By James Amoh Junior
Very Reverend Dr. George Kotei Neequaye, Dean, Cathedral Church of the Most Holy Trinity of the Anglican Diocese of Accra has been elected a Suffragan Bishop of the yet-to-be created Diocese of Tema.
The Suffragan Bishop will be an assisting bishop to the Bishop of Accra and will not automatically become Diocesan Bishop of the yet to be created Diocese of Tema, but may be elected the Bishop at another synod.
The Special Synod, convened at the behest of the Diocesan Bishop of Accra, the Rt. Rev’d Dr. Daniel Sylvanus Mensah Torto at the St. Bartholomew Anglican Church in Teshie, was on the theme: “…Be thou faithful…and thou shall receive a crown of life – Revelations 2:10”.
The Synod, which witnessed delegates from all Parishes across the Diocese voting for their preferred nominated Clergy, was preceded by a shortened form of Matins and Said Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit.
The nominated clergy were: Very Rev’d Dr. George Kotei Neequaye, Dean of the Cathedral; Venerable Samuel Hansen-Addy, Archdeacon of Tema and Venerable Antonio Tello Nelson, Archdeacon of Accra East Archdeaconry.
At the end of the first round of voting, Very Rev’d Dr. Neequaye obtained 198 votes, Venerable Tello Nelson had 69 votes while Venerable Hanson-Addy got 34 votes.
None of the nominees obtained two/thirds of the total votes cast, which therefore necessitated a second round of polling between Very Rev’d Dr. Neequaye and Venerable Tello Nelson.
Out of a total votes of 300 cast in the second round, Very Rev’d Dr. Neequaye emerged victorious as he garnered 246 votes to beat Venerable Nelson who obtained 52 votes.
Very Reverend Dr. George Kotei Neequaye, Suffragan Bishop-Elect, in a brief acceptance speech, pledged to support the Diocesan Bishop of Accra in the creation of the new Diocese of Tema.
He further pledged to work assiduously to actualize plans for the creation of the Diocese, and called on all clergy and members of the church to work collectively towards the desired unity of purpose with a common goal to advance the Anglican Communion.
The Anglican Diocese of Accra at the first session of the 24th Diocesan Synod announced the creation of a new diocese in Tema.
The carving out of the Tema Diocese, the Synod held, has become necessary due to the growing numbers of Parishes in the sprawling cosmopolitan city of Tema and its environs.
Also, it is to advance the Accra Diocese’s vision of church planting particularly in the Eastern part of the Greater Accra Region.
Therefore, a nine-member Committee was constituted to put forward an evidence-based research analysis to inform its decision and recommendation for the creation of the new Diocese.
The creation would bring to 12, the number of Dioceses in the Anglican Internal Province of Ghana, and when fully operational, would reduce the workload on the current Bishop of Accra who mostly traverses the entire region for pastoral duties.
In compliance to Canon Five of the Constitution of the Church of the Province of West Africa, the proposed boundary of the Tema Diocese will cover: Tema, Ashaiman, Prampram, New Ningo, Kpone-Katamanso, Dodowa, Ada, Boeko, Dangme East and its environs.