|1.||L.R. Wilson||1953 – 1959|
|2.||R. Anthony Perry||1960 – 1966|
|3.||Michael Lim||1966 – 1969|
|4.||Alfred J. Blade||1969 – 1978|
|5.||Leonard Melling||1978 – 1981|
|6.||Made Katib||1981 – 1992|
|7.||Solomon Cheong||1992 – 1999|
|8.||Aeries Sumping Jingan||1999 – 2009|
|9.||Michael Buma||2010 – Present|
Current CATHEDRAL CHAPTER 2012
|1.||The Very Revd Michael Buma|
|2.||The Rev. Canon Gregory Chambers|
|3.||The Rev. Canon James Juhari|
|4.||The Rev. Canon Jamal Senada|
|5.||The Ven. Canon Andrew Paha|
|6.||The Ven. Canon Nelson Ugas|
|7.||The Ven. Canon Chimbie Bunsie|
|8.||The Ven. Canon Solomon Cheong|
“Theirs was a true pioneering life; everything had to be started from scratch”
Thomas Francis McDougall was a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons before he took Holy Orders. He was ordained in 1845, and after holding curacies in England he was requested by the Rajah of Sarawak to start an Anglican mission in his equatorial principality.
Dr. and Mrs. McDougall reached Sarawak in 1848. Theirs was a truly pioneering life; everything had to be started from scratch. A Church and a Mission House were built, instruction of school children and prospective converts was organised; and Dr. McDougall’s services as a doctor were much in demand. Mrs. McDougall were as active as her husband, especially in the field of education. She shared the common lot of ‘colonial wives’ in that she had to leave her young family behind in England; of the babies born in Kuching most died. Some of the most touching records of the Mission’s early days are found in Mrs. McDougall’s letters to her young son at school in England, later published as ‘Letters from Sarawak’.
McDougall was consecrated Bishop of Sarawak in 1856. During his time, the strong foundation of the Anglican church in Borneo was laid: the urban mission was never allowed to supersede the needs of the rural people who lived in a far-flung land of difficult access.
Bishop McDougall was ordered to leave the tropics on medical advice in 1867. He kept in close touch with Sarawak and its affairs during the next twenty years, when he served as Bishop of Ely and then Winchester.
“Chambers visited various rural areas and founded outstations …where he acquired fluency in the Iban language and a good understanding of his flock’s customs and traditions.”
Chambers arrived in Sarawak in March 1851, and was initially posted to the Skrang. Because of political unrest at the time, he moved downriver to Banting where he pioneered missionary work among the Balau Iban. He brought his first four converts to Kuching to be baptized on Christmas Eve 1854. Chambers visited various rural areas and founded outstations as far afield as Undup, but his headquarter was at Banting, where he acquired fluency in the Iban language and a good understanding of his flock’s customs and traditions. He translated Christian literature into the native tongue; he started a school in Banting which, especially after his marriage in 1856, did much to plant the good seed.
In his wife, Elizabeth Wooley, Chambers found a useful companion to share the hardships and joys of ‘outstation life’ in Sarawak. Her presence at Banting drew the women to the church; in a letter, Mrs.McDougall described the school girls who ‘follow Lizzy around everywhere’.
Chambers was appointed Archdeacon of Sarawak in 1868, and followed T.F.McDougall as Bishop of Sarawak consecrated by Tait on 29 June 1869. He was installed in Kuching on 5 June 1870 as Bishop of Sarawak and the Straits Settlements. Now settled in Kuching, he continued his ministrations to the Dayak areas, besides visiting Singapore annually. In his first synod of 1871 he planned to have a central school for the Dayaks; St.Thomas’s School in Kuching which building during this period. In his second synod he put forward his vision of a self-supporting Church. 1874 he went on home furlough, taking the 17-year-old mission scholar William Howell with him.
The loss of his wife in 1875 was a severe blow to Chambers; he was not robust but he returned to Sarawak and his episcopal duties. Ill health forced him to resign in 1881; he was a complete invalid until his death on Dec.21, 1893.
Chambers’ reputation tends to suffer from comparison with his forceful, genial predecessor, McDougall. Many contemporaries saw him and Mrs.Chambers as narrow-minded, though both deserve to be remembered as tireless workers and enthusiastic evangelists who literally gave their health and finally their lives to their joint vocation. Chambers’ episcopal visitations were not leisurly progresses, but working trips. At the time of his collapse, the ageing Bishop had been in the stages of planning a three-month ministry in Banting, and so he wore out his strength.
George Frederic Hose was ordained at Ely in 1861/62. He served as a missionary in the Straits Settlements, and was made Archdeacon of Singapore in 1875. He was consecrated Bishop of Sarawak and Singapore in May 1881.
“Hose is credited with having planted the first rubber seeds in Borneo”.
