Canon Garth Minott tapped as new Bishop of Kingston
Jonielle Daley, Staff Reporter
The Reverend Canon Garth Minott has been tapped to become the leader of the most powerful region of the Anglican Church in Jamaica at an epochal juncture amid a global pandemic and declining membership.
He is reportedly the only nominee under consideration.
On the eve of today's formal vote for the new Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, Christians were urged to be fervent champions of social justice and to widen their advocacy beyond the boundaries of religion.
The call to action came on Tuesday from the Most Rev Dr Howard Gregory, Archbishop of the West Indies and Bishop of Jamaica & The Cayman Islands, in his sermon at the 150th opening of the Annual Synod.
Gregory said that churches should deepen their role in challenging institutions of oppression.
“We must break our silence and begin to engage the broader issues which are contributing to injustices, inequality, and the dehumanising of human life,” he said.
In Photo: The Most Rev Dr Howard Gregory
Gregory said that churches should assist in the dissemination of information to dispel conspiracy theories that have helped to fan the flames of vaccine hesitancy despite rising coronavirus transmission that has infected 41,400 and killed 631 people locally.
Among his COVID-19-related concerns, Gregory noted that the pandemic has helped to unveil and widen the inequalities in Jamaican society.
Vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens were significantly affected, he said, “while those who are better positioned in our society are rushing to get the vaccines”.
Gregory observed that many communities had been impacted by diminished fellowship or social gatherings because of restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus.
But, even amid that distress, he said congregations should unite to combat individualism and indiscipline, which he labelled as the root causes of the current turmoil.
“This community of faith, the Church, must spread positive messages, whether we are meeting as a physical community or a virtual one,” he said, charging them “to be heralds and exemplars of community and solidarity".
Aside from grappling with the effects of the pandemic, Gregory expressed concern about the increase in murders, including violence against women, such as the recent killings of 20-year-old Khanice Jackson and 78-year-old Natesha Waite.
The business sessions of the Synod, the highest decision-making body in the Anglican Church, will be conducted online between April 7 and 9.
Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, the Rt Rev Robert Thompson, retired on September 1, 2020.
Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.