When delivering his sermon, Bishop of Malaita Diocese, Rt Rev Sam Sahu told people of Sulufou and from neigbouring communities that only a living faith in Christ will produce a living church, one that is alive in worship, alive in caring, alive in teaching and learning, alive in mission.
Rev Sahu reminded the Sulufou people to embrace a double vision.
“On one hand you should prepare your life to enter the heavenly city, the new Jerusalem, where all God’s children will enjoy for eternity the salvation and freedom on heaven.”
He told the more than 3,000 Sulufou island Anglican parishioners to prepare well to enjoy an earthly city, a new Malaita, a new Solomon Islands, where joy, peace, progress can be enjoyed by all.
The Bishop emphasised that the Sulufou church as well as other Malaita Diocese churches or prayer houses must contribute in prayer towards the overall development of Malaita and Solomon Islands and that the number one duty of the church is to pray for the church leaders, community leaders, and pray for the government leaders as well.
“We must be faithful and fruitful in the service of prayer and intercession,” he reminded the people.
Opening the church building he told the parishioners: “The building has been completed it is now given back to God and it is man’s best offerings to God’s worship.”
Meanwhile, the Sulufou church was built over 27 years with an estimated cost of more than $1.5 million according to the church committee chairman Dudley Wate in his speech during the consecration.
He expressed his gratitude for the wonderful contributions the people of Sulufou and other people gave towards the completion of the church building.
Sulufou islanders from across the country came together in numbers to celebrate the Christmas together but purposely to witness the opening of the church and showed their appreciation to each other for their hard work in achieving such a milestone in their community.
This includes 60 members of the Sulufou community of Rendova, Western Province.
The church, which can accommodate more than 1000 people, also has a Lady’s Chapel which was named after Father Jack Taloifula, the Anglican priest who also evangelised the people of Sulufou from paganism to Christianity.
The government representative David Tome, Minister for Agriculture and also member for Baegu Asifola Constituency, who attended the celebrations talked on the government’s continued support towards churches in the country.
Bad weather forced a government delegation, which includes Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga and Namson Tran, member for West Honiara not to attend the event.
The event was successful under the guidance of the church consecration committee chairman, Gabriel Suri.
Celebrations to mark the church opening started on 27 December with blessing of the village leaders of the five tribes which includes the enthronement of Paramount chief Dudley Wate.
The church opening activities include feasting, singing and dancing an opportunity for the artificial islanders of Sulufou to express thank you to each other for working together to achieve one of their village dreams.
– By Jennifer Wate