New bishop for West Malaysia

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D. Steven Abbarow

The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in South East Asia has named the Rev. Canon Steven Abbarow as Bishop of the Diocese of West Malaysia in succession to the Rt. Rev. Datuk No Moon Hing.

On 27 October 2020 the bishops announced they had selected Canon Abbarow from among three candidates put forward by the diocese’s 29 Sept 2020 meeting of synod. 

At the one day synod meeting, clergy and lay delegates nominated three candidates: Canon Abbarow, the Very Rev. Andrew Cheat Song Soo, and the Ven. Stephen Soe Chee Chong.

The diocesan Archbishop’s Advisory Board calculated the number of votes awarded to each candidate and compiled a report on the comments made about each candidate at synod. The report was then forwarded to the bishops of Kuching, Sabah, Singapore and West Malaysia for action.

Canon Abbarow is the principal of the Seminari Theologi Malaysia and is the team vicar of St Mark’s Serambam. Ordained a priest in 1990 in the Diocese of West Malaysia, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Malaysia, and an M.Div, STM and D.Min from the Perkins Divinity School of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He served in the parish ministry from 1990 to 2012, when he was appointed vice-principal of Seminari Theologi Malaysia, and was named principal-elect this year. He is also a member of the Provincial Missions Committee (PROSEAMS) and serves on the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission for Unity Faith and Order (IASCUFO). He is married to Anne (1990), and has two children, Ruel and Naomi.

Bishop Moon is set to retire on 12 Nov 2020 and the bishop-elect will be installed shortly thereafter.

Women are not ordained to the priesthood in the Province. The new bishop is expected to support the majority view among the bishops on this issue.