KUCHING: Retiring Bishop of Kuching and Brunei Right Reverend Datuk Bolly Lapok bade farewell to Anglican church followers at the fund-raising dinner for St Margaret’s Church, Kampung Stampin last night, expressing his desire that they extend their cooperation to his successor just they have done to him.
“So, I would like to thank you as you have been my constant companions in the course of my ministry,” he said.
“After I have retired as the Bishop of Kuching and Brunei, there will be a new Bishop as what has been planned, but what I ask of you is that just as you have extended your cooperation and assistance to me in the last 10 years of my tenure, offer prayers for me, I hope that you will extend the same things to the new Bishop,” he said.
Bolly, 65, who retires next month, will be replaced by Reverend Danald Jute, 51, as the 14th Bishop of the Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei.
He was appointed the Bishop of Kuching and Brunei in 2007.
On the raising for fund for new building for St Margaret’s Church, he urged Christians to come forward and donate towards the cost of its construction.
He said the church needs RM3.6 million for its new building, next to the existing building which was constructed in the 1980s
He said raising fund for new church buildings have always been a challenge for the Christians in town areas.
He said while there is little problems for the Ibans to receive development fund from the government, the same cannot be said to be true for those Ibans who migrated to urban centres, like Kuching.
He said there appears to be that the government is not sure whether Kampung Stampin or Tabuan Dayak should be given development fund.
He said the government should treat residents of Kampung Stampin in the same way it treats the communities from other areas in Kuching.
Bolly said the Ibans of Kampung Stampin deserve to be treated fairly by allocating them with development fund.
“We are the city folks as the next man and we deserve what the next man deserves,” he said.
Reverend Father Kamor Diah of St Margaret’s Church said the church’s congregation has grown over the years since it started in the 1980s to serve Kampung Stampin and other surrounding Iban settlements.
He said the church building was meant to accommodate a congregation of between 200 and 250, but now the congregation has increased.
Kamor said the church has 687 registered members while many are termed as “loose” members because they have yet to register their names with their church.
He said the state government has alienated 1.6 acres of land for the new building on April 7, 2016.
He said Kuching South City Council gave its approval to the building plans of the new church in March this year.
“One of the conditions imposed by the city council is that work on the new church must commence within 12 months upon the approval of the building plans,” he said, expressing his doubts whether work commencement can start at any time soon.
He said the church has only RM500,000 in the bank, stressing that it needs RM3.6 million to put up the new building.-dayakdaily.com