Reflection: HOW AN ANGUILLIAN ANGLICAN PRIEST BECAME A BISHOP

anguillian
By anguillian September 26, 2016 09:55 Updated

 

 

bishop-errol-brooks

Rt. Rev. Errol Brooks

The Right Reverend Leroy Errol Brooks is the first and only Anguillian Priest to be appointed to the high office of Bishop of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba.

However, at first his humility and love to serve in a lower position in the Anglican Communion resisted such an appointment until he finally gave in to the prompting of other influential persons – and then an election.

Here, in his own words, is how he became a Bishop with responsibility for the Diocese of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba, now celebrating its 175th Anniversary:

“In the Anglican Communion there is a Shrine in England called Walsingham Shrine and every year many persons visit that Shrine. It is a replica of the House at Nazareth where Jesus lived. I had the privilege of visiting that Shrine in 1997. That was a time when there was all this hype about the election of a Bishop and I happened to be in England at a Bishop’s Conference. I was a Canon then.

“Word came that they wanted me to be a candidate for the Bishopric and my response was: ‘I am not really interested. I am happy where I am. I am happy with what I am doing.

“I went on to Walsingham with a lady, the Chairperson of the Guyanese Association in England. When we got there we met an old Priest – twice my height, a tall man who looked over like a crane; and there was a Nun from Trinidad.

“The lady with me said to them: ‘This gentleman is Canon Brooks but next time you see him he might be Bishop Brooks’.

“So I said I am not interested; and the man said to me: ‘My son, if God wants you to be a Bishop, you will be a Bishop.’

“That was the end of that story.

“Driving back from Walsingham, this voice kept re-echoing in my head: ‘If God wants you to be a Bishop, you will be a Bishop’. I tried to ignore this thing, looking at all the farming in the beautiful country; but the voice continued: ‘If God wants you to be a Bishop, you will be a Bishop’. There seemed to be no escaping.

“I got back home and the phone rang from Antigua. It was a four-way hook-up with four priests. They said: ‘We are putting forward your name tomorrow as a candidate for Bishop’.
“I said ‘I am not interested you know. The other person who is interested, let him be. I can work with him’.

“And they said: ‘That’s the problem. We got to have an election. It can’t be automatic just like that.’

“I said: ‘You know what, put my name down.” And I rationalised that it is an election and there is no guarantee that I am going to be elected and I was hoping that it would go the other way. Then the time came for the election – the rest is history.

“The man said: ‘If God wants you to be a Bishop, you will be a Bishop’. That was in Walsingham.”

Bishop Brooks was born in 1951. He is the 12th and current Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba. He was educated at Codrington Theological College and the University of the West Indies.

He was ordained to the Priesthood in 1974 and began his career as a Curate at St. John’s Cathedral in Antigua, the church at which he was to be consecrated as Bishop on March 25, 1998. Shortly after his consecration he was awarded the OBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll.

The Bishop, who lives in his homeland, but travels extensively through the Caribbean and outside the region, once told The Anguillian: “I am one of those peculiar Bishops as I still have a parish. I like to keep my feet on the ground. I could have been at the Cathedral sitting down having people running around me all the time at the flick of a finger. But I like to be among people. I feel privileged among my own people in Anguilla. This place is very dear to my heart. I want the best for Anguilla.”

He was preceded as Bishop of the Diocese of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba by Bishop Orland Lindsay of Jamaica.

anguillian
By anguillian September 26, 2016 09:55 Updated

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