First woman bishop to be installed
The first woman bishop of an international church group will be installed on Sunday.
The Reverend Roxanne Haynes, 61, said that she would take on the role as the Bishop of Bermuda and the Caribbean for the United Fellowship of Churches International — a successor to her late husband, who held the post until his death six years ago.
She added that she was “humbled” to be the first woman to taken up the position in the organisation’s 24 years of operation.
Dr Haynes said: “Whether you’re a male or female, God will put who he wants in place and I’m very humbled to know that God has chosen me to walk this path.”
The new bishop, from Sandys, was ordained in August.
Her husband, The Right Reverend Christopher Haynes, the previous bishop of the region, died in 2013.
She said: “I never really gave much thought to it, but after he passed, the mantle just came right down and I had to step into the role.”
Dr Haynes explained that she would be installed as bishop at the end of a five-day church conference at the Fairmont Southampton.
She said a priority in her new role was to provide better services for single parents.
Dr Haynes added that she wanted her installation as bishop to inspire other women to take senior roles in the church.
She said that she would organise programmes with Bermudian and Caribbean churches to mentor women.
Dr Haynes added: “You have women who have been serving for years that have not been recognised.
“It’s always been like something for men, so I would like to see women being elevated because they have so much to give.”
She said that she also wanted to develop youth mentoring programmes to help teenagers and young adults “find their purpose”.
Dr Haynes explained that she had felt the lack of a similar programme in her own youth.
She said: “I really didn’t have the kind of exposure or people in my life to really zero in on who I was and help me find my purpose.
“But then the Lord put a couple of women in my life and they took me under their wings and poured into me things that my own family couldn’t do to help me as a person.”
The United Fellowship of Churches International was founded in 1994 to support struggling churches, tackle social problems and “challenge denominational traditions”.
The fellowship has groups in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Ghana and South Africa.
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