World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

United Church in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands

Article Id: WHEBN0003564040
Reproduction Date:

Title: United Church in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: United and uniting churches, Honiara, United Church in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea Council of Churches, Religion in Papua New Guinea
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

United Church in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands

Village United Church preacher in Siwai, Bougainville, 1978.

The United Church in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands is a merged denomination dating from 1968 consisting of the former London Missionary Society (operating exclusively in Papua), the relatively marginal Presbyterian church (largely confined to Port Moresby itself) and the Methodist mission (largely operating in New Guinea and nearby islands, the western and northern Solomons and the islands of eastern Papua). Since 1996, there is a United Church in Papua New Guinea and a separate United Church in the Solomon Islands.


Village United Church choir in a choral competition in Siwai, Bougainville, 1978.
United Church in a West Solomons village with a moment bearing bones from the people's cannibalism past.
Female minister of the United Church in a south Bougainvillean village.

The formation of the United Church pre-dates the merger of its corresponding (and one missionary parent though Methodists from New Zealand) denominations in Australia in 1977 in the Uniting Church in Australia but such cross-denominational mergers were common throughout the 20th century, particularly in Commonwealth countries: for example; the United Church of Northern India (1924) (now merged in the later and wider Church of North India, Church of Pakistan, and Church of Bangladesh); the United Church of Canada (1925) and the Church of South India (1947). It is particularly strong on the Papuan coast, the Southern Highlands, eastern Papua, the New Guinea Islands (including Bougainville, also known as the North Solomons), and the Western Solomons. Unlike the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in Papua New Guinea for reasons of church tradition as well as for Anglicans' cultural attitudes where it is substantial, the United Church welcomes female clergy. Like Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregationalist and United or Uniting churches elsewhere, its services are primarily for worship with scripture lessons, prayers and sermons, communion being once in a month or every few months. As these denominations in western countries have in recent years lost many members and participants to a lack of worship at all in recent decades, the United Church of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands as lost some to more fundamentalist sects.

Local and overseas affiliations

The United Church is a member of the Papua New Guinea Council of Churches, Melanesian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. In matters of social policy it tends as with its sister denominations in other Commonwealth countries to be largely in accord with the Anglican and Lutheran churches.

Traditionally, many of the United Church's personnel were recruited from earlier-established Methodist and Congregationalist churches in Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga; the United Church continues to have close relations with sister churches in these neighbouring island countries. Its theology and social policy tends to be somewhat more akin to these theologically conservative neighbouring countries' long-established evangelical Protestant churches than to those in Australia. On the other hand, the Church is considerably more broad-minded in such matters than more recently arrived fundamentalist groups, and it maintains the historic Methodist and Congregational strong emphasis on education and literacy in the broadest sense. As with the Anglican and Lutheran churches, the United Church has suffered some attrition in recent decades as a result of aggressive proselytising among its constituents by fundamentalist and pentecostalist groups originating in the United States of America and, to a lesser extent, Australia.

Many of Papua New Guinea's leaders have had a United Church background.

Eminent United Churchmen and Churchwomen


  • Neville Threlfall, One Hundred Years in the Islands. The Methodist/United Church in the New Guinea Islands Region 1875-1975, The United Church (New Guinea Islands Region), Toksave na Buk dipatmen: Rabaul 1975, ISBN 0 86938 016 8

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.