We are delighted to announce the appointment of Bishop Manuel Ernesto as the Liaison Bishop for the Environment for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
In Sept 2011 he was ordained to the diaconate at Messumba Cathedral. After studies at Ricatla seminary, Maputo, which included studies in Amsterdam and participation in BILC (Bible in the Life of the Communion) project headed up by Gerald West at UKZN, deacon Manuel began his ministry in Lichinga, alongside his wife, Laura. His ministry included serving two parishes, Bairro Popular and Sanjala, and teaching at our local seminary in training laity and future clergy alongside the Director of Ministry, Helen Van Koevering, and as Diocesan Secretary.
In 2014, Rev Manuel established a project with women, ‘Haggai & Ishmael’, supporting ABCD (called Umoja in Niassa) training with single mother’s, supported by MU and members of the Lichinga parishes. The outcome was backyard planting of fruit trees for family nutrition. Rev Manuel was known in his pastoral ministry for encouraging the planting of trees at baptisms – new life for people, the church and the land.
June 16 2014, Bishop Ernesto Manuel consecrated as Suffragan Bishop of Niassa, responsible for the Diocese of Lurio (later renamed to Missionary Diocese of Nampula, when he became Missionary Bishop of Nampula in 2019).
Bishop Manuel is from Nampula and Macua is his mother tongue. So, within the diocesan plan to multiply the Diocese of Niassa after a period of extensive church planting growth that doubled the Diocese of Niassa to 440 congregations and 68,000 members 2003-14 , He returned home to Nampula and re-established his family there. In 2019, the missionary diocese was renamed the Diocese of Nampula, and Bishop Manuel became Missionary Bishop.
And just a few weeks later in March 2019, the rainy season flooding that named Beira the first city to be destroyed by climate change with Cyclone Idai. Cyclone Kenneth in April 2019 was to wreak further unprecedented havoc in the provinces of Nampula and Cabo Delgado (included in the Diocese of Nampula). Climate disturbances of such magnitude were bound to exacerbate economic and political tensions. Recent exploration of Mozambique’s natural resources has led to instability in local areas where the population has not benefitted and lost land to outsiders. The violence that broke out in Palma earlier in 2021 was a culmination of multiple environmental, social, economic vulnerability, and Bishop Manuel’s wisdom and voice at this time has been crucial in the absence of reporting ‘on the ground’. His compassionate heart has drawn attention to crisis and aligned his new ministry to supportive relief, education and development amongst vulnerable communities through the incarnational mission of Anglican congregation and teams of church members trained to respond to crisis in local communities. His steadfast goodness in such times as these is rooted in his vision of God’s love for all God’s people, his understanding drawn from Biblical studies, and his strong reliance on prayer. I am blessed to call Bishop Manuel a friend.
Rev Helen Van Koevering, Diocese of Lexington Kentucky 5/15/21