Replacing Archbishop Dr. John Holder

Submitted as a comment by BMcDonald to the The Grenville Phillips Column – I Know Who Helped Me

The well intentioned rule, that the candidates for the office of Bishop of Barbados are only known on the morning of the election, has clearly not prevented commentary and speculation about prospective candidates in the mass media, even in the Anglican newspaper. The rule is also being exploited by those who want to drive discussion of the contribution to the development of this country by Christians and the Diocese of Barbados from the public square. Much of the mass media contributions is thinly veiled support of a young candidate. Much of the reasoning in support of the young man is flawed, because:
(1) The regulations governing the process of choosing a Bishop impose a minimum age, which clearly says that age is a factor. The imposition of a minimum age in the regulations supports the view that age brings maturity, experience, wisdom and patience, attributes needed in the Bishop, as opposed to popularity, which is ephemeral. One may also ask, if the young man is so popular, why the coordinated and relentless effort to project him as the preferred candidate at the expense of the rules.

(2) Until the election of Bishop Rufus T. Broome, it cannot be said that the local Synod freely elected the Bishop of Barbados. Initially Bishops were appointed from London at a time when Barbados was a much larger Diocese, including the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands and there was no air travel at that time and the preference for younger appointees was natural. Thereafter, the government of Barbados had an important role in the selection of the Bishop and finally, the local Synod, free to choose for itself in 1969, failed in its first attempt and a choice was imposed on the divided house by the Provincial House of Bishops.

(3) There is ample evidence that a long reign by any administrator can end with loss of enthusiasm, often described as burnout. The prospect of a twenty-five year reign for a Bishop, in light of the history of the Diocese, must make every Barbadian concerned.
As the Friday 6, 2018 article in the Nation newspaper shows, three of the five bishops appointed under age fifty were the first three Bishops of Barbados. Even among these, as early as the appointment of the second bishop, Thomas Parry, there was already a preference for experience as he had already served as a senior member of the administration of Bishop Coleridge for 16 years. Among the 10 bishops of Barbados, after Bishop Herbert Bree established the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral as the Guardian of the Spiritualities, only two were under fifty years of age. The first, Bishop Bentley, was already Bishop in Jamaica before he was translated to Barbados at age 45 and the second, Bishop Gomez was selected by the Provincial House of Bishops at age 35 when Barbadians in Synod could not choose one of their own as Bishop. Co-incidentally, the present Bishop of Belize, to whom the article referred, was also selected for that office by the Provincial House of Bishops.
Although personally popular, the young Bishop Gomez presided over the Diocese of Barbados during the Sintra Construction debacle and the Rev. Edward Gatherer affair which together cost the Diocese of Barbados hundreds of thousands of dollars. Money better spent on the mission of the church and the welfare of Barbadians.
The Sintra Construction debacle refers to the litigation that was pursued when it was claimed that the foundation of the Diocesan House at St. Michael’s row, Bridgetown had been the only structure in the area compromised by the construction activity of the Sintra Construction Company. The relatively new Diocesan house was condemned and demolished. The Gomez administration refused to compromise with the defendant construction company, went to trial and lost. Asquith Phillips Q.C., and his legal team for the defendant construction company were awarded significant costs.
In 1992. attorney at Law, Chezley Boyce took the case of Gomez v Gatherer all the way to the Privy Council in London and won a decision for Rev. Gatherer when the Privy Council reversed the Barbados Court of Appeal in a matter which turned on the age of the rector of St. Andrew’s Parish. Rev. Gatherer was restored as rector of St Andrew’s Parish Church by the court and awarded damages plus costs.

The above are included as a reminder that being Bishop of Barbados includes significantly more than preaching and ceremonials. Decisions have consequences. The 14th Bishop of Barbados must not only be a person of prayer, deep intellect and a track record of helping the poor, but also have demonstrable leadership, social and administrative skills and resolve. Flexible when compromise benefits the church, but not one who simply bends to the dictates of money and power. There is an urgent need for the Anglican Church, recently identified as one of the twin pillars upon which this country is built, to reclaim its rightful place amid the discourse in the public square and the leadership of that effort falls to the next Bishop of Barbados.


  • David
    There was an item in the press some years ago in which a case exceeding a budget item resulted in the finance official giving up her post rather than accept the unbudgeted item as a reasonable charge to the church.The succeeding officer,a no nonsense banker, approved the costs without hesitance and that was the end of the matter.


  • Amongst the clergy the stated support for Dean Gibson amongst the house of clergy coincidentally appears to emanate from the minority of churches – 12 in total – who possess more than 1 laity represtative. This scenario appears to be more than a coincidence as the candidate currently trailing in the house of laity appears to have secured the laity votes from at least 9 of these minority parishes. With a total of only 23 laity votes by the final ballot, it means that Dean Gibson ‘s vote aggregate in fact represents a much smaller representation of the wider church congregation as their core support is confined to less than a quarter of the entire house of laity.


  • In addition the notion that the candidate leading in the clergy is a testament to who the clergy prefers to lead them needs to be examined closely.
    The fact that candidate ran on an anti youth and pro experience platform needs to be juxtaposed with the fact that some 18 retired and inactive clergy participated in the recent elective Synod. Based on the final ballot of Dean Gibson ‘s 42 votes versus Rev. Rogers 31 votes it appears that a healthy proportion of the retired and inactive clergy would have supported the pro experience candidate based on the tenor of the discussion. It also suggests that by logic the trailing candidates 31 votes may actually represent an equivalent or superior number of active clergy amongst it support.


