The Anglican Church in Polynesia has 26 parishes spread over 4 countries – Fiji, Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga as well as 4 parishes in New Zealand. In Fiji each parish has a number of worship centres many of which have congregations in excess of 100 people. Most priests are self-supporting or “worker” priests who work between 20 and 30 hours a week carrying out their ministry duties while still undertaking their role as the main providers for their families which in the rural areas involves maintaining a small subsistence plot of land.
In many rural locations the local Anglican Church is the focal point of the community with a number of them operating the only preschool/kindergartens in the area. Many church members are seasonal workers and even then they earn only a very small amount. As a result many churches are a long way off being able to fund their own Priest.
The church’s mission and outreach is growing and follows different approaches in different areas. Evangelism, mission and outreach and discipleship continue to be the focus of the ministry of the Diocese. Clergy and laity work together to proclaim the gospel in a multi cultural and multi religious society.
In 2020 NZ$35,000 is to be provided which will specifically include support for the following clergy:
- Kelvin Rakesh – Church of the Holy Spirit, Ba
- Joji Abunio – Church of the Good Shephard, Sigatoka
- Tuckwan Ah Kee – St Leonard’s, Savusavu
- Leo Collins – St Christopher’s, Nadi
- Peter Parlad – Holy Trinity Cathedral, Suva
- Ven Orisi Vuki – St Matthew’s, Suva
- Bishop Henry Bull – Church of the Holy Cross, Dreketi
Photo: Bishop ‘Afa Vaka, Tonga, evangelises