MEMBERS of the Anglican community at the St. Alban Parish in West Honiara have turned out in their numbers to welcome two new priests into the Anglican Church of Melanesia.
Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) officers, Inspector, James Maelanga and Senior Sergeant John (Luke) Manau were officially ordained as priests on Sunday 23 June.
RSIPF has further strengthened its link with the church through the ordination of two of its officers Inspector James Maelanga, 54 and Senior Sergeant John (Luke) Manau, 52.
Speaking during the ordination church service, newly ordained priest and inspector, James Maelanga said he was humbled and wanted to give thanks and praise to the Almighty God for the gift of faith and for the gift of ordination.
“The gift which my colleague Senior Sergeant and Priest Manau received is not for ourselves, but for serving the people of God of this beloved Solomon Islands to help spread the message of peace in the church of God. The church is the people that officers of the RSIPF serve.
“Being a priest and police officer makes no difference, as both the church and police work for peace. Yet my ordination as a priest will further strengthen the bonds between the Church of Melanesia and the RSIPF. It will certainly broaden my interaction with the church congregation to be law-abiding citizens when they serve God.
“I would also like to thank Commissioner of the RSIPF, Matthew Varley for approving my application for my colleague and me to use the RSIPF ceremonial uniform for our ordination,” Priest Maelanga added.
Senior Sergeant and Priest Manaualso said: “I have served the RSIPF for 36 years with most of those years spent in the Police Band. I feel I have not done much to spread the message of peace, but of course playing music is another indirect way of harmonising for peace. Yet my ordination as a priest will no doubt give me the opportunity to preach peace to the people of God. The church congregations are God fearing people who also abide by the law of the land.
“Thank you God for the calling to be a priest and police officer for peace,” Senior Sergeant Manau added.
Inspector and Priest Maelanga is currently the Director of the Police Band. He has served the RSIPF for 37 years. Whist, Senior Sergeant Manau is still serving in the Police Band.
Both officers are from Malaita Province. The RSIPF Police Band also attended the ordination ceremony to witness their two seniors ordained as priests.