Melanesian Brotherhood (MBH)

Introduction to the community

The Melanesian Brotherhood was founded by Ini Kopuria, a native Solomon Islander from Guadalcanal, in 1925. Its main purpose was evangelistic, to take and live the Gospel in the most remote islands and villages throughout the Solomon Islands, among people who had not heard the message of Christ. The Brotherhood’s method is to live as brothers to the people, respecting their traditions and customs: planting, harvesting, fishing, house building, eating and sharing with the people in all these things. Kopuria believed that Solomon Islanders should be converted in a Melanesian way.

Today, the work of the Brotherhood has broadened to include work and mission among both Christians and non-Christians. The Melanesian Brotherhood now has three Regions in the Pacific: Solomon Islands (includes Brothers in the Philippines and Vancouver); Papua New Guinea; and Southern (Vanuatu, New Caledonia & the Diocese of Polynesia). There is a Region for Companions and Brothers in Europe.

Following an ethnic conflict in the Solomon Islands 1998-2003, the Melanesian Brotherhood have been increasingly called upon as peace makers and reconcilers, work for which they were awarded the United Nations Pacific Peace Prize in 2004.

The Brotherhood has also led missions in New Zealand, Australia, Philippines and UK; their missionary approach includes music, dance and a powerful use of drama.

The Brotherhood aims to live the Gospel in a direct and simple way following Christ’s example of prayer, mission and service. The Brothers take the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but these are not life vows but for a period of three years, which can be renewed. They train for three years as novices and normally make their vows as Brothers at the Feast of St Simon and St Jude. Most of the Brothers are laymen but a few are ordained.

The Melanesian Brotherhood (MBH)

Contact details

Website:
mmuk.net
Telephone:
+ 677 26355
Fax:
+ 677 23079

Solomon Islands Region main address:
The Motherhouse of the Melanesian Brotherhood, Tabalia, PO Box 1479, Honiara, Solomon Islands

Papua New Guinea Region main address:
Dobuduru Regional Headquarters, Haruro, PO Box 29, Popondetta, Oro Province,
Papua New Guinea

Southern Region main address:
Tumsisiro Regional Headquarters, PO Box 05, Lolowai, Ambae, Vanuatu

Solomon Islands Region

The Solomon Islands Region is divided into Sections according to each Diocese. Each section has its own Section Father.

Central Melanesia Diocesan Section
Section Father: The Most Revd Leonard Dawei, Archbishop of Melanesia

Address for all Solomon Islands houses in this Section:
PO Box 1479, Honiara, Guadacanal, Solomon Islands

Palawan Mission District, Philippines
Iglesia Philipina Independiente (I.F.I.), De los Reyes Road 2, 5300 Puerto Princesa City, 5300 Palawan, Philippines

Central Solomons Diocesan Section
Section Father: The Rt Revd Ben Seka, Bishop of Central Solomons

Guadalcanal Diocese Section
Section Father: The Rt Revd Nathan Tome, Bishop of Guadalcanal

Address for houses in this Section:
c/o Central Headquarters, Tabalia, PO Box 1479, Honiara

Malaita Diocesan Section
Section Father: The Rt Revd Sam Sahu, Bishop of Malaita
Assistant Section Father: The Rt Revd Rickson George Maomaoru

Address for houses in this Section:
c/o Malaita Diocesan Office, PO Box 7, Auki, Malaita Province

Ysabel Diocesan Section
Section Father: The Rt Revd Ellison Quity, Bishop of Ysabel

Address for houses in this Section:
c/o Ysabel Diocesan Office, PO Box 6, Buala, Isabel Province

Hanuato’o Diocesan Section
Section Father: The Rt Revd Alfred Karibongi, Bishop of Hanuato’o

Address for houses in this Section:
c/o Hanuato’o Diocesan Office, Kirakira, Makira Province

Temotu Diocesan Section
Section Father: The Most Revd Leonard Dawea, Bishop of Temotu, Archbishop of Melanesia

Address for houses in this Section:
c/o Temotu Diocesan Office, Lata, Temotu Province

Southern Region

The Rt Revd James Tama, Bishop of Vanuatu & New Caledonia (Regional Father)

Vanuatu Section
Section Father: The Rt Revd James Tama, Bishop of Vanuatu & New Caledonia

Banks & Torres Section
Section Father: The Rt Revd Alfred Patteson Worek, Bishop of Banks & Torres

Papua New Guinea Region

The Most Revd Allan Migi, Archbishop of PNG (Regional Father)

Popondota Section
Section Father: The Rt Revd Lindsley Ihove, Bishop of Popondota

Port Moresby Section
Section Father: The Rt Revd Denny Bray Guka

ATS Section Headquarters, Oro Village
Pivo Household
Moro Guina

Dogura Section
Section Father: The Rt Revd Tennyson Bogar, Bishop of Dogura

Aipo Rongo Section
Section Father: The Rt Revd Nathan Ingen, Bishop of Airo Rongo

New Guinea Islands Section
Section Father: Bishop of the New Guinea Islands

Community information

Date of foundation:
1925

Father of the Brotherhood: The Most Revd Leonard Dawei, Archbishop of Melanesia

Gender:

Publications

Brian Macdonald-Milne, The True Way of Service: The Pacific Story of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1925-2000, Christians Aware, Leicester, 2003.

Richard Carter, In Search of the Lost: the death and life of seven peacemakers of the Melanesian brotherhood, Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2006.

Charles Montgomery, The Shark God: Encounters with myth and magic in the South Pacific, Fourth Estate/Harper Collins, London, 2006.

Richard Carter, The City is my Monastery, Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2019.

Third Order, Fellowship, Associates

The Melanesian Brotherhood is supported both in prayer, in their work and materially by the Companions of the Melanesian Brotherhood. They have their own Handbook with both Pacific and Europe versions.

For more information about becoming a Companion, please contact:

  • Mrs Barbara Molyneux
    11 Milton Crescent, Heswall, Merseyside, CH60 5SS, UK
    Tel: (0)151 342 6327
    Email: bjmolyneux@hotmail.com
  • or Companions Chief Secretary
    PO Box 1479, Honiara, Solomon Islands
  • or Mr Alphonse Garimae, Secretary to the Brotherhood
    PO Box 1479, Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Tel: + 677 26377 (8 am – 4 pm)

Alongside Companions, the Brotherhood also has Associates whose ministry is more closely associated with the community, except that they do not take the threefold vow. They work voluntarily without wages just like the brothers.

Leadership

Head Brother: Brother Jairus Honiseu MBH
Assumed office October 2019

Leader: Brother Augustine Paikeni

Membership

Solomon Islands Region
The Most Revd Leonard Dawea Archbishop of Melanesia (Regional Father)
Brother Alister Knights MBH (Regional Head Brother)

Southern Region
The Rt Revd James Tama, Bishop of Vanuatu & New Caledonia (Regional Father)
Brother Enis David MBH (Regional Head Brother)

Papua New Guinea Region
The Most Revd Allan Migi, Archbishop of PNG (Regional Father)
Brother Joe Narui MBH (Regional Head Brother)

Professed Brothers: 200

Novices: 300
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