A Malaita clergyman

Father Harry Gereniu at the Pacific Theological College in Suva. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

OUTSPOKEN and cultured, Father Harry Gereniu is someone you can easily relate to. He is a clergyman from Malaita Province in the Solomon Islands and is a member of the Anglican Church of Melanesia who is studying at the Pacific Theological College in Suva.

Theology has sharpened Fr. Harry’s perspective and mind to understanding people’s faith and he has even built a stronger relationship with God through his journey.

“I was involved with the ministry for 11 years before becoming a priest in 2008. I had the passion to preach when I was young and so it was something I strongly believed in,” he said.

After becoming a priest in 2008 Fr. Harry became a chaplain at a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) school which was opened by the Anglican Church in his island home.

“After serving as a chaplain I went to further pursue my studies and returned to the school to be its principal for three years. “After serving as a principal at the TVET school I then decided to come to the Pacific Theological College.”

He said as a teenager he was offered a scholarship to attend the University of Technology in Papua New Guinea.

“I decided against going to PNG and I went to do lay ministry instead, which most of my relatives disagreed with then,” he said.

“It was when doing lay ministry work that I realised I needed more knowledge, so I can better equip myself in order to be more effective and to better understand issues that affect the church and people.”

He was born and raised in an Anglican family background.

“My grandfather was a priest and so was my uncle and then my cousin who recently joined priesthood,” he said.

“It might seem like a family thing, but honestly for me it was just my personal interest as a young man. “Starting at the Pacific Theological College Extension Education (PTCEE) I have managed to see things in a more communal setting instead of being just to focus on the Anglican church traditions alone. “This has been a very interesting experience for me. This has broadened my mind in understanding other Christian brothers and sisters who practise different Christian traditions.”

Last year, Fr. Harry was strongly involved with the Melanesian Ethnic Group where members helped raise funds during a bazaar in Fiji.

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