The Anglican Church of the Indian Ocean

Under the episcopate of Bishop Curtis, on 7th July 1969 an official letter from the Bishops in Madagascar and Mauritius was sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury asking for his permission to create a Province in the Indian Ocean. Bishop Curtis was elected as the first Archbishop. On Tuesday 27th March 1973, the Province of the Indian Ocean was inaugurated by Bishop John Howe, representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury, in St Andrew’s Church, Quatre Bornes. The while service was in French, the official language of the Province. The five bishops signed the Preamble to the new Constitution of the said Province. Archbishop Trevor Huddleston (1979-1983) succeeded to the Most Reverend Curtis.

In 2013 the Province has celebrated its 40th anniversary. We have now eight dioceses: Antananarivo, Toamasina, Antsiranana, the Seychelles, Mauritius, Mahajanga, Fianarantsoa and the last one, Toliara, was created in 2013.

Four sons of the region, namely French Kitchner Chang Him (1985-1995) from the Seychelles, Remi Joseph Rabenirina (1995-2005) from Madagascar, Gerald James Ian Ernest (2006-2017) from Mauritius have served as archbishops and the current one James Richard Wong Yin Song (2017 – ) is from the Seychelles.

The Province is now known as The Anglican Church of the Indian Ocean.

The Province has a population of more than 300,000 Anglicans. It has a strong Mothers’ Union network which indeed is sustaining the Church as it exercises its pastoral duties.

The youth network is striving to develop a strong ministry but the lack of communication tool and long distances seem to slow down the process.

Under the Archiepiscopate of the first three sons of the region since 1985 to date, the priority is to work towards economic sustainability. Strategic plans for mission, evangelism and Community development are being implemented.

The Province is governed by Provincial Synod which is constituted of the House of laity, the House of Clergy and the House of Bishops. It meets every four years under the chairmanship of the Archbishop. It then elects a Standing Committee of Synod which attends to the governance of the Province and the Provincial Secretary acts as the executive officer of the Anglican Church in the Indian Ocean under the authority of the Archbishop.