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June 25, 2019
The following press release has been issued by the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM):
The Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) has a new Archbishop. He is the Rt Revd Leonard Dawea, who is currently the Bishop of the Diocese of Temotu (DOT) in Solomon Islands.
Bishop Dawea 47, was elected to the highest Episcopal position within the Anglican Church by the ACOM Provincial Electoral Board this afternoon, the 25th of June at Tabalia; headquarters of the Melanesian Brotherhood of the Church, west of Honiara.
The Provincial Electoral Board that elected the Rt Revd Dawea has been in retreat since Sunday 23rd June.
He is the seventh Archbishop in succession since the Anglican Church of Melanesia was inaugurated in January 1975 as an independent ecclesiastical province from New Zealand. He succeeds the Most Revd George Angus Takeli who retired on the 24th of March this year.
The Rt Revd Leonard Dawea holds a Bachelor of Theology with Honours (BTh/Hons.), in the field of Theology and Ethics from the University College Chester (now Chester University).
Prior to being elected as the next Archbishop of the church, he served the ACOM as a full member of the Melanesian Brotherhood from 1995 to 2007. He was ordained into the Priesthood in 2007. After his ordination he served within the Melanesian Brotherhood as tutor and chaplain. In 2013 he was appointed the Mission Secretary of DOT from 2013 to 2014 and later as Diocesan Secretary from 2015 to 2016.
Archbishop elect, the Rt Revd Dawea is from the Reefs islands in Temotu and is married to Dorah Dawea from Guadalcanal and has two children.
His enthronement and installation to become an Archbishop is scheduled for 15th September at Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral this year.
The previous Melanesian Archbishops serving the church were: The Most Reverend Norman Palmer 1975 – 1987, The Most Rev. Amos Waiaru 1988 – 1993, The Most Rev. Sir Ellison Pogo 1994 – 2008, The Most Rev. David Vunagi 2009 – 2015 and the Most Rev. George Takeli 2016 – 2019.
The Anglican Province of Melanesia covers three independent nations of Solomon Islands, the Republic of Vanuatu and the French Trust Territory of New Caledonia. Its Provincial Headquarters is in Honiara with a sub-Provincial Administration Office at Luganville on Santo in Vanuatu. It has seven dioceses in Solomon Islands and two in Vanuatu.
The Senior Bishop of the Church, the Rt Revd Nathan Tome is calling on all members of the church to pray for Bishop Leonard and family as he prepares to take on this highest position within the Church of Melanesia.