The remarkable event was described by many priests in Temotu as one of the biggest consecration celebration ever in the diocese. The consecration ceremony was presided over by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, the Most Reverend George Takeli while the Vicar General of the Diocese of Temotu, Fr. Daniel Vagi installed Revd Dawea as the bishop of the Temotu diocese.
Joining the Archbishop in the consecration and installation service were two bishops from the Church of Melanesia and two from partner churches within the Anglican Communion. They were the Rt. Revd Jim White from the Diocese of Auckland in New Zealand and Rt. Revd Peter Forster from the Diocese of Chester, England.
The Rt Revd Dr. Peter Forster, who is also the President of the Council of the now University of Chester, delivered the sermon. In his homily, Bp. Peter revealed Reverend Dawea is the first student of the new University to be consecrated as the Bishop. Bishop Forster enlightened the huge crowd with the message that God gives us his precious gift in Jesus Christ. In this way God gives us the freedom and responsibility to adapt the life of the Church.
“Reverend Dawea is not only consecrated to be the Bishop of Temotu and ACOM, but a bishop in the Church of God who will be recognized within the Anglican Communion as we share the common Scriptures, creed, sacraments and the Ministry of the Church though we have different cultures; Bishop Forster said.
He also urged Reverend Lenard, to hold fast the power of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ as the responsibility of the Diocese of Temotu will now be upon you.
The Right Reverend Leonard Dawea is the second native of Temotu to be elected and hold the role of Bishop of Temotu.
In his speech during feasting, the newly consecrated Bishop explained that his consecration and installation marked another milestone in the life of the Church in Temotu.
“As the new Diocesan Bishop, I am joyful of the fact that now we can look after ourselves as a diocese. I took a bold decision to regain the trust and confidence we lacked for some time on behalf of the Diocese of Temotu” he said.
“I call on my church to have self-belief and trust that we are capable of being leaders of our diocesan church”, Bishop Dawea said.
“We must also live at all times our vision of a ‘Spiritually United Church’ and continue to grow our church physically, spiritually, economically and socially” he continued.
Bishop Dawea also thanked Bishop Peter Foster, Barbara Molyneux and the Diocese of Chester in England for their profound kindness in sponsoring his Theological Training and upkeep during his three years of study in the University College of Chester, now Chester University.
Reverend Dawea was elected by the Diocese of Temotu Electoral Board at Tabalia, headquarter of the Melanesian Brotherhood on the 21st of June this year.
Reverend Dawea, 44, succeeds the Most Reverend George Takeli who was enthroned and installed as the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melansia and Bishop of the Diocese of Central Melanesia in April.
He holds a Bachelor of Theology with Honours from the University College of Chester, now Chester University, in the United Kingdom. Revd Dawea comes from Malubu village in the Reef Islands, Temotu Province. He is married to Ms Dorah Toke of Guadalcanal and they have two young children.
Prior to joining the Anglican Priesthood, Father Dawea was a member of the Church’s Melanesian Brotherhood for twelve years.
Also witnessing the event were Church dignitaries from both locally and overseas including the Hon. Chancellor of the ACOM, Justice Lyn Stevens and the Vice Chancellor, Gabriel Suri, a representative from the Melanesian Mission the UK, Ms Barbara and a team from the Melanesian Mission Trust Board in New Zealand led by the Chairman of the Trust, Mr. Brian Corban. Representatives from the Temotu provincial government, national members of Parliament, and ecumenical church partners in Temotu and community leaders were also present.