Georgetown, Guyana- (October 28, 2018) President David Granger was, this morning, inducted as a patron of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew at a simple ceremony held at the Christ Church in Waterloo Street, Georgetown.
In his acceptance speech, the President urged members of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew to take the Brotherhood’s mission seriously and reminded them that the world marked the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation last year.
“Anglicanism is a product of the Protestant Reformation. We must understand our identity that Protestantism came into being to reject the abuses in the old Roman Church. It came into being in protest against abuses, so we must not lose our identity and the reason for being Anglican,” he said.
Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic monk, protested against the abuses in the Church on 31st October 1517. Luther’s protest ignited the greatest upheaval in Europe – the Protestant Reformation – with the most enduring doctrinal, geopolitical, social and technological consequences that the Christian Church has known, the President said.
He noted too that in addition, technological changes facilitated the propagation of Christian knowledge and the invention of printing allowed people to own their own bibles which they could read, re-read and understand in their own languages. The Pope, cardinals, bishops and priests were discredited widely. Wars erupted. New states came into existence on the ruins of the so-called ‘Holy Roman Empire’. “Protestant denominations proliferated thereafter – Adventism, Anglicanism, Calvinism, Congregationalism, Lutheranism, Methodism, Pentecostalism and Presbyterianism and many more – emerged in succeeding decades and centuries,” he said.
Last year, the Anglican community observed the 175th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Guyana on August 24, 1842 when the Right Reverend William Austin was consecrated as the first Bishop of Guiana. “Anglicanism is a product of the Protestant Reformation. The Anglican Diocese occupies a prominent place and plays a pivotal role in public and private life. Anglicans constitute almost seven per cent of Guyana’s population. Anglicanism has deep roots in our communities, with churches in every hinterland and coastland region. Anglicans pioneered missions among Africans, Amerindians, Chinese, East Indians and Europeans,” President Granger said, adding that the Brotherhood of St. Andrew is part of a long historical tradition with a wide geographical community and deep social roots.
The Brotherhood of St. Andrew was not established in England, the home of the Anglican Church, or in Scotland, whose patron Saint is St. Andrew, but in Chicago USA by the Episcopalian Church, the President reminded. It was founded 135 years ago as a prayer and Bible study group at St. James Church on St. Andrew’s Day – 30th November 1883.
“The Brotherhood’s mission accords with Jesus’s edict to his disciples to: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15) and rests on four pillars – Prayer, Study, Service, and Fellowship,” he said.
The President noted too that the Brotherhood of St. Andrew faces enormous challenges in modern society.
“I think we must preserve that protestant identity and preserve our uniqueness as Anglicans…We are all guardians of that identity and we must make sure that our beliefs are not contaminated with notions of being popular or being fashionable,” the President said.
The Head of State urged the Brotherhood to continue to strive towards achieving the ‘Kingdom of God’ by doing exactly what Jesus prescribed: to “…love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…and to love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Meanwhile, President of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Brentnol Maynard said the Brotherhood’s mission is to spread the good news of Jesus Christ among men and especially young men and boys for their self-fulfilment and their improved spiritual well-being. “The Brotherhood of St. Andrew is among the organisations within the Anglican body of the Diocese of Guyana which promotes, advances and protects the interests of the church,” he said.
Dr. Barton Scotland, Speaker of the National Assembly and Chancellor of the Diocese of Guyana, Mr. Noel Holder, who is also the Minister of Agriculture; Member of the National Assembly, Ms. Jennifer Wade and General Secretary of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Mr. Oscar Clarke, also attended the event.