Corporate entry: Solomon Islands Christian Association
The foundation meeting of the Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) was held at Point Cruz Cinema on 26 September 1967, attended by six hundred people. The need for such an organisation had been clear since the 1940s when the Protectorate Government began to take control of education, forcing the churches for the first time to realise that they had something in common-a desire to control their own schools. The Association was intended to encourage Christian unity by promoting church relationships, working for urban welfare and providing a way for member churches to act together in regard to broadcasting and discussions with the government and other bodies. The founding members were the Anglican Diocese of Melanesia (later Church of Melanesia) (q.v.), the Catholic Church (q.v.), and the Methodist Church (q.v.; later United Church of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands [q.v.]). The South Sea Evangelical Church (q.v.) and the Seventh-day Adventist Churches (q.v.) joined SICA to work on several sub-committees. Initially the Association was weak because its activities were confined to Honiara, the only place in the Protectorate where the churches were all operating in one geographic area, but as time went on it became a more national organisation.
In October 1968, the Catholic Bishop Daniel W. Stuyvenberg (q.v.) succeeded the Bishop of Melanesia, John Chisholm( q.v.), as President for twelve months. A decision was made to support the development of a Solomon Islands Community Centre in Honiara, and a management committee was appointed under SICA. The premises were provided by Bishop Chisholm in part of a building on the site of the new Cathedral. SICAs work in the field of broadcasting included drawing up a code of religious broadcasting for consideration by the Broadcasting Services Board. (NS 22 Sept. 1967; AR 1968, 83)
The Honiara Ministers' Fraternal, which included the SSEC and Seventh-day Adventists in addition to the SICA churches, was formed to organize such matters as the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and Joint Holy Week activities. For Christmas 1970 the Fraternal organised an appeal for a Disaster Relief Fund and a combined service for the five churches in St. Barnabas' Cathedral. Another special service was organised on the occasion of the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh in 1971. (AR 1971, 97) In 1972, the SSEC accepted observer status, and SICA sponsored a very successful conference on 'Tourism in the Solomons' and appeals were launched for disaster relief after cyclones. SICA successfully obtained financial assistance from the World Council of Churches (WCC) for the Anglican Printing Press in Honiara; $20,000 was provided for an offset printing press. (AR 1972, 105)
In 1973, the annual conference was on 'The Churches' Role in Education' and SICA applied for membership to the Pacific Conferences of Churches (PCC). Bishop Stuyvenberg remained President, and Father Theo Koning S.M. succeeded Rev. G. Tucker as Executive Secretary for 1973 and 1974. The Religious Broadcasting Committee was reconstituted under Pastor E. Pollard. Following the successful annual conference in April, in July Rev. D. J. Saunders conducted an ecumenical workshop in Honiara on the topic 'Communication of the Gospel to Youth in Urban Areas'. When the Summer Institute of Linguistics applied to the government to begin work in the Protectorate, SICA was willing to welcome the organization providing it worked closely with the churches and the Bible Society, but the government disapproved the application.
SICA's constitution was revised to remove the word 'missions' and replace it with 'churches' throughout. SICA also protested to the Foreign Office in London and to the WCC and PCC about French nuclear testing in the Pacific. Mr Meyers of the Mission Aviation Fellowship visited Honiara to talk with SICA about beginning operations in the Protectorate. SICA agreed, provided that the Catholic Church was included in its charter. In November, a Ministers Fraternal was started in Gizo to encourage inter-church cooperation in the Western District. David Hastings, representing the Bible Society and the Provincial Press, was in charge of the Revolving Press Fund, made possible by the Agency for Christian Literature Development. A start was made on translating the New Testament into Solomons Pijin English. (AR 1973, 109)
Rt. Rev. K. Towers took over as SICA's President in 1974, with Father Koning remaining as Executive Secretary. In May, SICA sent two representatives to Suva to attend a Seminar on 'Education for Liberation' and in June a two-week seminar on 'Christian Marriage and Family Life' was held at the Catholic Apostolic Centre at Tenaru, attended by thirty delegates from four churches. David Hastings left his position to work as Coordinator of the Bible Society in Fiji, and was replaced at SICA by Mrs E. Nash. Mr E. Nash was the new representative of the Christian Publishers and Booksellers Association. The SICA Publication Working Group met monthly and planned booklets on home and family planning. Father Brian MacDonald-Milne took over as Christian Education and Communication representative. Pastor N. Blackall (SSEC) was the new Chairman of the Religious Broadcasting Committee. Father A. Bosamata (Church of Melanesia) was available for pastoral ministry to other churches and an Ecumenical Ministry was underway at Tulagi. The Honiara Ministers Fraternal continued its monthly meetings. In December, Bishop Crawford was elected the President for 1975 and Brother Daniel became the new Executive Secretary. (AR 1974, 115)
- British Solomon Islands Protectorate (ed.), British Solomon Islands Protectorate News Sheet (NS), 1955-1975. Details
- British Solomon Islands Protectorate, British Solomon Islands Protectorate Annual Reports (AR), 1896-1973. Details