Melanesian Bishops visit Chester Diocese


undefinedTwo bishops from the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM) came to Church House, Daresbury before going on to visit several other places in our diocese. The Bishop of Guadalcanal, the Rt Revd Nathan Tome (currently acting senior bishop in ACoM); and the Bishop of Banks and Torres in Vanuatu, the Rt Revd Patteson Worek, are PICTURED.

The bishops were on a visit organised by our Melanesian Link. John Freeman, Barbara Molyneux and Sally Spencer of the Link accompanied the bishops on most of their exploration of our diocese and its mission.

While at Church House, Daresbury, on Thursday 21 January they chatted to the various departments.  

The visit is intended to build on our well-established Link.

The Melanesian bishops visited the Sisters of Jesus’ Way (community of Anglican sisters) before coming to Daresbury.

They will also be: meeting with Bishop Peter; taking a tour of the Chester walls; and meeting with Bishops Keith and Libby, various senior clergy and the Chester Companions of the Melanesian Brotherhood.

Bishop Nathan will attend services at St Peter’s and The Good Shepherd churches in Heswall. Bishop Patteson will attend a service at St Saviour’s church, Oxton.  Both the Melanesian bishops will attend a service at Chester Cathedral as part of Christian Unity Week. 

The Anglican church was brought to Melanesia by the first Bishop of New Zealand, George Augustus Selwyn, in 1849. It remained part of the Church of the Province of New Zealand until it became an ecclesiastical province in its own right in 1975. It is now a fully indigenous and autonomous province composed of nine dioceses. The Church of Melanesia encompasses Solomon Islands, the Republic of Vanuatu and the French Territory of New Caledonia in the South Western Pacific.

Bishop Nathan took part in the Primates' meeting at Lambeth before coming to visit our diocese. He said: “Our discussions here have much to do with the impact of globalisation, comparatively, in Melanesia and in England. Our coming here is very important – for the continuity of the established relationship built up in recent years.”

Bishop Patteson added: “We have come here to hear your stories and to share our stories. From this sharing we learn from each other, and we take the key morals from the stories to shape the journey of the Church. From the stories we also establish lasting human and Church relationships."

Below - Bishop Libby with Bishops Nathan and Patteson at Church House, Daresbury