The Bishop of the Horn of Africa, Grant LeMarquand, is to step down at the end of October because of the ill-health of his wife and ministry-partner, Dr Wendy LeMarquand. Bishop Grant made the announcement at the conclusion of the graduation ceremony of the Alexandria School of Theology, which was held in All Saints’ Cathedral in Cairo, on Saturday (29 July).
The Horn of Africa is an area bishopric in the Diocese of Egypt, part of the province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. Bishop Grant made his announcement “with a heavy heart” following consultation with Bishop Mouneer Anis, spiritual counsellors, and with the family’s medical doctors.
“The reason for our needing to leave is that Wendy’s health has made it impossible for her to continue to live in Africa,” he said. “As many of you know, a few months ago Wendy experienced terrible pain in her back leading her to seek medical testing and advice. The tests revealed five broken vertebrae and a broken rib. The fragility of the bones have been attributed to osteoporosis and the fractures were due to coughing.
“Originally we believed that the coughing was due simply to asthma, but after further testing it now seems that Wendy has also had lung infections, perhaps several. Wendy’s doctors have been clear that returning to live in Africa would put Wendy’s lungs (and ultimately her heart) at grave risk. She will stay in Pittsburgh for the next two months while I continue to work in Ethiopia. She will come to say farewell during the month of October.”
As Bishop of the Horn of Africa, Bishop Grant has been responsible for the Anglican Church in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somaliland and Eritrea; and has been instrumental in building up the church in the Gambella region of Ethiopia.
“Our hearts are heavy because we love the people in our churches in the Horn of Africa, and we have known God’s presence in our work there, especially in the Gambella region,” he said. “At the same time I have been clear with the clergy in my charge that married people should live together in order to support and uphold one another. And so although it has been suggested by some that one option for our future would be for me to remain as bishop in the Horn of Africa and travel back to visit Wendy from time to time, such an option seems to us to be untenable.”
Following his departure as Bishop of the Horn of Africa, Bishop Grant will continue to serve as a bishop in the Diocese of Egypt and will “continue to visit and contribute in some ways to be determined.”