New Mission Secretary Visits Sydney

May 2, 2024

The Rev Nelson Bako, Mission Secretary of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, made his way to Sydney this week to visit with us here at the ABM office. It was a delight to welcome Fr Nelson and hear about the good work that continues in Melanesia.  We also heard first-hand the challenges people face which AID helps them to address through its Climate Change, Disaster Preparedness and Clean Water programs (WASH). After a wonderful day of meeting with the staff, friends of ABM alongside staff, enjoyed an afternoon getting to know Fr Nelson accompanied by a Q&A session hosted by ABM Executive Director, the Rev Dr John Deane.

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Fr Nelson Bako is the Mission Secretary for the Anglican Church of Melanesia, whose jurisdiction covers the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Fr Nelson studied for a theology degree in the UK and for his Master in Theology and Ethics degree at Pacific Theological College in Fiji. From 2016 to 2019 he was the Head Brother of the Melanesian Brotherhood, a Religious Order founded in the Solomon Islands in 1925. They have households throughout the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea, as well as a household in the Philippines and another in North Queensland.

The Bishop of New Zealand, George Augustus Selwyn, came to Australia in 1850 seeking funds for a boat to evangelise throughout Melanesia. Australia’s senior bishop, William Broughton, convened a meeting in Pitt Street in Sydney with Bishop Selwyn along with the then bishops of the Australian Church: Augustus Short from Adelaide, Charles Perry from Melbourne, William Tyrell from Newcastle, and Francis Nixon from Tasmania. During the meeting the Bishop Perry proposed that a missions board be established. That was agreed to – and the then Australasian Board of Missions was formed. Selwyn got his boat – a 100-ton schooner called Southern Cross paid for by the £1,500 that was raised. In that way, what is now the Anglican Church of Melanesia became ABM’s first overseas partner in collaboration with what is now the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. Almost 175 years later, we’re all still working together for Christ. The Anglican Church of Melanesia recently commissioned Southern Cross 10 to support the Church’s operations by providing vital transportation for mission, the transportation of students and the distribution of aid during natural disasters.

Please click on the video below to watch the Rev’d Nelson Bako give thanks to ABM and AID supporters