Anglican priest to be President of the Seychelles
AN ANGLICAN priest and leader of the Seychelles Democratic Alliance, the Revd Wavel Ramkalawan, is to be the fifth President of the Seychelles after winning the election on Sunday with 54.9 per cent of the vote. It is his sixth attempt, and the first time an opposition leader has won the election in 44 years. His rival, the former president, Danny Faure, was running under the recently renamed United Seychelles party, which had been in power since 1977. Fr Ramkalawan studied at St Paul’s Theological College in Mauritius before his ordination to the priesthood in 1985. He later studied theology at Birmingham University, before returning to parish ministry in the Seychelles, latterly as priest-in-charge of the Parish of the Holy Saviour, Anse Royale. He said of his victory on Wednesday: “It is important to find how we can reconcile our people to go forward.”
Melbourne’s Festival Hall bought by Hillsong
FESTIVAL HALL in Melbourne, Australia, has been bought by the Charismatic Evangelical megachurch, Hillsong, for $23.375 million, after three years on the market, it was reported this week. The senior pastor of Hillsong, Brian Houston, made the announcement during a virtual church service on Sunday. The concert hall, which has hosted world-famous musicians, including the Beatles and Frank Sinatra, would probably continue to host outside performances, Mr Houston said, with Hillsong being the “anchor tenant” holding services each Sunday. Hillsong has attracted a large young following in recent years, including the singer Justin Bieber. In 2015, however, Mr Houston was found by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to have failed to report allegations of abuse made against his father, Frank Houston, who has been accused of sexually abusing nine boys (Press, 27 September 2019). Some musicians have pledged to boycott the venue.