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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
Church of the Province of Melanesia
October 6, 2008

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] 
Bishop James Ligo of the Diocese of Vanuatu said regions and districts of the diocese must venture into commercial activities in order to support and sustain their church activities in the long run.

Speaking at the Dioceses 18th Synod now underway at Nambangahake village on west Ambae, he said, limitation of the Church of Melanesia annual grant in contrast to the growing Anglican population is one of the biggest challenges of the diocese amidst the inevitable rising cost of goods and services.

“We have made right decisions to create more regions and districts because the isolation of our islands and their formation layout has contributed well to the slowness of service delivery and has created limitations for effective participation to the life of the church as a whole.”

Decentralizing activities to more but smaller regions and districts he said can encourage more participation in the church due to easy access to the main regional and district centres.

While the Diocese is embarking on providing, access for effective participation through creation of new districts and regions, he encouraged church members to work hard in order to minimize dependency on the diocese.

The Church of Melanesia Vanuatu Trust Bill passed in parliament in 2005, has allowed the church to enter into business development activities.

The Bishop encouraged regions and districts to use available opportunities to build a stronger financial base for the church so that it can effectively minister to its people.

The current sitting of the synod is expected to endorse the creation of more districts and regions passed in the regional conferences prior to the meeting.

The Diocesan synod concludes on Friday this week.