Process for new Anglican Bishop continuing

The Anglican Diocese of Guyana was unable to elect a bishop after going to the ballot last month owing to a reported lack of sufficient support for the nominees, placing the appointment of a new bishop under the control of the House of Bishops in the regional province.

The appointment is expected to be made shortly as the regional province moves in the direction of appointing a new Archbishop. There can be no elections for a new Archbishop in the Province of the West Indies to replace retired Archbishop Drexel Gomez of Barbados if no new bishop is named in Guyana.

The vote for a new bishop to replace retired Bishop Randolph George witnessed divided sentiment over two candidates at the mid-February election.

Well-placed sources said that the Anglican clergy and laity were divided on the two nominees, and the support of both arms is required to secure election according to church rules.

Efforts to contact senior officials within the Anglican Church on Wednesday and yesterday proved futile.  Archdeacon of Demerara, Oscar Bazil briefly commented that the process to name a Bishop was still ongoing.

Bishop Santosh Marray of the Seychelles and Father Andy Carto of St. Phillips Church were nominated at the elections to replace Bishop George. Sources say that Bishop Santosh Marray had been highly favoured to win the election, but when the ballots were counted neither had the full support of both the clergy and laity.

In the event that no bishop is elected the Anglican Diocese of Guyana is expected to formally write the House of Bishops in the Province of the West Indies informing them of the development. The House of Bishops would then meet and make an appointment.

Stabroek News was told that a few names within the region are to be considered when the House of Bishops meets.

Sources said that the two local nominees are not likely to be considered when the house meets because of the outcome of the elections here, observing that the new bishop must have full support of both the clergy and laity.

But a source close to the Anglican Church pointed out that the House of Bishops can elect a priest to head the local diocese and later have him consecrated, particularly if the individual is popular among the clergy and laity.

The appointment of a new Bishop could be completed within another month, a source said, noting that the process is not likely to take much longer given that a new Archbishop in the regional province is still to be elected.

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