Anglican Church in B’dos appears to be polarized

THE Anglican Church in Barbados appears to be at the crossroad and it has seemingly has become very polarised.

This from a Church official after emerging from the failed meeting on Monday night at the Ivan Harewood Church Hall, next to the Christ Church Parish Church, to elect a new Anglican Bishop of Barbados.

However, Canon Wayne Isaacs, Anglican Administrator had a different opinion saying that failure to elect a Bishop does not suggest anything bad about the Church. “It is all part of the process of electing a Bishop. You have different options and this is one of the options,” he told the media following the meeting which lasted for almost five hours.

It was the fourth such meeting and the 11th ballot, all of which failed to elect either Dean of St. Michael’s Cathedral, Dr. Jeffrey Gibson or Rev. John Rogers, Rector of the St. George Anglican Church, as Bishop to replace the retired John Holder.

This means that the House of Bishops will be called upon to make a selection who could very well be someone from outside of Barbados. The last time Barbados went that way was in 1972 when Bishop Drexel Gomez, a native of the Bahamas was selected to the position.

“The laity is clear about what it wants but the Clergy is divided and the image of our Church is badly damaged,” one official told The Barbados Advocate.

From the beginning of the process Rogers got two thirds of the laity’s support. At the lone ballot cast on Monday night, Rogers received 57 votes from the laity and 31 from the clergy. Gibson got 20 votes from the laity but 44 from the clergy.

“After the first ballot nobody received the required votes and then the Synod adopted a motion to send it to the House of Bishops, to make the appointment,” said Canon Isaacs. He could not say when that is going to happen.

However, he told the media that nobody got two-thirds and without that no one can be elected. “I see that God’s will will be done in every situation so I do not feel dejected by it,” he remarked while noting they in the Anglican Church has been praying for long time “and I think we have to accept it.”

According to him, “This is God’s plan for this time.”

Canon Isaac said further that while the majority of those present voted for the Resolution to have the matter decided by the House of Bishops, he could not say whether the two candidates for Bishop supported the measure.

“I am not sure how they voted,” he said. However, The Barbados Advocate understands that Dean Gibson supported the resolution unlike Rogers who did not. The two candidates will not be eligible for consideration by the House of Bishop.

According to the Administrator, this is the end of the process unless the Bishop sends it back, adding that the option was to adjourn and return for another ballot. “But I do not think that would have changed anything,” Canon Isaacs added.

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