“The Coming of the Light”
The Coming of the Light is a celebration of the Gospel in Australia and the contribution of Torres Strait Islander people, culture and spirituality to the wider church and society. The Anglican Church ordained the first Torres Strait Islander priests in 1925. On 1 July 1986 Kiwami Dai was consecrated as the first Torres Strait Islander Bishop.
In 2021, which marked the 150th anniversary of the Coming of the Light to the Torres Strait, the Diocese of North Queensland moved to establish a Torres Strait Islander ministry council to give autonomy over local church matters to Torres Strait Islander Anglicans. The council is known as the Meriba Maygi Zageth Anglican Council (“Meriba” means “Our” in the language of the Eastern Torres Strait Islands, and “Maygi Zageth” means “Holy Work” in the languages of the Central and Western Torres Strait Islands. Hence the name means “Our Holy Work”). The council is still in its early stages of establishment, with members coming together from across the Torres Strait to determine priorities and plans for their collective work.
Given the close cultural links between the Torres Strait and parts of Melanesia, churches in the Torres Strait have been encouraged by the re-establishment of a Melanesian Brothers household on Thursday Island. Brothers come from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to serve in the Old Cathedral of All Souls & St Bartholomew and carry out their mission at the invitation of churches and communities across the Torres Strait and Cape York Peninsula.
Across the island groups of the Torres Strait and as part of widespread diaspora, Torres Strait Islander Anglicans make a vibrant and vital contribution to our national church family.
Funds given to this project will support the Meriba Maygi Zageth Anglican Council and the work of the Melanesian Brothers in the Torres Strait.
Rejoice and sing now, all the round earth, bright with a glorious splendour, for darkness has been vanquished by our eternal King.
– From the Exsultet, the Church’s proclamation at the Easter Vigil
We praise you, Father of all, for the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which brings light to the whole world.
We bless you for your having brought that Resurrection light to those who lived in the Torres Strait Islands in 1871 through the London Missionary Society.
We adore you for that Resurrection light now shining in the hearts of those who live in the Torres Strait Islands today.
We glorify you for the work being undertaken by members of the Melanesian Brotherhood
in the Torres Strait Islands in the name of the Risen Christ.
And we give thanks to you for their willingness to leave their home countries and come to Australia to minister to people here.
Alleluia! May the light of your Son’s glorious Resurrection guide us and lead us to the eternal kingdom of light.
In 2023 we hope to raise for this project:
Donation code: AU023TS
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As noted, this is NOT a tax-deductible project.
Gifts are received by the trustee for the ‘Anglicans Board of Mission – Australia Ltd’ ABN 18 097 944 717
Gifts will be applied to the support of projects selected. In the unlikely event of projects being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to similar projects.
150th Anniversary of the Coming of the Light
North Queensland bishop, Rt Rev’d Keith Joseph, writes about the Coming of the Light in the Torres Strait.