UPPER SHIRE DIOCESE, Malawi: People and priests are planning New Year meetings to discuss and consider their response to the strange announcement from the Central African Provincial Bishops that Brighton Malasa, a junior priest of only five years in holy orders is to be the next bishop of Upper Shire diocese.
If he is consecrated it will make him the youngest bishop in the entire Anglican Communion* with the prospect of 35 years in charge of Upper Shire ahead of him. Understandably, in a culture that respects wisdom, experience and age there is fear that this appointment is verging on foolishness.
* In 1950 the Rt Rev’d David Hand was elected aged 32 as an assistant
bishop in New Guinea.
Michael Nazir-Ali now of Rochester, England was first ordained bishop aged
35 to be Assistant Bishop of Southwark.
Bob Anderson was 42 when he was elected bishop of Minnesota, USA and
Paul Williams the new Area Bishop of Kensington, London who will be
consecrated early next year is 40.
In 2002 the Rt Revd Andodo Elneel of Kadugli, Sudan was 33 when elected.
We cannot find any examples in the last 100 years of a 30 year old bishop, not least one who is to be a diocesan. Either the Central African Provincial Anglican bishops are divinely inspired in their choice or they are being extremely irresponsible.
From Anglican Information.