In a moving ceremony at All Saints Cathedral, Cairo on February 27, 2017, Archbishop Mouneer Hanna Anis consecrated his ‘dear brother’ Rev. Samy Fawzy as the first Arab area bishop for North Africa.
Bishop Fawzy succeeds Bishop Bill Musk, who presided over the diocese encompassing Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya since 2008. Bishop Musk was honored and thanked for his time of service, and participated in Fawzy’s consecration.
Joining also to lay hands on the new bishop was Bishop Grant LeMarquand of the Horn of Africa and Bishop Michael Lewis of Cyprus and the Gulf.
Also present were Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America, Archbishop Rennis Ponniah of Singapore, and other Anglican representatives from around the world.
Bishop Lewis conveyed the congratulations of Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, welcoming Bishop Fawzy into the fellowship of Anglican servant leadership.
Archbishop Welby also praised the Diocese of Egypt for its role as a bridge between Muslims and Christians as well as among the various Christian denominations.
He also issued a firm plea to the government of Egypt to continue recognizing the Anglican Church as an independent denomination, in light of ongoing legal disputes that jeopardize this status.
Archbishop Beach also welcomed Bishop Fawzy, greeting him in the name of GAFCON, and celebrating their partnership in the gospel while assuring of his continued prayers.
Archbishop Ponniah encouraged Bishop Fawzy that in the ‘boat’ of Christian service, it is the Lord Jesus who brings it safely to shore. He also welcomed him into the Global South effort that is catching many fish for the Kingdom of God, celebrating the recent accomplishments in Egypt of a new conference center and administrative buildings for the Alexandria School of Theology.
Congratulations were also offered by Fr. Bishoy Helmy, representing Pope Tawadros of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Rev. Rifat Fehmy, representing Rev. Andrea Zaki of the Protestant Churches of Egypt, and Bishop Kyrillos William of Asyut, representing Patriarch Ibrahim Ishak of the Coptic Catholic Church.
Fr. Helmy in particular praised the appointment of Bishop Fawzy, recognizing him as one with humility, an ecumenical spirit, and dependence upon the Word of God.
Bishop Fawzy graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University in 1985, but set aside his career to pursue Christian ministry. Later he obtained a Doctorate in Theology from the University of Wales, and upon returning to Egypt was ordained to serve the church in Alexandria, where he was appointed dean in 2013.
Archbishop Anis remarked Bishop Fawzy was distinguished in his pastoral care, especially “among the wounded, oppressed, and marginalized.” He shared a quote which was dear to him at his own consecration as bishop, written by St. Augustine of Hippo, also from North Africa.
“For you, I am a bishop. But with you, I am a Christian. The first is an office accepted; the second is a gift received. One is danger; the other is safety. If I am happier to be redeemed with you, than to be placed over you, then I shall as the Lord commanded, be more fully your servant.”
Archbishop Anis told Bishop Fawzy he reviews this quote each day, and encouraged him to do the same.
“Truly the church needs trustworthy shepherds who love the Lord with all their hearts, and who will exert every effort to guide the people of God to live out the message of Christ, the message of love,” said Archbishop Anis.
“I have seen this in Dean Samy.”
This article was first published at the Anglican diocese.