This Sunday (5 April) in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, Anglicans around the world will be praying for the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean. Here, the Anglican Communion News Service introduces the Province and suggests items for prayer.
The eight dioceses in the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean trace their origins to the arrival of an Anglican missionary from the Society for the propagation of the Gospel (now USPG: United Society Partners for the Gospel), who arrived in Madagascar in 1864, Ten years later, the Diocese of Madagascar was founded. Today, the island is served by six dioceses.
The provinces other two dioceses are Mauritius and Seychelles. Another Indian Ocean island, Reunion, an overseas department and region of the French Republic, is a missionary area of the Province.
The Anglican Church in Mauritius started life as “the Church of England in Mauritius” after the UK seized the island from France in 1810. In common with much of the Anglican Communion today, its first priests were chaplains serving the colonial administration. Two Anglican mission agencies – SPG and CMS (the Church Missionary Society) – helped the new church establish education, social and health ministries.
As the church grew, indigenous pastors were trained and ordained to the ministry. Today, the Anglican Church in Mauritius reflects the many cultures represented in what is a microcosm of eastern and western, Asian, African and European cultures.
The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean was established as a province of the Anglican Communion in 1973.
Its primate, Archbishop James Wong, is the Bishop of Seychelles.
Please pray for the people of the province as their governments seek to curtail Covid-19; pray, too, for Bishop.
Please pray, too, for Bishop Stenio André, who was consecrated and installed as the new Bishop of Mauritius during a service at the island’s St James’ Cathedral. He succeeds Archbishop Ian Ernest, a former Primate of the Indian Ocean, who was recently installed as Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome. This week, he has written a blog for the Anglican Communion News Service reflecting on the Covid-19 situation in Italy.