The Rt. Rev. Ellinah Wamukoya, Bishop of Swaziland and the first Anglican female Bishop in Africa, will be the Guest Speaker at a Celebratory Banquet to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women as Deacons and Priests in the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. The Banquet on Friday, October 24, will be hosted under the distinguished patronage of the Diocesan Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Howard Gregory and Mrs. Gregory, in the Grand Ballroom of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, starting at 7.00 p.m.
The fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Swaziland in Southern Africa, and one of the approximately 30 women Bishops, worldwide, in the male-dominated Anglican priesthood, Bishop Wamukoya is an advocate for transformation and renewal in the Anglican Church in her homeland. She also maintains that: “Women should believe in themselves because God did not create them to be lesser human beings.”
Bishop Wamukoya was consecrated on November 17, 2012, as the Anglican Church in Southern Africa marked the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women to the priesthood. She is a former teacher, town planner and Chief Executive Officer of the City Council in the Swaziland capital of Manzini. A skilled and seasoned financial administrator, she also served as a Planning Officer for the Government of Kenya.
The 63-year-old Bishop is a graduate of the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, now known as the University of Swaziland. She was ordained a Deacon in 2005 and became a priest in 2006. At her election as Bishop, she was Chaplain of the University of Swaziland and St. Michael’s High School in Manzini.
The upcoming Banquet is one of several commemorative events being organized by the Anglican women in ministry under the theme “Called, Liberated, Ordained for Service.” It will follow a two-day Women’s Conference to be held on October 21 and 22.
The Rev. Canon Judith Daniel, Chair of the 20th Anniversary Planning Committee, and one of the first three women ordained as Deacons in the Diocese on February 6, 1994, notes that: “The Banquet will provide an opportunity for the wider Church family to show its appreciation for the service of ordained women in this Diocese and throughout the Province of the West Indies.”
Members of the ecumenical fraternity have been invited to attend the historic event, the proceeds from which will go to the Sybil Morris Scholarship Fund, in memory of one of the first three women ordained. The first recipient of the Scholarship, which will be awarded to a female student, will be announced at the Banquet.
There are now more than 40 women in the Supplementary and full-time Ministry of the Anglican Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Four of the women ordained over the years now serve abroad.