Bishop Henry Bull ordained under corrugated iron roof, propped up by scaffolding

Henry Bull

A new Anglican bishop in the Diocese of Polynesia has been consecrated under a makeshift shelter on Vanua Levu, rather than the cathedral in Suva.

More than 1000 people attended the ordination of Father Henry Bull as the new suffragan bishop of the Anglican Church in the Northern Division.

He was ordained on Sunday (10 December) under a large corrugated iron roof, held up by scaffolding because the journey to Holy Trinity Cathedral in Suva would have been too difficult for his supporters.

Anglican Taonga, the official news service of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, put it this way: “Around those parts, many folk are subsistence farmers – and for them, a long and complicated trip to Suva, on the far side of Fiji’s other main island, Viti Levu, for an ordination in Holy Trinity Cathedral was possible in theory, maybe – but so too, is flying to the moon.”

Henry Bull was born and raised on the remote coast of Vanua Levu. And his ministry radiates from the Church of The Holy Cross in Dreketi – which he helped build.

“I wanted the people to know that the real church is not the buildings – but they themselves, the living stones,” he told Anglican Taonga.

Archbishop Winston Halapua, the Bishop of Polynesia, said that the idea that Episcopal ordinations have to be done in cathedrals “is what has trapped us in the past.”

He said: “What we have seen today is that where the people are – that’s like a cathedral. This is eye-opening for the diocese.”

Archbishop Philip Richardson, the senior bishop of the New Zealand dioceses, commented: “One of the great characteristics of Anglican leadership is a sense of being incarnated in community – being really embedded and immersed in community.”


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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