THE Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM), yesterday, marked its 48 years since leaving the Anglican Church of New Zealand and becoming an own Province.
ACOM, also known as the Church of the Province of Melanesia and the Church of Melanesia (COM), is a church of the Anglican Communion and includes nine dioceses in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. The Archbishop of Melanesia is Leonard Dawea. He succeeded the retired archbishop, George Takeli.
The church was established by George Selwyn in 1849 and was initially headed by a Bishop of Melanesia. One of the important features of the province’s journey over the years is the work of its vessel, MV Southern Cross, in various incarnations.
It was first based in New Zealand, the missionaries, mainly from Oxbridge and the public schools, established their base on Norfolk Island, bringing Melanesian scholars there to learn Christianity until the school was closed in 1918.
Today, there are nearly 200,000 Anglicans out of an estimated population of more than 800,000 people in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and a newly formed parish in Nouméa, New Caledonia.
By FOLLET JOHN
Solomon Star, Newsroom