The Rt. Rev. Dr. Howard K.A. Gregory was elected this afternoon as the thirteenth Archbishop, Primate and Metropolitan (Anglican) of the Church in the Province of the West Indies (CPWI).
He was elected by clergy and laity attending the 40th Synod of the CPWI at the Cascadia Hotel, in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He succeeds the Most Rev. John Holder, who retired as Archbishop in February 2018.
Bishop Gregory was one of two nominees put forward by the House of Bishops, following its deliberations this morning. The other candidate was the Rt. Rev. Phillip Wright, Bishop of Belize. Following separate deliberations by the House of Clergy and the House of Laity, the entire body reconvened as an Elective Assembly. Bishop Gregory was elected on a simple majority.
Although the Province of the West Indies was established in 1883, 136 years ago, Bishop Gregory is only the third Bishop of Jamaica to be elected Archbishop. The first was the Most Rev. Enos Nuttall, Bishop of Jamaica, 1880-1916, who was elected Primate on May 26, 1893 and became the first Archbishop when the title was changed in 1897. Bishop William Hardie, Bishop of Jamaica, 1931-1949 was elected Archbishop in 1945 and served until his resignation in 1949.
Bishop Gregory’s election is significant as he is the first Jamaican-born Diocesan Bishop to be elected to this position. However, he is not the first Jamaican Archbishop. The Most Rev. Orland Lindsay, who worked in the Diocese of Jamaica before being elected Bishop of Antigua in 1970, was elected Archbishop in 1986 in succession to Archbishop Cuthbert Woodroffe of the Windward Islands, who was the first West Indian Archbishop. Archbishop Lindsay held the position until his retirement in 1998.
Archbishop Nuttall, while Bishop of Jamaica, played a leading role in drawing up the Constitution for a Provincial Synod which had its first meeting in Jamaica in October 1883 with the opening service being held at the St. Andrew Parish Church. At the time, the Synod only involved the Bishops of the Province and it elected the 76 year old Bishop of Guyana, William Austin as the Primate.
It was not until the 1950’s that the Canons of the Synod were amended to provide for the involvement of lay members in the deliberations and the first such Synod was held in Trinidad in 1959.
The CPWI comprises eight Dioceses, namely: The Diocese of Barbados; the Diocese of Belize; the Diocese of Guyana; the Diocese of Jamaica & The Cayman Islands; the Diocese of Northeastern Caribbean and Aruba; the Diocese of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands; the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago; and the Diocese of The Windward Islands.