Bishop Hose was enthroned in Kuching on 17 Jan 1882. He was a tireless traveller and from the beginning made regular tours of the rural areas. He was equally thorough in his administration of Singapore and Malaya. He urged people to construct temporary prayer houses if there was no proper church. He encouraged the appointment of lay readers and teachers in the rural area; his wife re-opened the girls’ school in Kuching. The Dayak ministry blossomed under Hose. He organised the first Iban conference in 1893, and expanded mission work in Sabah. He ordained W.Howell, and recruited E.H.Gomes from Singapore, and (Archdeacon) Sharp, who sparked new life into the Church in Borneo. Some of the older missionaries (Fowler, Zehnder) retired or died during this episcopate.
Hose’s last years were a time of relative stagnation. With the death of his wife, Hose lost not only a cherished life partner, but also a competent fellow-botanist (Hose is credited with having planted the first rubber seeds in Borneo). The ageing bishop continued to administer his two bishoprics as well as he could; after more than forty years in the tropics he was reluctant to leave the scene of his labours. Bishop Hose left Kuching in 1907 and resigned in November 1908.
William Mounsey was consecrated Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak in 1909. He was was occupied for eight years in restructuring the Diocese after its separation from Singapore; upon arrival here he found a very small staff, and few material resources. He was a stern, pious man in his way, strict with his staff and not always popular. But his successor found a well-administered church, its finances in order and its machinery running smoothly and the schools expanding. After his resignation from Sarawak, Bishop Mounsey joined the Community of the Resurrection, and became Assistant Bishop of Truro and later Bradford. He passed away in June 1952.
Logie Danson was bom in Aberdeen, Scotland, where he served as a curate after his ordination. His first posting in the East was at Seremban in Negri Sembilan in 1911. After his consecration as Bishop of Kuching, he came to Sarawak in 1918. His episcopate was a period of much building activity, outreach among the Iban, and serious promotion of the indigenous ministry.After his retirement from Sarawak, he served as Provost of St.Mary’s, Edinburgh, and later Bishop of Edinburgh. He passed away in December 1946.
Noel Baring Hudson had been vicar of St.John’s, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, when he was called to Sarawak in 1931. His arrival here coincided with the worst part of the depression. He husbanded the scarce resources to the best of his ability. The Ordination Test School for training local clergy was started during Hudson’s episcopate, when he invited the Mirfield fathers work in the Diocese.
After his resignation from Sarawak Hudson became Secretary of the SPG, Bishop of St.Albans, Newcastle and later Ely. He passed away in October 1970.
Francis Hollis was trained for the sacred ministry at Dorchester Missionary College, where he was ordained in 1913/14. He came to Sarawak in 1916 and served at the Cathedral and as principal of St.Thomas School until 1923, when he was put in charge at St.James Quop. He was made Archdeacon of Sarawak in 1934, and consecrated Bishop of Sarawak in 1938.
Hollis’ episcopate was violently disrupted by the war. Internment from 1941 to 1945 seriously undermined his health, and in 1948 he resigned the see after 32 years of service in Sarawak. He served as Assistant Bishop of Leicester until he passed away in February 1955.
Nigel Cornwall was consecrated Bishop in Westminster Abbey on 1 November 1949 and enthroned as Bishop of Borneo on 20 December the same year in Kuching. He had been a missionary in the Diocese of Masai, Tanganyika, from 1939, and from 1944 had been headmaster at Chidya. After the war and prior to his consecration he also worked as a missionary in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). His episcopacy coincided with the post war reconstruction and preparation for Sarawak’s independence within Malaysia.
As a means of training local men for the priesthood a theological school – the present House of the Epiphany- was started in 1952. The highpoint of his episcopate was the construction of the new St. Thomas’s Cathedral in Kuching. It was also during his time that the Centenary of the Founding of the Anglican Church in Borneo was celebrated on a grand scale. (The celebrations did not take place till 1955, seven years late, because of the conditions prevailing in Sarawak following the devastating World War and the effects of the Japanese occupation.)
For nearly one and a half years, till April 1956, he acted as the principal of St. Thomas’ School. The policy of the Mission at that time was that the Principal must be a missionary and if possible a priest. He decided to carry out the duties of the principal, himself till Rev. Norman Keen came to take charge of the school.
Whenever he could afford the time, he traveled widely visiting parts of the diocese. To prepare himself to cope with the harsh conditions available in the stations in the interior, he used to sleep on the floor in the Bishop’s house.
Nigel Cornwall was a keen sportsman. He had played hockey for the All European Team while in Ceylon and turned up for, the Kuching Civilians’ hockey team regularly. Late in life, in 1960, he married another Missionary worker whom he had met while working in Ceylon. During one of his sermons he was to declare, “In the past I used to talk about love and preach about love. But until I met her and married her, I did not know the real power of love”.
Nigel Cornwall returned to England in September 1962 and for a time served as the Assistant Bishop of Wichester. He passed away in 1984.