The Anglican Church of Chile – has been inaugurated as the latest province of the Anglican Communion in a service of joy and celebration in the capital, Santiago. It was originally part of the province of South America but was granted provincial status after sustained growth.
More than 800 people, including many from overseas, attended the service on November 5 at the Grange School, which was presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. The congregation included diocesan and auxiliary bishops, pastors, leaders and lay members from the four dioceses of the new province. They were joined by clergy, academics and representatives of missionary societies from across the world including the UK, Hong Kong, Ireland, the US, Australia and several countries in South America.
In his address, Archbishop Justin spoke warmly of Chile and its mother province, saying: “The province [of South America] and its new province are shining lights within the Anglican Communion which will now burn yet more brightly as a challenge and example to the rest of the Communion.”
During the service Bishop Hector (Tito) Zavala Munoz was installed as Archbishop and Primate of the new province. He was prayed over by Archbishop Justin and presented with a primatial cross.
He became Bishop of Santiago when Chile was split into four dioceses in preparation for its move towards provincial status. The other new dioceses are Valparaíso, Concepción, and Temuco.
In an interview with the Anglican Communion News Service, Archbishop Tito spoke of his joy at becoming a separate province.
“I am so happy. What is happening is historic and unique in our history”, he said. “I remember when I talked to dioceses 20 years ago, we had many dreams about growing and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. And now I can see how the Church has grown.
“And I am so excited about the life of the Church because I can see how young people are becoming involved day-by-day.”
Adapted from Anglican Communion News Service