The sixth Archbishop of the Anglican Church Melanesia and the Bishop of the Diocese of Central Melanesia (DOCM), the Most Reverend George Angus Takeli is retiring from official Church duty.
He was officially farewelled last Sunday in a moving Liturgical service at Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral in Honiara.
Towards the end of the of the service, the retiring Archbishop officially placed on the Altar the two symbols representing his pastoral oversight; the Primatial Cross of the Archbishop of Melanesia and the Pastoral staff of the bishop of Central Melanesia. These will be handed to the new Archbishop when he is installed later on this year.
A large congregation including the Bishops from the nine Dioceses, representative from the Melanesian Mission Trust Board in New Zealand, supporters from Melanesian Mission in UK and other government dignitaries came to witness the service.
Retired Archbishop Takeli in his Sermon said the Liturgical Service marks the beginning of a time of prayer and reflection for our Church to uphold members of the Provincial Electoral Board to seek the mind of God to reveal the next person to lead the Church.
“As we choose our next Archbishop, it is important for us to see the mission field and the future of our Church with fresh eyes or with the eyes of God,” he added.
“God did not allow me to continue on with the plans I have for the Church; however, he has already anointed someone amongst his Church to continue this work into the future,” he said.
In his farewell address, the retired Archbishop thanked the chairman and team from the Melanesian Mission Trust Board in New Zealand, members of the Trust and supporters of the Melanesian Mission in the United Kingdom, oversea partners, Diplomatic Offices in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands through relevant Ministries, Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) and Solomon Islands Full Gospel Association (SIFGA) for friendship and support during his term as Archbishop of the ACOM.
Retired Archbishop Takeli came into office as the Primate of the ACOM on Sunday 17th April 2016 with his vision: Vision of an emerging church: building a new community of God’s people in the Anglican Church of Melanesia”.
The new community is the church that must grow mature in her Spiritual, socio-political, cultural and economical wellbeing. His three priorities involve; building an active Missionary Church, building an effective Administration and building a self-supporting Church.
In his three-year period, retired Archbishop Takeli had begun implementing some of his plans towards this vision for the Church.
These included; the relaunching of the Decade of Renewal and Evangelism, providing training for council of Bishops and wives, clergy and lay administrators, in the areas of leadership and administration, mission work and pastoral care; raising the Clergy remuneration, and the building of new office complex for ACOM Provincial Head Quarters; to name a few.
Garry Swift of MMTB New Zealand, Dr. Abraham Hauriasi, ACOM General Secretary and the Senior Bishop of the church, the Right Rev Nathan Tome who is now looking after the office of the Archbishop who when sharing similar sentiments acknowledged the leadership of the retired Archbishop over the past three years.
“You end your term of leadership with many and big achievements though within a short period of time,” Bishop Tome said.
Archbishop retired in office as he reached his 60th Birthday yesterday, 25th of March 2019.