From the The Melanesian Mission
Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM) David Vunagi is visiting the UK for 12 days from 25th June to 7th July during which time he will attend a meeting of the trustees of the Melanesian Mission UK, hold meetings in the Diocese of Chester and also attend the inauguration service to mark the beginning of the ministry of the Rt Revd Robert Atwell as the Bishop of Exeter.
During his time in the northwest Archbishop David will be visiting St Laurence’s, Chorley in the Diocese of Blackburn. His visit follows the visit of eleven Brothers and Sisters from the four religious communities that serve in ACoM to the parish in 2013.
The Diocese of Blackburn has a historic link with the Anglican Church of Melanesia through the ministry of Bishop Walter Herbert Baddeley, who served as the seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Melanesia form 1932 to 1947 before it became an independent province of the Anglican Communion. Bishop Baddeley returned to the UK in 1947 and served as Bishop of Whitby until 1954 when he took up the office of Bishop of Blackburn.
Currently the Diocese of Blackburn has links with the Anglican Church of Melanesia through the Revd Martin Cox, Rector of St Laurence’s, Chorley who is a trustee of the Melanesian Mission UK who has visited the region on two occasions. Following his second visit in 2012, Revd Cox initiated a project involving the Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education, which has led to experienced education practitioners visiting the region to support the church education department in the nation state of Vanuatu, which is served by ACoM.
Recently, the people of the Solomon Islands, also served by ACoM, experienced devastating flash floods. The congregation at St Laurence’s, Chorley raised some £800 for the peoples of the Solomon Islands following this natural disaster. On Saturday 14th June, the Revd Martin Cox swam one mile in the Great North Swim in Lake Windermere and has raised some £400 to date for one of the religious communities which serve the peoples of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
The Archbishop’s visit to Chorley on Tuesday 1st July on will therefore provide him with an opportunity to spend time in a parish that was in the Episcopal care of one of his predecessors.
It will also provide the archbishop with an opportunity to meet parishioners who have recently contributed to the relief work following recent flash floods in the Solomon Islands. Thirdly, the archbishop’s visit will provide him with an opportunity to discuss with Revd Cox the forthcoming General Synod of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, which will take place in November this year and which the Revd Cox will attend in his capacity as a trustee on the Melanesian Mission UK.