martyrs Chapel in Chester Cathedral; this is for modern martyrs and Companions and Brothers are working with the Cathedral.

Three Companions have passed away in the last 12 months, namely Revd Margaret Jones, Jane Bartlett and Sally Spencer, our Chester Companions Secretary. Sally died suddenly and was well known by Brothers who came to UK and all our Companions. A very keen MU member, sang in her church choir, helped at Messy Church, gave lifts, and hosted Bishops and Brothers. She was never late and never too busy to lend a hand, helping to pack and transport boxes for shipments, a perfect friend, sharing joys and sorrows. She is much missed. In addition, we have mourned the sudden passing of Sister Marie, one of the founder members of the Sisters of Jesus Way. She was very happy to give me books to send to the CSM sisters only last December.

We give thanks to our Chaplain Revd Richard Carter for his example and his encouragement.

We thank God for our Melanesian Brothers and Sisters, from whom we can learn so much.

For these and all his mercies may God’s holy name be praised.

Barbara Molyneux

Companions and Associates Meeting

Companions and Associates Meeting at St Martin-in-the-Fields – 4th May 2019

Fifteen Companions and Associates gathered together in the Austen Williams Room of St Martin in the Fields, London with representation from North, South and East Sections of the UK. Revd Richard Carter gave us all a warm welcome and we made our way to the Dick Sheppard Chapel in Sr Martin in the Fields. Revd Catherine Duce presided at a very moving service of Holy Communion to remember the seven Brothers who were martyred 2003. Photographs of the Brothers were placed on the altar and Revd Richard gave very moving tributes to each Brother as Companions lit candles for each Brother.

After the Service we returned to the Austen Williams Room, where we enjoyed a delightful lunch cooked and by our Chaplain. In the absence through illness of the Venerable John Rawlings, Katie Drew read his report of the activities of the South Section and Barbara Molyneux read her report from the North Section. These reports are being circulated to all Companions.

News shared at the meeting and latest news:
We are asked to pray for candidates for the election of MBH leaders on 19th October at Tabalia HQ Solomon Islands: PNG Region – Br Martin Ogoba, Br David Igara, Br Rodney Gearua. South Region Vanuatu – Br Ennis David, Br Felix Raymond, Br Franklin Sale, Br Abraham Huri. Solomon Islands Region – Br George Bugoro, Br Augustin Paikeni, Br Jairus Houniseu, Br Alistair Knights. These candidates were nominated at Regional Conferences. A final list will be revealed at the Brotherhood Council in July. In addition, we are asked to pray for the Bishops and senior priests in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu as they prepare to select a new Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia.

Four Brothers, two from PNG and two from the Solomon Islands are setting up a new Household in Shepparton, Victoria, Australia, one of these Brothers being former Head Brother Matthias Tovotasi who was a member of the Simply Living Mission to England.

Head Brother Nelson Bako and MBH Secretary Alphonse Garimae were recently invited by the Rt Revd Keith Joseph, Bishop of North Queensland to accompany him on his first visit to small islands in his diocese. This has been an interesting experience as they met many of their countryman and people from PNG who have settled there.

Head Brother Nelson Bako is at present in Nairobi taking part in an intercontinental conference organised by the Anglican Communion in London, on the theme ‘Prayer and Renewal of Religious Life’. This is the third of three conferences based on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s three priorities, the first being on ‘Reconciliation’, held in Jerusalem and the second on ‘Evangelism and Witness’, held in Dallas. Head Brother Nelson wrote a paper on prayer and religious life in the Melanesian Brotherhood and is presenting it along with a power point presentation. Theologians from around the world are also giving presentations. This is all going to be put together for a book in readiness for the Lambeth Conference next year and I understand that Archbishop Justin is attending this conference. Head Brother Nelson studied at the University of Chester graduating in 2011.

Meantime, Alphonse Garimae is in Palawan in the Philippines visiting the Brotherhood Household which in a poor area and is giving much needed support and encouragement to Brother Jack and our Brothers and Novices.

Regional Head Brother Chilion Mongagi Of Vanuatu has sent reports of the major task of setting up a new HQ at Beau on the island of Malo after having to evacuate the island of Ambae.
Several Companions are visiting the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu this year and we wish them well.

Dates for our Diaries:
Saturday 15th June 11.00am Exeter Cathedral – Service for Ini’s Day. All Companions and Seekers and Associates are invited to join our Exeter Companions, who are offering accommodation on the Friday evening for those travelling a long distance. Saturday 21st September MMUK AGM and Festival St Mary Redcliffe Bristol.

Barbara Molyneux Secretary UK Companions of the Melanesian Brotherhood May 2019.

CSM Novice Class

UK Associates of The Community of the Sisters of Melanesia – An Update

CSM Novice ClassIn November 2018, UK Associates met in London to discuss ongoing support of the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia. We had a very productive meeting and presentations from Revd Cathy Scoffield, and Martin Haigh, both of whom had been welcomed at Verana’aso over the summer.

CSM have provided a detailed annual report which has been circulated to all UK Associates. CSM numbers have increased, and at autumn 2018 there were 45 Sisters and 39 Novices, with an expected intake of 20 Aspirants in 2019. There are currently five households in Solomon Islands, plus a mobile household in PNG, and a small community house in Vanuatu. Most of the community live at the training headquarters in Verana’aso on Guadalcanal, where four part-time staff assist with teaching and administration.

The community have reported that they are experiencing water shortages due to deforestation. The existing water tanks which were installed in 2015 are working well, but there is now a need for additional tanks because of the increased number of novices.

The installation of solar lighting continues at Verana’aso. The Refectory and the Mother House now have solar lighting and work continues on the accommodation for the Aspirants. The Community are grateful to UK and Australian supporters, and the International Committee of St Martin-in-the Fields, who have made financial contributions towards this project, providing the community with much needed lighting.

The chapel, which was constructed around 60 years ago, had become increasingly dangerous during bad weather. The community arranged for the chapel to be deconsecrated by the former Archbishop David Vunagi in September 2018. Designs have been drawn up for a new chapel, and the community and local Associates are fundraising towards this construction project. UK Associates have agreed to send £1,000 to CSM towards the construction of the chapel. Additional money is to be raised. UK Associates continue to support the Community by providing donations for lunches for the Aspirants, Novices and Sisters who live at Verana’aso.

During summer 2018 the Community welcomed visitors from the UK including Revd Cate Edmonds, Revd Cathy Scoffield, and Martin Haigh. CSM are always glad to welcome visitors to Verana’aso.

First and second-year Novices and Sisters went on mission to Gela at Christmas. Whilst seven third-year Novices undertook their practical on Malaita in January. They visited the outer islands and villages in remote areas within the Anglican Communion. During the Mission they taught about the stewardship of money and time, social changes, evangelism, and dramatised Bible stories.

News story from Sarah Crompton, leader of the UK Associates