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.


  • Everyone you discuss this matter the names Rodgers and Clarke are on their lips.


  • The well intentioned rule, that the candidates for the office of Bishop of Barbados are only known on the morning of the election,
    Well intentioned? Does this rule pertain to everyone or only members of the public? Seems to me that such a rule is a relic of the past and smacks of some sort of homage to Roman Catholic ritual where the Cardinals meet in secret to elect the Priest of Rome.

    BTW do the electors release white smoke signals when a Bishop is finally (s)elected?


  • “By their fruits ye shall know them”……John Rodgers seem to have endeared himself to the congregations of the cures of St James where he served as Seminarian in his Codrington College training for the ministry,as well as his incumbency at St Lukes and now St George.He is well loved and admired by the young and the not do young.


  • The pertinent question is whether the criteria for selection is fair given what the author has shared.


  • There is a third matter that went before the courts of justice very recently in which a priest challenged his retirement.The Bishopric took the advice of the church’s legal adviser,himself an appointed officer of the Anglican hierarchy and guess what.As in the two hitherfore mentioned,they lost the case.A priest knew the law better than the lawyer who happpened to be a supposedly big up
    In the pay of the crown.Surely the lesson to be learned just in case it was either not taught nor inwardly digested in the first place,is to follow the free advice of one of Barbados’s legal luminaries,Errol W Barrow…..’.if you want justice,keep out of Coleridge Street’..
    There are rules and procedures to be followed.The Anglican Church in Barbados can boast of more scholars than most other institutions in Barbados perhaps with the exception of the Hill and the Courts of Justice.I recall the lead up to the successor to Bishop Gomez.The former Dean was forced to complain of the photography used by CBCTV to display his image as opposed to that used to display that of the other apparent front runner the Canon Missioner.In the end the latter rose,mitred.


  • David

    i can tell you as an Anglican, neither will be elected.


  • @Prodigal Son

    Why? The age rule?


  • We should revert to first principles

    In doing so we should ask ‘what is this about in and of itself?’

    We could never understand why the religion that enslaved Bajans should be central to daily life in an independent country.

    Are these old houses of disrepute not been enough abandoned by the people, and should the new ones not be likewise?

    If we are to have a goddess should She not look like us?

    Are there any differences between the canvassing that is and will go on and the other palaver he expect soon?

    What is this insatiable appetite to have one man as the head of anything, anyway? Has that type of thinking done us any good?


  • Prodigal
    There is a view that one not mentioned in the Anglican will be cast in the role of a John the Baptist.


  • Gabriel

    We will have to wait and see what happens on April 25th. If they are ministers of God’s word and cannot compromise on what is best for our church at this time, they will have to live with any Bishop that who is sent in.

    Yes David…….the majority of the priests do not want a Bishop for 25 years. He would run out of steam after ten years and whither the church for the next 15 years?


  • Rev. John Rogers is a very strong candidate for the post of Bishop.


  • Is the Anglican church in Barbados ready for a woman bishop?

    Yes she is.

    The majority of the congregation has always been female.

    So why not?


  • With due respect to those few ordained females some of them think it’s a fashion parade and in typical woman fashion introduce petty jealousies and cliques in the Anglican Church.I declare my opposition to these charlatans.Truly they have missed their calling.Impostors!


  • Dont be so hard on the ladies, Gabriel. LOL


  • Fashion icons follow trends which originate in the ‘hoods’ or ghettos.There is more to this Natlee effect than meets the eye.


  • @April 12, 2018 10:29 PM “With due respect to those few ordained females some of them think it’s a fashion parade…”

    Some people may call your statement fake news, but i will call it exactly what it is a big able stinking lie.”

    Anglican priests male and female all wear the same priestly garments. How then do you consider those garments if won by a female and if worn by a male are correct.

    I call you out for your misogyny.

    Remember your grandmother, mother, wife, daughters and granddaughters are all female.

    Remember too that all of these women have all served you well, starting with wiping your shitty bottom, and wiping your snotty nose.

    When you age and become unable to feed, bathe and dress yourself, a woman will do those things for you. And she will do it with or without pay, and she will do it even when she knows that you are undeserving.

    On your dying bed more likely than not a woman will be the last to close your eyes.

    Respect due.


  • Rev. Gatherer was not a woman.

    Rev. Goddard was not a woman.

    The one they called father sexy, who it is believed murdered my innocent cousin as she was n her way to church was not a woman.

    And some of the others who had to run from the church in Barbados because of their flagrant adulteries were not women.

    You need to be-off, and know your place.


  • Judas Iscariot, he who betrayed Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was not a woman.

    Peter who denied our Lord, he Peter who said “I know him not” was not a woman.


  • Will certainly

    On Wed, Apr 11, 2018, 8:17 PM Barbados Underground wrote:

    > David posted: “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 c” >


  • Theophilius Gazerts 443

    I was just was about to post here and my google crashed. Even I who stumble between religions and non-religion took that as a warning from “someone”. I will put it elsewhere.


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