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Methodist bids farewell to Bishop

Jun 9, 2010, 1:48 PM | Article By: Augustine Kanjia

The Methodist Mission of The Gambia has bade farewell to their Bishop as he completes his term of office after serving the Church diligently over the past five years. The Rt. Rev. Norman A. Grigg, Bishop of the Methodist Church of The Gambia has served the Church in many of its interest areas, notably in health and education.

Tears ran many cheeks as they said good bye to one of the finest servants of their Church.

Several people lined up at the Trinity Methodist Church to pray and present personal and group gifts. Panorama would tell you about this humble servant and what the people said about the man himself.

All Methodist Church and their church groups and individuals presented gifts to him and spoke positively about his work and personal influence he had on the people he served.

The Rt. Rev. Roman A. Grigg was born in England on February 11, 1945.  He got his education at Gosport County Grammar School in Hampshire. He studied Theology from the London University and trained from the Methodist Ministry at Cliff College, Derbyshire and at Wesley Theological College, Bristol.

He'd worked in several areas in the United Kingdom. He had pastoral charge of local churches and was involved in broadcasting with local radio and regional television, producing and presenting children's broadcast, religious programmes and meditations. He has three boys and a daughter.

Rt. Rev. Norman Grigg worked for twenty-one years in London, eleven years at Paddington and ten years at Walworth in South London, and it was during these years he became actively involved with London's black community - both with those of Caribbean origin and with African communities. He was well recognised as he received Southwark Race and Equalities Council's Certificate from the Mayor of London for his continuing life-long services to the Black and Ethnic Minority communities in London. He also received the prestigious award of the Freedom of the London Borough of Southwark from Southwark Borough Council.

In September 2004 the Reverend Grigg came to The Gambia as the Chairman and General Superintendent of the Methodist Church having been appointed to steer the Methodist Church in The Gambia towards autonomy. The Church has since been under the direction of the Conference of the British Methodist Church and for many years have been working towards an independent existence with its own authority and with its own Conference.

At its own Foundation Conference on May 24, 2009, the Methodist Church of the Gambia became an autonomous Church and Reverend Grigg was induced and become the first President of the Methodist Conference. During his reign, the Church has sustained its work in Health, Agriculture and Education with the opening of the Dental Clinic in 2006, the start of the Agro-Forestry Project in the Central River Region and the establishment of Education Secretariat.

"He established all these including a library at the Brikama Methodist Academy, established a church in Casamance, we got two land Rovers from UK under his leadership and a new Land Rover for the Bishop. We shall soon be ordaining three Ministers out of four under his leadership at the coming conference. He was recognised also by President Jammeh thus giving him a prestigious award the CRG," Brother Malcolm Clarke, lay President, said of Reverend Grigg.

Norman Grigg became the first president, the last Chairman of the autonomous Methodist Mission and now the first to take the title of Bishop of the Gambia Methodist Church.

Bishop Norman Grigg remembers his close working relationship with the Gambia Christian Council and has enjoyed good dialogue and liaison existing between the Christian and the Muslim communities.

He has this to say: "I deeply appreciate the respect and assistance shown to the Methodist Church by the President of the Republic, President Jammeh, the Vice President Isatou Njie ? Saidy and all government and civic leaders. I am thankful for the honour of Commander of the Republic of the Gambia (CRG) in recognition of my services to the cause of Christianity in The Gambia."

He thanked everyone for the love they showed to him. He said: "We are grateful to Vice president for sending her representative, we are also grateful to His Excellency Barry Wells, the American Ambassador to The Gambia, His Excellency Lungay, acting High Commissioner from Sierra Leone."