RIP: Archbishop Fereimi Cama, primate of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, dies at 66

Posted Jul 2, 2021

The Bishop of Polynesia, Archbishop Fereimi Cama, 66, died July 2. Photo: Alex Baker/ACNS

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop Fereimi Cama, one of the three primates of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, has died. A communiqué today from the Diocese of Polynesia, which he served as diocesan bishop, said that Archbishop Fereimi died on the morning of July 2 at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva. He was 66.

Cama had served as archbishop since March 2019, when he was consecrated bishop of Polynesia, becoming the first Fijian to serve as an archbishop in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. He has been a strong leader on climate justice advocacy and natural disaster preparedness.

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has a unique three-person primacy, reflecting the three Tikangas, or cultural streams (Pākehā, Māori and Polynesia), within the church. Archbishops Don Tamihere (Māori) Philip Richardson (Pākehā), paid tribute to their co-primate, saying: “our hearts echo softly with the ancient laments of our people, sung for you Archbishop Fereimi; our shepherd who has departed from us, gone beyond the veil, taken to the place of eternal rest.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby also paid tribute, described Cama’s death as “a great shock to the whole Anglican Communion.”

“On behalf of the whole Church of England and myself, deep condolences to Archbishop Fereimi’s family, to Archbishop Don and Archbishop Philip, and the Province of Polynesia, Aotearoa and New Zealand. Our prayers for you all,” Welby said.

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