Diocese of Jamaica rejects bishop’s choice for suffragan bishop of Kingston

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The 150th meeting of synod of the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands has rejected its bishop’s choice for suffragan bishop of Kingston. On 9 April 2021 the synod rejected the sole candidate on the ballot, the Rev. Canon Garth Minott after two rounds of voting.

The Most Rev. Howard Gregory, Bishop of Jamaica and Archbishop of the West Indies, nominated Canon Minott to succeed the Rt. Rev. Robert Thompson, who retired last year.  The custom in the diocese is for the bishop to nominate a single candidate to fill one of the two suffragan sees in the diocese — Kingston and Montego Bay. 

After the first round of voting, Canon Minott received the necessary two-thirds vote from the house of laity, but fell short by one vote in reaching the two-thirds mark in the house of clergy. A second round of voting was ordered by the diocesan chancellor, the Hon. Zaila McCala. . However, Canon Minott failed again to reach the two-thirds margin amongst the clergy and saw his margin fall in the house of laity.

Archbishop Gregory told The Gleaner he was disappointed by synod’s rejection of his choice. “You would expect that who you nominate would be elected because it means that, let’s put it this way, in your position, if the boss says to you, choose somebody to work with you, you want to make sure that you look at the qualities that would best fit what you need to be done and who you think you can work with, so that’s what I exercised,” he said.

The archbishop speculated that jealousy may have led to the clergy declining to ratify his choice. “Like any organisation, there can be persons who can be interested; there are persons who think somebody else should, so there are different things at work. The age comes into play because, of course, he was younger than some of the other senior clergy, so there are things that come into play,” he said. 

Canon Minott Minott serves as deputy president, Anglican warden, and lecturer in Christian ethics and pastoral studies at the United Theological College of the West Indies. He was educated at the University of the West Indies where he received a Bachelor of Theology degree in 1991 and at McGill University where he received a Master of Theology degree in 2001, and was ordained a deacon in 1992 and priest in 1993 in Jamaica. 

The election of a suffragan for Kingston has been prorogued by synod to a future date, which has not yet been selected.