More than 4,000 people packed into St Barnabas’ Provincial Cathedral in Honiara, on Guadalcanal, one of the Solomon Islands last month, for the enthronement of the Most Revd George Takeli as the sixth Archbishop of Melanesia.
The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, and the Island’s Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui and his wife Lady Kabui; joined a large number of national and international guests who had travelled to the Pacific to welcome the new Primate of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM).
The Archbishops of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, the Most Revd Philip Richardson, the Most Revd Clyde Igara, headed a list of Anglican guests which included bishops, clergy and laity from Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand and the USA; as well as members of the Melanesian Mission Trust Board and Melanesian Mission UK.
During the service, the new Archbishop was enthroned by ACoM’s senior bishop, the Right Revd Nathan Tome, Bishop of the Diocese of Guadalcanal; and installed as Bishop of Central Melanesia by the Vicar General, Father Philip Rongota.
In his sermon, Archbishop Takeli spoke about building a new community of God’s people in the province; and called on all Anglicans in the Province to engage with his vision of an emerging church.
“This vision forms God’s appointed plan to renew His church in the Anglican Church in the Province of Melanesia today,” the Archbishop said. “The vision is to develop this church to grow mature in her spiritual, socio-political, cultural, and economic well-being.
“The strategic goal in this vision is to develop this church to become a self-supporting, self-reliant, and self-propagating church.”
He said that the Church would do this by establishing “an active missionary church through an active evangelism and renewal program”; establishing strong administration for the effective delivery of mission in the province; and developing “an aggressive and industrious attitude in her investment division to enable this church raise finances to support its own mission work.”
He said that with the “support and working together” of church, civil and community leaders in the Solomon Islands, the Republic of Vanuatu and New Caledonia, and their international mission partners, “I am confident that we can build this new emerging church in the Province of Melanesia beginning from today.”
Archbishop George Takeli was elected by the Provincial Electoral Board of the Anglican Church of Melanesia on the 12 February 2016. He He succeeds Archbishop David Vunagi who retired in September 2015.