Election of new Bishop 3rd May 2014
Bishop Oliver writes:
This morning Canon BOTOMAZAVA Theophile was elected Coadjutor Bishop with the right of succession by the Electoral College of the Diocese of Antsiranana. More details are in newsletter No. 27.
The Rt Revd Dr Oliver Simon
who was formerly a member of the Holyford staff team was consecrated the 4th Bishop of the Diocese of Antsiranana on 19th February 2012 (report and photos here).
Antsiranana is the name of the northern Anglican diocese in the island of Madagascar. The diocese was formed in 1969 when the Anglican diocese of Madagascar was subdivided into three dioceses. There are now six, Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina and Toliara. We are part of the Anglican Church of the Indian Ocean, along with the dioceses of Mauritius and the Seychelles.
Politically, Madagascar now consists of 22 regions: the diocese of Antsiranana covers the regions of Diana and Sava. These names are acronyms, the letters of the principle settlements in each region.
Antsiranana diocese is twice the size of Wales. Getting about is challenging: there is a degraded tarmac road running north-south on the western side of the diocese (Region of Diana). There is another tarmac road running north – south on the eastern side of the diocese (Region of Sava).
The diocese consists of 19 parishes organised into 5 Districts (equivalent to Deaneries). Each parish has several congregations in village communities often scattered many kilometres from each other, 148 congregations in all. So the clergy, like the bishop have to travel, usually on foot or on bicycle.
We have 49 clergy of whom half are stipendiary (paid). The care of the many scattered congregations is usually in the hands of our Catechists and Evangelists. We have 85 Catechists and 95 Evangelists.
The diocese has a number of parochial schools. In May 2013 we held a conference of the teachers and directors.
You can follow our story by reading the regular Newsletters which contain requests for prayer.