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Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
St. Luke's inaugurated
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New evangelist-pastor
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St. Luke’s Church, Sambava, Celebrates Anniversary
by the Rt Rev Roger F.H. Chung Po Chuen
August 8, 2005

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] St Luke's Church in Sambava in the Diocese of Antsiranana is celebrating its first anniversary on the 15th August, on the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

The inauguration service was uplifted by the presence of a Mission team from SOMA Australia, led by the Rev Can Ken Munns.

It had taken six years to finish the Church, as the original funds had ran out in 2001. Thanks to donations from the Province of the Indian Support Association Group, the Daraina Trust in Salisbury and various donors, the Church was finished in 2004.

It was a miracle that the church was completed to receive the ordination of three deacons and one priest, the Rev Leonard Argal, who became the Rector.

The Eastern part of the Diocese also received its first woman evangelist-pastor, Mrs Rasolofonjatovo. The Diocese of Ansiranana is now furthering the ministry of women in the Church as this feminine counterpart has been neglected generally throughout the Church. This year's synod will take major decisions on this subject.

More and more women are being received as evangelist-pastors throughout the Diocese for mission and evangelisation in the towns and in villages in the rain forest of Northern Madagascar. It is hoped that this empowerment for women ministry will reach new ecclesiastical status in the coming years.

Mr Philibert Randriamaniry, who is the Chancellor of the Diocese and president of St Luke's Church in Sambava, was among those commissioned to be evangelist-pastors for the new mission paradigm in the life of the Diocese.

This year at the first anniversary of St Luke's Church, the British Ambassador, Mr Brian Donaldson, has donated a computer to the Educational centre and library which is being opened in Sambava. The former church, which is much smaller than the new church, is being converted and will house this new educational project.

We also extend a request to all to help us set up the library by donating books to the Diocesan project for the SAVA Eastern Region of Madagascar.

We deeply regret the closing down of the British Embassy in Antananarivo before the end of 2005. Madagascar is going through a time of unprecedented growth and development as the President, Mr Marc Ravelomanana, liberalises the economy and welcomes foreign investors.

The closure of the British Embassy is a great loss for Madagascar as it stifles all the possibilities of greater partnership with a major European power. So this will be the last generous gesture of the British Ambassador to us for the social and educational work in the Diocese before he terminates his work and winds up the Embassy.