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The (postponed) Big Hello

The Big Hello is the initiative to welcome Bishops and their spouses from all over the Anglican Communion into the life of dioceses in the UK in the days before the Lambeth Conference.

"As Bishop’s Adviser for World Mission,  I had gathered a group of people together to help us plan the Big Hello for July 2020.  Since Autumn 2019, we were assigned Bishops as they registered for the Conference, and began to get to know them.  We were about to introduce ‘our’ Bishops and their spouses to the Diocese of Ely at the point that lockdown happened in many countries around the world, and the Lambeth Conference was postponed.

The Conference will now be happening in July 2022.  We will be travelling with these, and maybe other Bishops, for the next two years and beyond. The Bishop of Kigali is not amongst the original group as the Province of Kigali declined the invitation for 2020 (but let’s pray they will come for 2022).

During that time, we will continue to talk with one another, to pray for one another, and to share in any preparation materials together.  Although I’m disappointed that we’re not meeting together this summer, I’ve had a chance to get to know ‘our’ Bishops a little and am delighted that we’ll have longer together.  Being together to pray for one another in all that we face at the moment is really important. It will be wonderful to travel together as we look to a world and a church post COVID 19". 

Rev Fiona Brampton - Bishop’s Adviser for World Mission and

Associate Priest, Northleightonstone Benefice and Chaplain to Little Gidding

News from the Bishops’ we were due to receive this summer

We are pleased to be able to introduce you below to those who had planned to come, and we look forward to a future time when they will at last be able to welcome them here in person again.

In Pictures

  • Top Row, left to right: Bishop Sharma Nithiyanandham, Bishop T. George Cornelious, Bishop Chelliah, Bishop Eugene Sutton
  • Bottom Row, left ro right: Bishop Lawrence (Larry) Dena, Bishop William Franklin, Bishop Mike Klusmeyer, Bishop Hemen Helder

More about each Bishop

Bishop William Franklin, Episcopal Diocese of Long Island (

Bishop William Franklin is the Assisting Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island.

He is a professor at the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary in New York and was previously the Diocesan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York, as well as having been the Dean of Berkley Divinity School at Yale University.

Bishop William says; “I ask your prayers for the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, for its Bishops +Larry, +Geralyn, +William, and +Daniel, for all the clergy and people of the Diocese, for peace at a time of political division and continued dying from COVID-19, for the repose of the souls of those who have died at the hands of the virus, and  at the hands of racist violence, and for bodily and social healing.”

Bishop Eugene Sutton, Diocese of Maryland, USA (

The Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton elected bishop of the Diocese of Maryland in 2008, is nationally known for his commitment to non-violence, reconciliation, the environment, and the practice of Centering Prayer.

Formerly the Canon Pastor of Washington National Cathedral and Director of the Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage, Bishop Sutton has also served as a college chaplain, parish priest and professor at Vanderbilt University Divinity School. The author of several articles about spiritual practices and preaching, he’s a sought-after guest preacher and a contributor to the book, The Diversity of Centering Prayer.

Bishop Eugene asks;Please pray for our efforts to help heal our land of these viruses both of COVID 19 and of racism and violence , and for our ability to effectively proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in these difficult times”.

Bishop Hemen Helder, Kustia Diocese, Church of Bangladesh (click here for the Diocese website link)

Rt Rev Hemen Halder was elected as Bishop for Kustia Diocese in November 2018 and was consecrated in January 2019. He studied in Kolkata and Malaysia and has served in different parishes in the Church of Bangladesh and lectured at St Andrew’s Theological College, where he also served as Dean of Studies.

Bishop Hemen tells us that more and more people are affected by the Covid-19. Kustia Diocese is very large and the majority of people live in rural areas and most of them live hand-to-mouth. In May, the diocese and country also faced a devastating cyclone.

The Diocese is running 5 missionary schools but recently all schools have been closed, therefore they are sadly unable to pay their teachers’ salaries.

