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Archbishop Jabez Bryce, Polynesia

Condolence letter to the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia at the passing of Archbishop Jabez Bryce, Bishop of the Diocese of Polynesia.

15 February 2010

To the
Primate of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia & Bishop of Aotearoa

Geneva, 15 February 2010

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,
comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.

2 Thessalonians 2.16-17

Dear Archbishop William Brown Turei,

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, who is by grace, our eternal comfort and hope. It is with profound sorrow that we received the news that our beloved Archbishop Jabez Bryce, Bishop of the Diocese of Polynesia, passed from this life to his eternal rest in the Lord.

Archbishop Bryce will be remembered as one of the great personalities who provided leadership to the churches in the Pacific and to the ecumenical community world-wide. His commitment to the ecumenical movement was shown through his passionate and long term involvement as chairman of the Pacific Conference of Churches and as the president of the World Council of Churches from 1998 to 2006. His ministry in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia was outstanding and he will be remembered as the longest serving bishop in the Anglican Communion.

We honour Archbishop Bryce for his extraordinary service as a leading Pacific ecumenist and his tireless efforts in bearing witness to the issues affecting the church worldwide and within the Pacific. In particular, we commend his work in raising awareness about the impact of nuclear testing in the Pacific – on the people and their way of life.

On behalf of the fellowship of churches that comprise the World Council of Churches, I convey our most sincere condolences to Archbishop Bryce’s family and to the people of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. We participate with our sisters and brothers in the Diocese of Polynesia in mourning for the loss of their long serving and beloved spiritual leader.

As St Paul reminds the church in Thessalonica, the love of God, made manifest in Jesus Christ, is an eternal comfort – a comfort of hope in times of grief and a comfort of courage to carry on. May God strengthen your hearts and may the memory of our dear Archbishop Bryce live eternally.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General secretary
World Council of Churches