A lone effort to re-establish Anglicanism on Pitcairn Island

An American clergyman is seeking funding to re-establish an Anglican presence on Pitcairn Island.

The St Helena Star in the United States reported that John Brantley, who claims to be an Anglican Rite Old Catholic priest, is hoping to get to Pitcairn.

At present, the Seventh Day Adventist Church is the only form of organised religion on Pitcairn.

The Star article stated the isolated island’s population is about 60, with about 25 being active Adventists.

A Saturday worship service draws between 20 and 45 people.

But there are members of other faiths on Pitcairn including Buddhists, Catholics and Protestants.

An article in the Wall Street Journal last month puts the population at only 49, with many of them at or near retirement age.

Locals are trying to encourage immigration to the remote island 5300kms east of New Zealand, but without success.

“We have heard rumours about this Anglican clergyman coming to Pitcairn,” Pitcairner Kari Young said.

“If he does come, he will have to go through the same process as other immigrants or visitors, we can’t discriminate,” she said.

“I doubt if anyone here will be keen to attend his church meetings though,” she added.

Meralda Warren, another Pitcairner, said: “We have had many people come to try and turn the Pitcairn Island people to their religion.”

“I am not a not a church-goer, but I do believe in God. People like our current (Seventh-day Adventist) pastor, who is from Tahiti, a genuine believer, are the kind of people we listen to,” she said.

Pitcairners are descended from sailors who mutinied on the HMS Bounty and the Polynesians who accompanied them.

In the 19th century, Anglicanism was the faith of the islanders, although for much of that time they had no clergy.

In the 1870s and 1880s, Adventism established a presence on Pitcairn.

According to the funding website, Indiegogo.com, Brantley’s appeal for funds started on June 22 and is set to close on August 21.

With 23 days left, no one had donated.

A sex-abuse scandal in 2004 saw several Pitcairn men convicted and sentenced to imprisonment.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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