KUCHING: The Anglican Province of South East Asia consecrated and enthroned the Right Revd Danald Jute as the 14th Bishop of the Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei, which is known as the Diocese of Kuching, at St Thomas’ Cathedral here yesterday.
Bishop of Singapore the Right Revd Rennis Ponniah and Bishop of Sabah the Right Revd Melter Jiki Tais presented Danald to the Archbishop of the Anglican Province of South East Asia and Bishop of West Malaysia, the Most Revd Datuk Ng Moon Hing who was chief consecrator.
In his sermon, Ng said his province was in dire need of more clergymen to serve the province as in a few years time most of them would retire.
One of Danald’s new tasks as Bishop is to recruit more clergymen in his diocese to help the church spread the Word of God and serve the people.
“I hope we have adequate replacements for most of our clergymen who will retire. In five years’ time from now, around 80 per cent of our clergymen will retire,” he added.
The special service combined the prescribed Anglican rites with Bidayuh culture.
Readings from the Bible were presented in Iban, Mandarin and Bidayuh; while the collection was presented by youths in native costumes to the beat of gongs and drums.
Following Danald’s enthronement, a fanfare of trumpets sounded in grand pageantry and the Cathedral bells rang 39 times to signify the 39 Articles of Religion of the Anglican Church.
Seated on his throne, Danald addressed the congregation, saying: “In Holy Scripture we hear how Jesus came among us as one who serves. I ask you now to pray with me and for me, that I may follow the pattern of leadership given to us by the Lord Jesus; that I may know God’s grace in the task which lies before me, and do all in his strength.”
The Cathedral overflowed with a congregation of some 2,000 including guests from Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Myanmar, the United States, Singapore, Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Labuan and Brunei.
In a show of ecumenical support, there were also representatives from the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, Borneo Evangelical Church, Seventh Day Adventists and Salvation Army.
Danald – the fifth local-born Bishop of Kuching – was appointed by the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in South East Asia to succeed The Right Reverend Datuk Bolly Lapok, who retired on Thursday (Aug 10).
Also present during the service were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu who are both Anglicans.
The first Bishop of Kuching was the Right Revd Francis Thomas McDougall, who served from 1856 to 1869.
There are approximately 138,000 Anglicans in Sarawak and Brunei.