THE Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) Bishop for the Diocese of Central Solomons (DOCS) the Right Reverend Ben Seka has officially retired following a church ceremony held on Sunday in Tulagi, Central Islands Province.
Those who attended witnessed the official laying down of the Diocesan Pastoral Staff on the altar of the Diocesan Cathedral in Tulagi. The Staff was handed to him when he was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese on 20th February 2011.
A statement from the Anglican Church of Melanesia said Bishop Seka is the second Bishop of the diocese succeeding the late Bishop Charles Koete.
He served as Bishop of DOCS for 11 years. He was the Principal of Bishop Patteson Theological College (BPTC), Kohimarama when he was elected Bishop.
Archbishop of ACOM, the Most Rev. Leonard Dawea in his acknowledgment speech after the ceremony, thanked Bishop Seka for his enormous contributions to the ACOM as a priest and bishop.
“Bishop Ben participated in various provincial decision-making bodies of the church including the General Synod, Executive Council, Council of Bishops (CoB), Diocesan and Provincial electoral boards.
“Given his heavy involvement in these important decision-making bodies, it is not hard to see the extent of Bp. Seka’s influence in the life of the ACOM over the last 11 years,” Archbishop Dawea said.
Retired Bishop Seka also thanked the ACOM and all members of the church for the support rendered to him and his family during his term as an active priest and bishop of the ACOM.
“To my diocesan staff who have been with me in the past and those who have just came into the diocese; we have shared, worshipped and celebrated together in the past 11 years. I thank you for your unceasing love and support in one way or the other.
“It’s time for me to move so that another Bishop will come and continue the work that God has chosen him to carry on,” the Retired Bishop said in his final remarks to a packed Christ the King Cathedral in Tulagi on Sunday.
He also thanked government representatives, other sister churches, business houses and stakeholders in Central Islands Province for the excellent working relationship, and the support rendered to the Diocese of Central Solomons during his eleven years as bishop of the diocese.
“Without your support, DOCS will not be able to achieve some of the achievements we have seen in the diocese,” the retired Bishop added.
Representatives from the various parishes, districts, ministerial groups, institutions and family members have all echoed the same sentiment of acknowledgement to the retired Bishop for his fine achievements in the diocese and the whole church.
The newly completed and commissioned Bishop Seka Building that will house the diocesan head office with big conference rooms both upstairs and ground floor, with kitchens and other amenities is one major achievement of Bishop Seka before retiring.
The Archbishop calls on the whole church to pray for Bishop Seka and his family as they take on a well-deserved retirement.
Bishop Seka will be succeeded by Rev. Stephen Koete (Bishop-Elect) who will be consecrated bishop on 27 February 2022. The Archbishop will be the supervising bishop of the diocese during this period of transition.