About Us

Mission Statement


“The purpose of the Church of Melanesia is to be a faithful part of Christ’s body through the exercising of baptismal ministries, spreading of the Good News of God’s love in Jesus Christ, being like Christ in thought, word and action, worshiping God in spirit and truth and demonstrating God’s love in responding to hu­man needs in loving service, using wisely and taking good care of the natural resources and environment as well as all things that God has entrusted to us for the extension of God’s kingdom in the world.”.


“Eim blong umi hemi fo stap olsem strong pat blong Bodi blong Jisas Kraest fo usim olketa ministry blong Baptism: Olsem spredim Gud Nius blong lav blong God long Jisas Kraest; fo stap olsem Kraest long tingting, toktok an akson; fo wosipim God long tru we an wetem hol hat; an fo somaot lav blong God long waka fo helpem pipol”


“Oltaem yumi mas stanap strong blong soemaot we yumi haf blong bodi blong Kraes, folem ol mining blong baptism we yumi kasem. Oltaem yumi mas rere blong talemaot Gud Nius blong lav blong God we yumi luk long Jisas Kraes. Tingting blong yumi mo toktok blong yumi mo ol wok blong yumi i mas olsem blong Kraes. I olsem we yumi stap wosipim God long spirit mo long trutok we yumi stap soemaot lav blong God long fasin blong luksave ol man mo woman we oli gat nid mo yumi helpem olgeta. Oltaem yumi mas iusim gud mo lukaot gud ol gudgudfala samting we God i givim long yumi blong bildimap kingdom blong God long wol ya.”


The Anglican Church of the Province of Melanesia is part of the World-Wide Anglican Communion that has nine dioceses. Two (2) in Vanuatu and part of New Caledonia and seven (7) in the Solomon Islands. The current Primate and the 7th Archbishop who is also the bishop of the Diocese of Central Melanesia is the Most Reverend Leonard Dawea, enthroned on the 15th September 2019.

The spiritual head of the Province is the Archbishop of Melanesia.

The General Secretary is the Chief Executive Officer. The current General Secretary is Dr. Abraham Hauriasi.

Each Diocese are headed by their Bishops. Only Diocese of Malaita and Diocese of Central Melanesia has Assistant Bishops.

Diocese of Malaita has Assistant Bishop due to the geographical setup of the island. The Assistant Bishop here looks after the southern part of the island of Malaita and small Malaita and Sikaiana.  The role of the Assist Bishop in the Diocese of Central Melanesia is to assist the Diocesan Bishop, who is also the Archbishop of the Province of Melanesia. The Assistant Bishop here helps the Diocesan Bishop in Diocesan matters.

Some dioceses are divided down into Parishes headed by Parish Priests or Parish rectors. There are few that are divided into regions, headed by a Regional Priests. The regions are further subdivided into Parishes or Districts headed by a Parish Priest usually called a rector.

Catechists are lay people appointed by local community and authorized by the bishop to take services and look after the spiritual life of a village.

The Church of Melanesia holds three orders of ministry – deacon, priest and bishop. The church follows a Common Prayer Book called A Melanesian English Prayer Book.

The teaching of the church is on the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ, summed up in the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed. Holy Eucharist sometimes called “Mass” or Communion service is the focus of the church worship that is celebrated weekly wherever there is priest.

More about the Church do consult the church Canon and other materials or visit us at our head office.



In 1861 Bishop Selwyn formed the missionary Diocese of Melanesia, within the Church of the Province of New Zealand.

He and the other bishops of New Zealand consecrated John Coleridge Patteson as first Bishop of Melanesia on 24th February, 1861.

Patteson continued the work of the Melanesia Mission which Bishop Selwyn had begun. “Southern Cross II” arrived in 1863, and patteson continued to visit the islands and became well known to people in many places.

He was the first white man to sleep ashore on islands like Mota, Makira and Guadalcanal. Patteson moved the Melanesian schoolboys from St.John’s, which was too cold, first to St Andrew’s Kohimarama, and then in 1867 to Norfolk island. Other priests and teachers came to help with the work.

In 1864 Patteson went ashore at Santa Cruz and talked to the people. He swam back to the boat, and they started to row out. Some men were standing on the reef. They began to shoot arrows at the boat. Two young Norfolk islanders, Fisher Young and Edwin Nobbs, were wounded, and later died of tetanus.

Patteson was sad when Bishop Selwyn left New Zealand to return to England. Then he received new that his own father died in England. His sister wanted him to go home for a holiday but he would not go.

He became sick and in 1870 had to go to New Zealand to see a doctor. His house was at the school at Norfolk Island, and he also had a house on Mota where he spent a lot of time.

When he took girls from Mota for school, he sewed dresses for them to wear on the ship. He did not think that Melanesians should be forced to wear European clothes or change their customs.

There was a lot of trouble in the islands because ships were taking young men to work in plantations in Fiji and Queensland. Many were forced to go. Some were killed. It became dangerous for white men to visit the islands.

In 1871 Patteson spent some months on Mota, and baptized many people, men, women and children. Then the “Southern Cross” took him to the Solomons, where they collected Joseph Atkin a young New Zealand priest, and Stephen Taroaniara, whom Patteson hoped to ordain, from Makira, and school boys from various islands.

On 20th September they arrived at Nukapu, where the bishop went ashore. The people took him to rest in a house while they prepared food.
A man named Teandule came and killed him with a club. They wrapped his body in a mat, and put it in a canoe to take to the cemetery. When they saw Atkin and others in the boat, they shot them with arrows. Atkin went back to get the bishop’s body with Joseph Wate and Charles Sapi.
They buried him at sea next morning. A few days later Stepehn Taroaniara and Joseph Atkin also died.