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A First Bishop of St. Helena

The Rt. Rev. Dale Bowers is the first bishop to be consecrated on the remote South Atlantic island of St. Helena. The island has played an important part in the history of Anglicanism in the area now covered by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. Its remoteness meant that a visit to the island required a weeks-long sea voyage, until an airport opened in 2016.

The first Anglican chaplain to St. Helena, a British Overseas Territory, was appointed in 1671. The Diocese of St. Helena, which includes a parish on Ascension Island, is the fourth-oldest in the province of Southern Africa, after Cape Town, Grahamstown, and Natal. The diocese celebrated its 150th anniversary in June 2009.

St. Helena is located more than 1,200 miles from the nearest landmass. It was the place of exile and death of Napoleon Bonaparte. The last visit by a metropolitan archbishop was more than 30 years ago, and it “has received less attention from the province than other dioceses,” Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba said.

Bowers is the second of 16 bishops from the diocese to be born on the island.

Adapted from ACNS

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