Special mass marks Bishop French’s 50 years of priesthood


A host of personalities, among whom President James Michel, attended a special thanksgiving mass on Sunday in honour of Anglican Bishop French Chang-Him as he celebrated 50 years of priesthood. The ceremony took place at the St Paul’s Cathedral.

The three-hour ceremony was attended by President James Michel, former President James Mancham, Designated Minister Vincent Meriton, Minister for Education Macsuzy Mondon, members of the judiciary, family members, friends and members of the Anglican congregation and of other denominations.

Bishop French was ordained on June 9, 1963 as the first Seychellois Anglican priest, and was consecrated the first Anglican Bishop of Port Victoria in 1979.

He was also elected Archbishop of the Indian Ocean Province in 1984.
Bishop French retired in 2004 but is still in charge of St John’s parish at Glacis and presides at services, including weddings, baptism and funerals.

He is also very active member of various organisations such as Friends of Prison, the National Council for the Disabled and the National Council for Children and Seychelles Inter-faith Council.

During the ceremony, touching testimonies were read by those close to him, describing him as a great role model and as a man who has been through tough times but who has remained strong in faith and committed to his work.

After songs of praise, prayers, readings from the Old and New Testaments and the Gospel were read, Bishop French knelt down in front of the altar to receive blessings while all priests gathered around him.

Bishop French receiving blessings during the ceremony

He then received gifts from the various Anglican parishes, staff of the Anglican Diocese, the organisations he forms part of, friends and other individuals.

Bishop French thanked all those who have been supportive throughout his 50-year journey.
He added that his active involvement in the non-governmental organisations have helped to enrich his life.