The passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a tremendous loss to the Anglican Communion in general, and the Anglican Church in South Africa in particular. He was a bastion of institutional knowledge and experience of the church’s mission and ministry especially in terms of social justice, truth and reconciliation and theological reflection. He was a man of great faith who confidently spoke truth to power and lived the Christ-centered discipleship life at great sacrifice and even to the point of placing his life at risk on many occasions. A Nobel Peace Prize winner, ‘he had a faith that dissipated fear,’ as one commentator wrote of him, as he tirelessly campaigned against apartheid and promoted civil and human rights.
Archbishop Tutu and former President Nelson Mandela visited Trinidad and Tobago to promote South Africa’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2010 competition. The Archbishop preached a very stimulating sermon at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port of Spain during this visit, where he likened his vision of South Africa before and after apartheid to one’s encounter with Christ, before knowing Christ and after knowing him. One remembers feeling like a dwarf in the presence of a such a great giant of a priest, theologian and disciple of Christ, even though the Archbishop was not particularly huge in stature.
Archbishop Tutu was a contemporary and great friend of Bishop Clive Abdulah our first local bishop of the Anglican Church in Trinidad and Tobago. On behalf of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago, I extend our deepest condolences to his dear wife and immediate and extended family, the Anglican Church in South Africa, and the nation of South Africa. May comfort be found in his rich legacy of service to God and humanity which will serve many communities for years to come. May Desmond’s Soul Rest in Peace!
+Claude Trinidad and Tobago Anglican Church
The Right Reverend Claude Berkley.
Bishop of Trinidad and Tobago