The content originally appeared on: The Anguillian Newspaper

The Pro-Cathedral of St. Mary, with St. Andrew and St. Augustine, has officially commenced a new Ministry. It has come with the formal installation of the recently-appointed Priest-in-Charge, Canon Reid Simon, a national of Antigua. He is a seasoned Minister, having 22 years of service with the Diocese of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba.

His Installation Service, with all the attendant celebrations of office, was held at the Pro-Cathedral on Sunday, October 24. The event was attended by a considerably large congregation at which social distancing and mass-wearing COVID precautions were observed.

The event was presided over by the Rt. Rev. Errol Brooks, the Anguillian Bishop of the Diocese, who is retiring from full ministry on October 31, after 23 years in the high office.

“Bishop Brooks, we have come together to welcome Canon Reid Simon who has been chosen to serve as Parish Priest,” said the Bishop’s Warden, Mr Ivor Hodge. “We believe that he is well-qualified and that he has been carefully and lawfully selected.” To that end, Bishop Brooks read the Letter of Institution, to Canon Simon, setting out his appointment under the Constitution of the Diocese of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba, following which he addressed the congregation to “witness this new beginning and to support and uphold” him in his new ministry.

The Litany for the Ordination was led by Canon Emerson Richardson, a retired Anguillian Priest, with whom Canon Simon served in several positions in Antigua.
During the course of the institution, there were several presentations to Canon Simon. They included the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese by Bishop Brooks; the emblems of the communion bread and wine by Mr. Patterson Hunte; the symbolic keys to the Anglican Churches by Ivor Hodge; and, most touchingly, other emblems, by three young children, emphasing the importance of young people in the church.

The new minister, kneeling and praying in the midst of the Pro-Cathedral, accepted the emblems.

In his sermon, Bishop Brooks told the congregation that several years ago he had invited Canon Simon to serve in Anguilla when there was a shortage of priests on the island but that, due to family commitments, he was unable to take up an appointment then. He was delighted that the time had now come for the Canon to do so – and took the opportunity to welcome him, his wife, Mrs Turkessa Simon and their son, Matthew, to Anguilla.

The Bishop continued: “Canon Reid is a seasoned Priest; In fact, on September 20, 2021 he celebrated his 22nd anniversary of ordination as a Priest. He has served parishes in St. Kitts and his homeland, Antigua. He represented the Diocese at nearly every forum. We give thanks to God for him. He comes to us with vast experience and I have every confidence that, with God’s help, he will serve the people of God in this part of the vineyard, well. Give him your support. Continue to lift him and his family in your prayers.

“I am sure that he will be introducing new ways of engaging in the ministry, especially in this new norm, as we call it. Do not, for Heaven’s sake, object to doing things in new ways…We have to be open to new ideas and new experiences. This does not mean that we change for change sake. When we make changes, we should be able to explain why changes are being made. Any change that is made ought to be for your improvement. Let us move beyond going through the motions and let us be open to the guidance of God’s spirit. Be not hearers only, but doers…”

Replying, almost at the end of the service, Canon Simon spoke of the approaches made to him by Bishop Brooks to come to Anguilla but he was unable to do so then. He explained that one reason for his postponement was that his son was in the middle of his secondary schooling which could not be disrupted. He was now pleased that difficulty was overcome and that his son, Matthew, was now able to join him and Mrs. Simon in Anguilla.

He said he has been in Anguilla since the first of September. “We are all here to play our part to advance God’s Kingdom,” Canon Simon went on. “And the Kingdom is not defined by me as your Priest. I am just a part of it. I will be here as Priest and Pastor to help us all to grow in the faith. In fact, I will do my best to ensure that I fulfil what has always been a mandate for me in the ministry. When St. Paul spoke to the church in Ephesus he uttered these words: ‘To equip the saints for the work of ministry for the Kingdom of God in Christ.’

Canon Simon concluded his remarks by urging each one to play his or her part in the ministry of the church.