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August 20, 2015
It is with much sadness that ABM received news this morning from the Archbishop of Papua New Guinea, the Most Rev Clyde Igara, that the Rt Rev Blake Kerina has died.
When he was a young man he trained to be a teacher and evangelist, following in his father’s footsteps. He was effective in these roles, the then Bishop of New Guinea, Phillip Strong, describing his efforts at both as ‘wonderful work’.
In 1955 Kerina was the first Papuan to offer himself to Bishop Strong to go as a missionary with Strong’s Coadjutor, Bishop David Hand, to open up Anglican missionary work in the north of New Guinea in the Highlands. It is in PNG’s remote Highlands where Blake Kerina’s ministry was most significant, and it is for this reason that the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea named an Evangelists’ College after him at Tsendiap. He was ordained to the Priesthood on 21 December 1964 at Dogura Cathedral.
As a result of his significant contribution to the Church, Kerina was consecrated on St Laurence’s Day, 10 August 1980, in St Laurence’s Church, Simbai, before a huge crowd of Highland Christians on the ninetieth anniversary of the landing of the first Anglican missionaries on the coast of Papua. He was the third PNG national to be consecrated, and took up office as an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Aipo-Rongo which encompasses the Highlands.
Bishop Blake Kerina passed away peacefully this morning at his village, Pem, on Cape Vogel in Milne Bay Province.
Almighty and everlasting God,
we thank you for your servant Blake,
whom you called to bring the gospel
to the people of the remote Highlands of Papua New Guinea.
Raise up in this and every land
evangelists and heralds of your loving reign,
so that the whole world may know
the unsearchable riches of our Saviour Jesus Christ
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
(Image shows Bishop David Hand leading Bishop Blake Kerina out of St Laurence’s Church, Simbai after his consecration as bishop, 1980. From the book Modawa Papua New Guinea and me 1946-2002 written by Bishop David Hand KBE)
21/08/2015 – More sad news received today.
Anglican Primate, Archbishop Clyde Igara writes that, on hearing of his death, the bishop’s wife, beloved Mother Grace – who had herself been unwell – left this life to join him. May they rest in peace and rise in glory.