The Melanesian Brotherhood was adopted by St Eustachius’ following a year’s stay in Tavistock by Brothers George and Leonard in 2001. George was a priest and acted as an assistant curate in the then Benefice of Tavistock and Gulworthy. Melanesia covers the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu situated in the mid-western pacific, some 100 miles east of Papua New Guinea. Brother Leonard later become an ordained priest, and was enthroned in 2018 as the Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Melanesia.
The Melanesian Brotherhood was founded in 1945 by Ini Kapuria, who is commemorated in the Church of England calendar on 6th June. The current head brother is Brother Honisea and there are at present 218 brothers and 175 novices – the largest religious order in the Anglican communion – serving in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papa New Guinea. In Tavistock we have a small group of MBH Companions, who lead evening prayers on Fridays and our former vicar the Venerable John Rawlings is the diocesan representative.
If you would like to make a donation for this Mission of the Month, you can do so by two means:
- Visit the VirginMoneyGiving site we have set up for this campaign at this link. Funds donated here, including Gift Aid if you wish, will be collected into the PCC account and forwarded to the Brotherhood at the end of the month.
- Give or send a cheque, payable to Tavistock PCC, to Churchwardens Graham or Mary Whalley, at 10, Monksmead, Tavistock, PL19 8ER, and these will be added to the online donations and forwarded to the Brotherhood at the end of the month.
There is some more information about the Melanesian Brotherhood at this link. If you would like to become a Companion of the Melanesian Brotherhood, please speak to Graham or Mary Whalley, our Churchwardens.
Here is a prayer of the Brotherhood denoting the means and dangers they face on their frequent travel to the islands:
O Jesus Be the canoe that holds me up in the sea of life, be the rudder that keeps in the straight road, be the outrigger that supports me in times of temptation: Let your Spirit be my sail that carries me through each day, Keep my body strong so I can paddle steadfastly on the voyage of life AMEN