THE Diocese of Temotu in the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) witnessed the Consecration and Installation of Reverend Patteson Nibeo as their seventh Bishop yesterday morning.
Archbishop of the ACOM, the Most Rev. Leonard Dawea officiated the consecration ceremony together with three other bishops; the Rt Rev. Arthur Abui from the Diocese of Hanuatoó, the Rt Rev. Michael Bebeu Bishop of Malaita and Rt. Rev. Rickson Maomaoru, Assistant Bishop of Malaita who represented the council of Bishops in this important event.
Immediately after he was consecrated as a Bishop, the Right Rev. Nibeo was installed to the episcopal chair of the diocese by the senior priest of Nende region Fr. Fox Menaa, in the absence of the Vicar General of the diocese.
Gracing the ceremony was the Governor General of Solomon Islands, His Excellency the Rt Rev. Sir David Vunagi who preached at this consecration ceremony.
Delivering a heartfelt sermon and his experiences, Sir David who was the third Bishop of the Diocese of Temotu in 2001 before becoming the Archbishop of ACOM in 2009; reminded the bishop-elect of the extensive responsibilities that come with the office of a Bishop.
“As a bishop, you are to teach, preach, correct, love and listen to the people. A Bishop is not only a spiritual guide but is also responsible for the effective administration towards spiritual growth and development of the Diocese,” Sir David said.
The Governor General, who was instrumental to the priesthood Ministry of the bishop-elect, also echoed words of wisdom to the wife of the bishop-elect to stand in support, recognizing the symbiotic relationship crucial for the successful progression of the Diocese’s mission and ministry.
In his maiden speech as the 7th Bishop of Temotu, Rev. Nibeo expressed deep gratitude and acknowledged the transformative work carried out by his predecessors.
“I will strive to carry on the good work laid by the past Bishops,” he affirmed, expressing his commitment to fulfilling his new role with integrity and dedication.
The event included heartfelt congratulatory messages , expressions of gratitude, and pledge for support from Sir David and his family, the Archbishop, the council of Bishops and the ACOM Provincial office both in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, the three chancellors of the church, the Melanesia Mission Trust Board in New Zealand and the Diocese of Temotu. The National and the Provincial Government of Temotu, Provincial Government of Western Province, sister churches, chiefs and the people of Temotu.
The ceremony commenced with a majestic procession from the Diocesan office to the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Lata, Santa Cruz.
The attendance of around a thousand church members and invited guests in and around Santa Cruz signifies the crucial role the Church played in the community.
The program concluded with speeches, feasting, and entertainments, fostering a sense of communal celebration and unity.
As the newly consecrated Bishop begins his journey, Archbishop Leonard appealed to the people of Temotu to extend their unwavering support to Rev. Nibeo and his family. Their collective contribution, be it through prayers, guidance, will serve as pillars of strength as they navigate the challenges and joys of their new role.
Rev. Nibeo’s consecration marks a significant milestone in the history of the Diocese of Temotu. With a deep reverence for the work of his predecessors and a vision for spiritual growth, he stands poised to lead the faithful towards a brighter future.
Diocese of Temotu was inaugurated in 1981 at Naban Village Gracious Bay.
Her first Bishop was the Rt Rev. Amose Waiaru who served the diocese from 1981 to 1984. The second Bishop was the Rt Rev. Lazarus Munamua from 1985 to 2001 followed by our current Governor General His Excellency the Rt Rev. Sir David Vunagi from 2002 to 2009; the Rt Rev. George Takeli from 2010 to 2016; The Rt Rev Leonard Dawea from 2016 to 2019; the Rt Rev. Willie Tungale from 2019 to 2023.
Diocese of Temotu have three regions namely Nende with ten districts: Pele region with five districts and Vatud region with eight districts.