Dear Fellow Supporters of the Anglican Church in PNG,
I am glad to commend to you the PNGCP’s Christmas Newsletter for this year, and to have this opportunity of wishing you a very Happy Christmas. I hope you manage to have the kind of joyful celebration you have been hoping for. There are some signs around that restrictions will tighten again to keep Covid’s latest variant at bay, but there seem also to be signs that we may discover that those of us who are fully ‘jabbed and boosted’ are still sufficiently protected to prevent this variant from oversetting all that we have achieved recently.
One of the aspects that has struck me as these last 21 months have unfolded has been the remarkable way in which people from across many different disciplines have been working together to help us through it all. Even to see the Prime Minister flanked by academic medics rather than fellow politicians, as we did day after day, points to that.
You will notice that a number of the articles in this Newsletter have an emphasis on what can be achieved by working together in cooperation. Bishop Reginald, the new Bishop of New Guinea Islands, refers to his hopes and plans of working together with both clergy and lay folk to effect further progress in the provision of care; in more efficient administration; in putting diocesan finances on a sounder footing; and in focussing the Diocese on its journey of faith and mutual support. The Girls Friendly Society speaks of the way it works with the Mothers Union; the Kiki Learning Centre tells us of what it achieves with volunteer teachers; the Franciscans remind us of the way they are held together across the world; Newton College describes a very productive working relationship between Bishop Jeffrey Driver in Australia and Fr Giles Motisi on the ground in Oro Province.
At Christmas, we focus specifically on the way God worked with Jesus’ parents to bring about his redemptive presence in the world in the Baby of Bethlehem, destined through his Crucifixion and Resurrection to be the ultimate example of divine / human working together.
Aipo Rongo Diocese is working with its Church Partnership Programme in a determined effort to mitigate some of the particularly difficult scenarios in the fight against Covid in the remote rural areas up in the Highlands. You will find that referred to alongside our financial support for all the PNG dioceses as they seek to be involved in tackling this issue. I have just written my cheque in its support – I do hope you will join me. It’s one way in which we can join the “working together”. Thank you.
All my colleagues in PNGCP join me in wishing you and yours, and our very dear brothers and sisters in ACPNG, a truly blessed, peaceful and joyful Christmas and a New Year full of promise.
Bishop Jonathan Meyrick
Chairman of PNGCP