“Bermuda’s Forgotten Anglican Missionaries”

August 28, 2020

A new book by Michelle Simmons entitled “The Guild of the Good Shepherd and Bermuda’s Forgotten Anglican Missionaries” is now available.

A spokesperson said, “In March when the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic by World Health Organization, The Guild of The Good Shepherd [The Guild] was celebrating its 124th anniversary. The Guild, formed in 1896, is one of the organizations within The Cathedral of The Most Holy Trinity.

“While planning to celebrate 125 years of success in 2021, Guild members decided to delve into archives and gather information regarding the founding of the Guild and its early history, since few facts were known. The result is a new book entitled “The Guild of the Good Shepherd and Bermuda’s Forgotten Anglican Missionaries”.

The author, Michelle Simmons writes, “In this book you will be able to follow the birth of the Guild of the Good Shepherd and the entire Guild movement in Bermuda; understand why the Guild movement was critical to the development of the Black community; learn about the lives of Bermudian missionaries, who gave outstanding service in West Africa and in other countries; and reflect on what we can do to further the cause of missions today.”

Book and coffee Bermuda Aug 27 2020

The spokesperson added, “This project, which commenced during the summer of 2019, has enabled sisters Michelle Simmons and Sonia Grant to unearth much about the founders of The Guild and its declared intent “to support the work of missionaries in West Africa”.

“One of those missionaries was Bishop Ernest Graham Ingham, the sixth Bishop of Sierra Leone, a Bermudian and son of a former Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Hon. Samuel Saltus Ingham II. Bishop Ingham was born into a life of privilege and decided to serve the Lord. When he died in April 1926, he was a well-respected cleric and author who had served as Bishop of Sierra Leone for fourteen years. Even Bishop Ingham’s local relatives knew very little about him!

“Another missionary who inspired the work of The Guild was Frederick S. Edmondson, a teacher from Paget, who was encouraged into missionary service by Bishop Ingham.”

In the book it states that, “Fred S. Edmondson was born in Bermuda to William Joseph Edmondson [who was born in England] and Martha Harvey Edmondson [a Bermudian] on 10th October 1869.”

The spokesperson said, “Frederick S. Edmondson’s story will probably inspire anyone who feels they may have a call to ministry in the church. When he died at the age of seventy-one in June 1941 a very moving tribute was written by Met. A. Cole. A very small portion of it reads as follows: “He was affable and nice to his students. His name wherever mentioned was effective.

“A man of outstanding personality, with a great capacity for work and an able teacher. He was called into Holy Orders in the year 1902, and through his selfless devotion to duty he was elevated to the enviable position of Canon of the Cathedral of St. George.” [The Cathedral to which this refers is in Freetown, Sierra Leone.]

“The book, edited by Letitia Washington with cover design by Kelly Martin and artwork supplied by Reverend Dr. Erskine C. Simmons, from the Bermuda National Trust Collection, contains information on Canon Fred Edmondson’s descendants, including his children, grand-children and now great grands.

“Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the planned visit to Bermuda by some of Canon Edmondson’s descendants has been delayed, However, their Bermudian relatives, including retired school Principal Mrs. Dorothy Williams, Canon Edmondson’s great niece, are anxiously awaiting the right time to reschedule their family reunion.

“The lives of these two great Bermudians, the history of The Guild of The Good Shepherd, the birth of the Guild movement should be sufficient to encourage you to purchase a copy of this book. However, there is even more in this book about other Bermudian Anglican missionaries of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

“In some cases, such as Reverend Cecil B. Conton, the surnames can no longer be found in Bermuda. However, the family of Reverend Charles C. C. Corbin, who served in New Jersey with the large Afro-Caribbean immigrant community, is still resident in Bermuda.

“The book, a terrific reference tool, can be purchased by sending an e-mail to guildbook2020@gmail.com. Alternatively, it is available at Bermuda Book Store, Bookmart at Brown & Co., Caesar’s Pharmacy [Somerset], People’s Pharmacy, and Robertson’s Drug Store [St. George’s].”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Congrats says:

    Fantastic to have another great book. Thank you for your scholarship.

  2. bluenose says:

    A book about grown men and women who believe in fairy tales.