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Crown Council President Installed as Grand Patron of the Order of St. Hadrian to Help Promote Ecumenical Christian Dialog

The President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, was, at a ceremony in Manchester Cathedral, in the United Kingdom, on October 23, 2010, formally installed as Grand Patron of the Apostolic Order of St. Hadrian of Canterbury. The Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren J. Smith, JP, representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, formally invested Prince Ermias with the regalia of Grand Patron at an ecumenical ceremony at the cathedral.

The installation at the Anglican Cathedral was organized by the Presiding Bishop and founder of the Order, Bishop the Rt. Rev. Dr. Doyé Agama, and the Apostolic Pastoral Association, and involved bishops and clergy from a number of Christian churches in the UK and United States, including the Ethiopian Orthodox, Pentecostal, Anglican, Roman Catholic, and other churches. What was especially important for Prince Ermias was the fact that St. Hadrian of Canterbury, known as “St. Hadrian, the African,” has come to represent the work of uniting African and European Christianity. The role of the Grand Patron was designed to bring an African figurehead to the ecumenical work of the Order.

Bishop Agama and other bishops accompanied Prince Ermias — who was accompanied by his Agafari (Chief of Protocol) and Strategic Advisor — on a number of meetings to religious and community leaders in the UK. The (Anglican) Lord Bishop of Blackburn hosted the delegation at a special lunch at the House of Lords in London, and Prince Ermias was also received by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Mark Hackett, and the Anglican Lord Bishop of Manchester, the Rt. Rev. Nigel McCulloch.

Two senior Bishops from the US, the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Terwood Douglass, of Cleveland, Ohio, and the Rt. Rev. Kevin K. Dickerson, of Irving, Texas, also participated in the activities; both of them representing the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops as well as their home denominations.

The Order of St. Hadrian was founded by Bishop Doyé Agama, to uphold the memory of St. Hadrian (The African), of Canterbury through his tenets of exemplary humility, excellence in service; and training up new generations to serve the church and community. The Order works ecumenically to research and celebrate the contributions of both ancient and modern African Churches, and other Churches “birthed” outside Europe; to global Christianity. The Order also particularly recognizes outstanding community service by Christians from black and other minority ethnic backgrounds in the UK and beyond.

An Ethiopian Orthodox Church choir from the area sang as part of the Manchester Cathedral service, and its members met after the event with Prince Ermias.

Prince Ermias also invested Bishop Agama as Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Ethiopia for his work in helping to bringing African and non-African Christians together.