Bishop Hemen adds; “We know you are also facing a lot of difficulties yet you are thinking about us, praying for us. Thank you very much. We are also praying for you. May God be with us and save our beautiful world”.

Bishop Mike Klusmeyer, Diocese of West Virginia, USA (

Mike was elected Bishop of West Virginia in 2001.  He studied at General Seminary in New York City and served in the Diocese of Chicago (at Freeport, Illinois) and at Wheaton, in the western suburbs of Chicago.  His wife Marsha is a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing students. They currently live in Charlestown.

The West Virginia Diocese takes in the entire state and is composed of sixty-six parishes and missions.  It is in the heart of “Appalachia,” bordered by the Appalachian Mountains on the east and the Ohio River on the west.  Many churches in the Diocese are in rural areas having been started by coal mine owners and their families.  They have been heavily hit by the opioid crisis, and the Diocese is leading the charge in combating this pervasive problem. 

Bishop Mike adds; “We ask for prayers for healing, for reconciliation, for unity and for the restoration of all people in God. We pray for the world, and the healing of those suffering from the Virus, and all other ailments”.

Bishop Sharma Nithiyanandham, Bishop in Vellore, Church of South India (

Bishop Sharma was consecrated in February 2019.  Like most Bishops in the Church of South India, he has served his ministry within his home Diocese of Vellore. Over the years, Bishop Sharma has been a great friend to the Vellore – Cambridgeshire link.

During the current pandemic, he has led the Diocese of Vellore in a response to provide support to the hospitals in the Diocese and to provide food for migrant workers and those in rural communities.

The Diocese of Vellore has extended its our support to those in need by providing  groceries, vegetables, food packets and the necessary relief materials with the financial support rendered by the 42 pastorates of the Diocese.

Bishop Sharma adds; "On behalf of the Diocese of Vellore, I greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Hoping and praying that you all are safe under the protecting wings of God Almighty. I’m sincerely praying for God’s divine protection on each one of you at this pandemic. It gives me an immense pleasure to hear from you. Your letter was an oasis experience in the midst of a scorching desert. May God Almighty strengthen us to overcome this pandemic and may God revive us soon and make all things new and help us to get back to normalcy for His glory alone. Be assured of our prayers”.

Bishop T. George Cornelious, Krishna-Godavari Diocese, Church of South India (click here to read more online)

Bishop George Cornelious was elected and consecrated Bishop in May 2018.  His initial studies were in science, but he began his studies for ordination in 1990.  In common with other bishops in the Church of South India, he has served in a variety of pastorates in the Krishna-Godavari Diocese (in Andra Pradesh) before being elected Bishop.

Krishna-Godavari is mainly a rural Diocese with a few urban and semi-urban congregations. Agriculture is the predominant occupation. The Diocese now has about 168,000 confirmed members among innumerable worshippers in about 500 worshipping congregations, grouped in 148 Parishes with 190 ordained priests.

The Diocese has been distributing food for the migrant workers during the Covid-19 crisis, as well as sanitary items and masks to those in most need and have been working with government agencies to support those who lost their livelihood because of the lockdown. ‘We are looking unto God and praying for His healing touch in these trying times.’

Bishop Lawrence (Larry) Dena, Diocese of Malindi, Kenya (click here for more information)

Bishop Dena is the first Bishop of Malindi and was consecrated in April 2015.  His wife, Jane is a Lay Canon and President of the Mothers’ Union in Malindi Diocese.

The Vision Statement reads: "A healthy, growing and self-sustaining church effectively proclaiming the holistic gospel of Christ" and their Mission Statement reads: "To carry out effective evangelism and discipleship to transform lives and empower local communities towards dignified Christian living"

Bishop Chelliah, Kanyakumari Diocese  (

Bishop Chelliah was consecrated Bishop in July 2019.  He studied at UTC, Bangalore and at Serampore University and has served in a number of pastorates in the Diocese prior to his election as Bishop.

Page last updated: Monday 20th July 2020 12:23 PM
First published on: 20th July 2020
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