Rector of the Holy Trinity Church, Reverend Michael Bruce St John Maxwell, today held his first church service as Bishop-elect of Barbados.
The Bishop-elect told the members of the congregation, where he has been serving for 10 years, that while he is still adjusting to the news that he has been chosen to the lead the Anglican Diocese, he is aware that a mammoth task lies ahead, considering all that has been happening in society, as it relates to crime, violence, and a rising unemployment rate.
However, 47-year-old Reverend Maxwell said with God’s grace and strength he is willing and ready to answer his calling, as he assured that the Holy Spirit will be guiding and directing the path.
“He has called and I am also sure that he will also supply the strength to enable me to conquer. One of the first issues I believe I have to deal with is to try to unify our church again after the Bishop election itself, but of course also the issues the nation itself is going through with the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) Programme,” Maxwell said.
“I Think that the church itself has to have an integral role in responding pastorally to the needs of the people who will be affected by this transformation in our nation. And so of course, I believe that as Bishop, I will have to inspire the clergy and the parishes to be able to respond pastorally to the needs of our nation, while I try to do my best from my level of involvement as leader of this church.”
The Bishop-elect, who entered the priesthood at 25-years-old, said he is receiving full support from his family and friends who will be there at his side as he prepares to start a new phase of his pastoral career.
Meanwhile, the overjoyed members of Holy Trinity congregation were offering congratulations to Reverend Maxwell, his wife Dawn Holder-Maxwell, and two sons, Michael and Christopher.
Those members who Barbados TODAY spoke with, all said that the Reverend, whom they described as a people’s person, deserved to be elected to fill the important post.
“We are elated for Father Maxwell. It is a bit bitter sweet because we know that we are losing him from Holy Trinity Church, but at the same time, we are gaining an excellent Bishop,” member Annette Weekes said.
“We are very proud of him and we look forward to him doing great things. He has been quite an inspiration here at Holy Trinity, working with the youth, and with other members. He has been really the roots on the ground for us here at Holy Trinity. So we are extremely pleased, and we are extremely proud and we look forward to continue to work with him wherever possible. It is a very exciting moment for us here at Holy Trinity, it really is.”
Former Rector of St Matthias, Canon DeVere Murrell, said the election of Father Maxwell to become the next Bishop of Barbados is a good choice. Canon Murrell said the Reverend has served the Diocese faithfully and well.
“He has the potential to be a good Bishop. I wish him, on behalf of my family, and this entire Holy Trinity church, God’s blessings. We want him to know that we are supporting and praying for him,” the retired Rector said.
“Canon Murrell explained that there have been a number of persons of passed through Holy Trinity, that eventually became Bishops of Barbados. They were either Priest in charge, or as seminarians assigned to the church. I can think of Bishop Holder who was one of the Priest in Charge, and a number of others.”
Last Friday evening, the House of Bishops appointed Father Maxwell as the next Bishop-elect. He succeeds the Most Reverend Dr John Holder who retired as Bishop and Archbishop of the West Indies on February 28. (AH)