The United Church in Solomon Islands
Church Partner Information The United Church in Solomon Islands used to be part of the former United Church in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, which was founded in 1968. In 1996 the General Assembly of the United Church in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands resolved that the existence of one united church covering two independent countries should no longer be maintained. Thus the United Church in Solomon Islands came into being as an autonomous church on its own. Its history goes back to the Australian Methodist Church, now the Uniting Church in Australia, which began missionary work in Papua New Guinea in the 19th century, and in the Solomon Islands in 1902, in what is now the Western Province. The Methodists became the predominant denomination in that region. The UCSI also includes a considerable body of people originally from Kiribati who have a London Missionary Society (Congregationalist) background. The Methodists together with the Papua Ekalesia and the Union Church in Port Moresby formed the United Church in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands in 1968.
The Western Province of the Solomon Islands has remained the area of concentration of the United Church with Aola on Guadalcanal the only establishment further east. In the 1980s the church started spreading out to other parts of the country, including the capital Honiara. The church runs around eighty Schools, two hospitals and a number of clinics. It is involved in training people for mission, and in overcoming distances, ethnic and linguistic diversity in mission, particularly with Kiribati communities. The church supports Men’s Fellowship, Women’s Fellowship, Youth and Sunday School, and Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades. Women participate in decision making at all levels of the church, and the Women’s Fellowship is very active in the local congregations. Programmes of the church include urban ministry among young people, skills training for school drop-outs and the unemployed, and the improvement of literacy. The United Church is concerned with the issue of the damage done to the environment because of excessive logging.