Sarawakian elected Archbishop of S. E. Asia


HIGH CALLING: Bolly prays over the site for St Thomas’ Cathedral’s New Parish Centre in this file photo. He will be the first Sarawakian to lead the Anglican Province of South East Asia.

KUCHING: The Anglican Bishop of Sarawak and Brunei, the Right Revd Datuk Bolly Lapok, has been elected the fourth Archbishop of the Province of South East Asia.

Bolly was elected during the Extraordinary Provincial Synod in Kota Kinabalu on Thursday.

He will become the province’s fourth Archbishop next year, taking over from the Most Revd Dr John Chew, who is Bishop of Singapore.

Bolly will be the first Sarawakian to hold the post. The previous Archbishops were the Right Revd Dr Moses Tay (Singapore – 1982 to 2000) and the Right Revd Datuk Yong Ping Chung (Sabah – 2000 to 2006).

“Given so high a calling and the enormity of the expectation, I feel so small, so unequal. This is definitely one of those mysterious ways of God,” Bolly told The Borneo Post yesterday.

“My task would be to oversee the other Dioceses of Sabah, West Malaysia and Singapore. I shall be one of the 38 Primates in the worldwide Anglican Communion.”

The Diocese of Singapore also covers Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam.

Bolly’s enthronement is scheduled for February, 2012.

He was enthroned as the 13th Anglican Bishop of Sarawak and Brunei in 2007 and was first consecrated Assistant Bishop in 1999.

Currently Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) chairman, he is also on the boards of the Sabah Theological Seminary, Seminari Theoloji Malaysia, and Trinity Theological College, Singapore.

Bolly graduated from the House of the Epiphany, Kuching with a Diploma in Theology in 1974.

He was made deacon and later priest in 1975 at St Luke’s Church, Sri Aman with special dispensation from the Archbishop of Canterbury, as he was under the canonical age of 24.

In 1984 to 1985, he continued his studies at Westhill College, Birmingham in the UK under a United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG) scholarship and majored in pastoral theology, ecumenism and English.

He also went to Rome to study ecumenism, particularly Anglican-Roman Catholic relations.

Bolly continued to study New Testament Greek and obtained a Licentiate in Theology from the Australian College of Theology in 1991, as well as a degree of Scholar in Theology.

In 2001, he received a Master of Arts with distinction in Missiology from the University of Birmingham.