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 in Polynesia wants to grow the number of priests who are able to minister fulltime without the added stress of also working fulltime to provide for their families. This can be achieved for as little as NZD$100 a month in some rural centres.
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.
This is an ongoing project to support the clergy and lay ministers so that they can extend the ministry of the church to the wider community and to increase the number of worship centres and new members of the church. The amount to be set aside for Mission Support in the Pacific in 2019 is NZ$50,000. Photo: Bishop ‘Afa Vaka, Tonga, evangelises
Some ministries that Mission Support assists with...