  • Added to this analysis is the fact that there are at least 6 assisting priests – that is priest not assigned to a parish- who have voiced their support for the current candidate leading in the clergy – Dean Gibson. Therefore, after close reflectio n can it be said that that candidate represents the true spirit of the active clergy?


  • Another component to this analysis behind the robes is the fact that the house of laity -79 representatives present at the election- unlike clergy some of whom are retired and inactive, represents the active pulse of the wider church as each member of the laity has been elected to represent their church at the highest decision making body the Synod. The house of laity therefore without a doubt represents the wider sentiment and will of the Anglican Diocesan Congreation and is in fact the voice of the church. The laity by the second ballot gave Rev . Rogers the required 2/3 majority in that house to become the next bishop of Barbados . Rev Rogers 53 votes to Dean Gibson ‘s 23 votes. When compared with the earlier analysis surrounding the support given to the trailing candidates in the house of laity from the min deity parishes with dual representation, a clear picture is revealed of who is the clearly preferred choice.


  • On the floor of the elected Synod it was evident which of the two leading candidates engaged in a carefully crafted electoral campaign – manifesto and all- versus which candidate allowed the spirit of God to guide his path.


  • Serious questions remain amongst the members of the active clergy with regards to where they will align their support during the reconvening of the elective Synod. It is clear that at several of the churches there is a stark divide between the laity and their priest which has been borne out in the fact that the churches laity representatives have totally rejected and abandoned the preferred choice for bishop.of their parish priests.


  • We must ask ourselves who should the.ministers be ministering to and who does those who are being ministered to want to be minister by?

    Dean Gibson if he serious about this call to Bishop , must publicly do the following:

    • Unreservedly distance himself from the call by Canon Haynes made on the floor of Synod last week Wednesday , ” persons should vote for Dean Gibson as Bishop of the Anglican Church in Barbados , because a private individual was prepared to give the Anglican Church $ 3 million $$$$$ – of Dean Gibson is elected Bishop

    For real ?

    Are you about to sell out the Anglican Church for ” money 💰?

    Barbados deserves better


  • millertheanunnaki

    Fractured BLP May 3, 2018 12:57 PM
    “Are you about to sell out the Anglican Church for ” money?
    Barbados deserves better…”

    The Anglican Church has already been sold out for money.

    Man, can’t you see that Anglicanism is dying in Bim?

    Just look at the country where it all started in order to appease the demands of a diseased-ridden deranged killer of women called King Henry V111.

    The Church of England is a fast-disappearing institution with many of its real estate being sold off to keep some its retail outlets open to mainly Africans.

    The same thing will soon be happening to the many pieces of glebe around Little England with the buildings turning into relics overgrown with bush and occupied by vermin.

    The C of E was compensated just like the slave owners for the loss of its property and investment in the slave business in West Indies. Shouldn’t that be considered blood money?

    The Anglican Church in Barbados was built on slavery and it will die on the cross of retribution for its role in that most anti-Christian business.

    Ask our BU John the QUAKER!


  • Fractured
    I am informed that “Cannon”Haynes detested,despised and don’t speak to Bishop John and boasts that he has not attended a Diocesan meeting since his enthronement.If true it’s no wonder he wants the woman who supports his flower festival every year to give him the ok to introduce the bribe money,another 30 pieces of silver.


  • Fractured BLP


    Canon Isaacs had no choice but to expose Rev. Morris scruillious charges.

    I asked Prodigirl a few posts above , on this thread, to come back on BU and deny that Rev. Morris was slapped with a defamation charge and the Anglican Church had to pay $ 20,000.00 to settle that debt !

    All because Rev. Morris told a female parishioner from a Anglican Church in St. Andrew that she is crook and that she stole the church money .

    I challenge Prodigirl a.k.a Reudon Eversley to come back on BU and deny it.

    Rev. Morris on his current path with cause the Anglican Church to go broke !

    Because no doubt Rev. Morris ( as the author) and VOB ( as publisher) will have to pay the Anglican Church a hefty sum – if Rev. Morris allegations cannot be PROVEN !

    Canon Isaacs has called for a retraction – so all Barbadians will wait and see .

    And to imagine that Rev. Morris is Dean Gibson’s campaign manager in Gibson’s race to become Bishop of Barbados.

    The Anglican Church deserves better.

    We waiting to hear from you ……..Prodigirl !!


  • Fractured BLP

    will go broke


  • The story is that Peter Haynes is an honorary canon and was passed over for full Canon by Bishop Holder and this is the source of his resentment of candidate Rogers the former bishop’s nephew.It is known that he made an offer at the elective synod of money to the diocese if his preferred candidate Gibson is made Bishop.The laity is firm in its choice of bishop and Peter Haynes is backing Gibson with this money offer because the story is that Gibson promises him a position with a bigger role and a female of a rural deanery a bigger role also.What is puzzling is why the diocesan fails to put Morris out of his misery by defrocking him. After all he did say on that call to Brasstacks that he is not a Christian! Gibson should apologize to the church for his ‘manifesto’ nonsense as well as the stories of promising offices which he is not authorised to do and should give way to Rev Rogers the popular choice of the laity and with significant support of other denominations .


  • Interesting to hear High Commissioner Guy Hewitt to the UK for Barbados who is an Anglican priest joining the selection of an Anglican bishop. His curt advice is for the clergy to listen to the laity. His view that he is related to the Bishop should not overshadow his body of work as a priest.


  • Georgie Porgie

    The real crux of the problem is that there ought not to be a CLERGY & A LAITY in the church according to the very clear NT teaching as taught in 1 Peter 2:9 et secq inter alia

    9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

    10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

    11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;


  • Three votes today but deadlock once again. Matter adjourned yet again.


Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s