This Sunday in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, Anglicans around the world will be praying for Iglesia Anglicana de Chile – the Anglican Church of Chile. Here, the Anglican Communion News Service introduces the Province and suggests items for prayer.
The Iglesia Anglicana de Chile – the Anglican Church of Chile – is the newest province in the Anglican Communion; and was birthed following significant growth amongst indigenous Chileans. Like most Anglican Churches in South America, it began with the arrival of Victorian era missionaries. Captain Allen Gardiner arrived in Chile in 1838 with the aim of reaching the Mapuche people. He journeyed through Tierra del Fuego to the land of the yaganes, before dying of starvation in 1851.
His work, which was developed by the South American Mission Society (SAMS), laid the foundations for today’s church, which became independent of the Anglican Church of South America in November 2018.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, travelled to Santiago to commission the new Church alongside the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of South America, Greg Venables. Presenting the Church’s Primate, Hector (Tito) Zavala with a primatial cross, Archbishop Justin described the Iglesia Anglicana de Chile and the Anglican Church of South America, from which it had come, as “shining lights within the Anglican Communion which will now burn yet more brightly as a challenge and example to the rest of the Communion.”
Prior to the creation of the new Church, Archbishop Tito had been the Bishop of what was then the Diocese of Chile. Prior to its formation as an independent Church, the existing diocese was reorganised into four dioceses: Concepcion, Santiago, Temuco, and Valparaiso.
The province continues to grow and has a very active evangelism and church planting ministry. Archbishop Tito is sharing this expertise throughout the Anglican Communion as Chair of the new Anglican Communion Church Planting Network.
Please pray for Archbishop Tito, and Bishops Enrique Lago Zugadi (Concepcion), Abelino Manuel Apeleo (Temuco) and Samuel Morrison Munro (Valparaiso).
Pray too for the administrators and staff of the new province as they develop as an independent Church.
And pray too for the people of Chile, that they would be receptive to the mission of the Church as it seeks to make Christ known to its population.