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General News of Sunday, 5 January 2003

Source: gna

Archbishop Okine retires in December 2003

Koforidua (Eastern Region) -- The Anglican Archbishop of the Province of West Africa, the Most Reverend Robert Garshong Allotey Okine has formally announced his intention to retire from the Episcopal Ministry with effect from December, this year.

He made the announcement at an end of year reception and interaction with media personnel in the New Juaben Municipality at Koforidua. Archbishop Okine, 66, explained that though he has up to 70 years to work as Bishop of the Koforidua-Ho Diocese of the Anglican Church, he has decided to retire early to enable him to establish a Non Governmental Organisation to provide pastoral care for AIDS victims and their families.

He said the intended NGO would also provide care for street children and help them acquire vocational skills and also provide residential facilities for retired priests where they can rest and reflect on the system. Archbishop Okine said Reverend Francis Benjamin Quashie, 57, Director of the Diocesan Ministerial Centre was elected last September as the Bishop coadjutor, in preparation for his retirement.

He said Very Reverend Quashie would be consecrated in February, this year and would be enthroned as the Bishop of the Diocese immediately he retires. Archbishop Okine said in March this year, a special synod of the church would be organised to take the final decision on the creation of the Ho Diocese of the Anglican Church.

Archbishop Okine was ordained as priest in 1965, elected Bishop of the then newly created Koforidua-Ho Diocese of the Anglican Church in 1981, elected as the seventh Archbishop and Primate of the Province of West Africa in 1993 and chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa in 1999. He also served on a number of boards of educational and other social institutions in the country.