The Enthronement ceremony was officiated by the senior Bishop Rt Reverend Nathan Tome and all the diocesan bishops of ACOM at the Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral.
Delivering his address at the ceremony the Most Reverend Archbishop Leonard Dawea thanked the Senior Bishop, the Rt Rev. Nathan Tome for his leadership over the Church for the last seven months of leadership interregnum.
“It is indeed overwhelming to see for myself so many of you who have come to witness this occasion of another milestone in the life and mission of ACOM.
“I am so assured to see the great support you represent, so let me say this you all; because of your trust and confidence in me, I will do my very best to be your servant shepherd.
“I wish to thank so many of you who sent messages of congratulations and best wishes and support of prayers to me and family on the occasion of my election.
“I greatly appreciate such support of prayers; hence, ‘I will be because of what you will be to me.’’
“May I offer and assure you of the prayers and support of the Anglican Church of Melanesia as a stakeholder to our national and provincial governments will always appreciate continual corporate efforts with you in your national and provincial developments.
“May I also assure our Mission Partners in United Kingdom and New Zealand, Oceania Sister Churches, Christian Churches in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, Non-Government Organizations, Provincial Governments and Traditional Leaders that ACOM will continue to work together with you. I assure you of our prayers and support.
”I wish to offer sincere gratitude to our previous Bishops, Clergies and laities for their huge contributions to the growth and development of our Church from being a missionary diocese to what is now an autonomous Provincial Church.
“On this occasion, I particularly want to accord due respect and gratitude to our retired Archbishops; Late Archbishop John Wallace Chisholm, Late Archbishop Norman Palmer, Late Archbishop Amos Waiaru, Late Archbishop Ellison Pogo, Archbishop David Vunagi and Archbishop George Takeli.
“All of whom were champion leaders, by whose great contributions, wisdom and foresight ACOM consistently grows and develops to this day,’’ said Archbishop Dawea.
He is the seventh Archbishop in succession since the Anglican Church of Melanesia was inaugurated in January 1975 as an independent ecclesiastical province from New Zealand and he succeeds the Most Rev George Angus Takeli who retired on the 24th of March this year.
Archbishop Dawea was elected by the ACOM Provincial Electoral Board on the 25th of June at Tabalia - headquarters of the Melanesian Brotherhood of the Church, West of Honiara.
He was the Bishop of the Diocese of Temotu (DOT) when he was elected to the highest Episcopal position within the Anglican Church of Melanesia and he is 47 years of age and is the youngest Archbishop in the history of the ACOM.
Dawea is from the Reefs islands in Temotu and is married to Dorah Dawea from Guadalcanal and have two children.
He holds a Bachelor of Theology with Honours (BTh/Hons.) in the field of Theology and Ethics from the University College Chester (now Chester University) in the United Kingdom.
Prior to being an Archbishop of the church he served the ACOM as a full member of the Melanesian Brotherhood from 1995 to 2007.
He was ordained into the Priesthood in 2007. After his ordination he served within the Melanesian Brotherhood as tutor and chaplain.
In 2013 he was appointed the Mission Secretary of DOT from 2013 to 2014 and later as Diocesan Secretary from 2015 to 2016.
The previous Archbishops of the church were, - The Most Reverend Norman Palmer 1975 – 1987, The Most Rev. Amos Waiaru 1988 – 1993, The Most Rev. Sir Ellison Pogo 1994 – 2008, The Most Rev. David Vunagi 2009 – 2015 and the Most Rev. George Takeli 2016 – 2019.
The Anglican Province of Melanesia covers three independent nations of Solomon Islands, the Republic of Vanuatu and the French Trust Territory of New Caledonia.
Its provincial headquarters is in Honiara with a sub - Provincial Administration Office at Luganville on Santo in Vanuatu. It has seven dioceses in Solomon Islands and two in Vanuatu.