Hunt still on for new bishop of Kingston

THE 150th synod of the Anglican Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands yesterday failed to elect a new bishop for the region of Kingston when it hosted its elective assembly.

The sole nominee on day one of the synod, Canon Garth A Minott, is deputy president, Anglican warden, and lecturer in Christian ethics and pastoral studies at the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI).

The elective assembly comprises two houses — the House of Clergy and the House of Laity (laypersons). A successful candidate must gain two-thirds support in each house.

Diocesan Bishop Howard Gregory, who is also archbishop of the Province of the West Indies, made the nomination near midday yesterday and sought the support of the clergy and elected representative of the near-200 congregations and missions that comprise the diocese at the annual gathering.

At first count, Minott secured the required votes in the House of Laity, but missed the mark in the House of Clergy by one vote.

After consultation with the Chancellor of the Diocese Zaila McCalla, as well as input from a number of the members of synod, among them legal minds and some versed in the canons of the church, the candidate was put to a second round of voting.

The clergy again failed to offer the requisite support, while the degree of support among the faithful faced some reduction.

The private election was held virtually for the first time in the history of the diocese.

The bishopric was left vacant with the retirement of Bishop Robert Thompson on September 1, 2020.

The business session of the synod was later prorogued until today when it is expected that a decision for a third round of voting or a delay of election will be taken.

Nomination of a suffragan bishop in the diocese is the prerogative of the diocesan.

Checks by the Jamaica Observer revealed that in only one instance in the history of the diocese has more than one candidate been offered for nomination for election as a suffragan bishop.

The synod, the highest decision-making body of the church, continues until Friday, April 9 under the theme ‘God’s Church for God’s World’.

Over 100 lay persons and some 90 clergy are participating.

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