Archbishop Philip Freier has appointed Ms Naomi Nayagam, a member of the Cathedral congregation, and the Revd Nigel Llewellyn Pope, Vicar of St Paul’s Geelong, as canons of St Paul’s Cathedral. Both will be installed at Choral Evensong on Tuesday 4 June.
Canon-designate Nayagam, an active member of the Cathedral congregation and former employee of the Diocese of Melbourne, has nearly two decades’ experience as a strategist and project manager across a variety of fields. She is currently the Principal Strategist of her own firm, Triple N Consulting, Senior Advisor to the Infrastructure and Project Management Group of the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS) in Denmark and a Sessional Lecturer for RMIT University – Master of Project Management. She has also recently launched a business importing fair-trade tea from her native Sri Lanka.
Naomi, who has previously held elected offices in the Diocese of Colombo, said of her appointment: ‘I first visited St Paul’s Cathedral as a tourist back in 2001, and always made it a point to drop by when on holiday. It is a place that reminds me of the parish I grew up in; a place for quiet reflection, with grand music, strong traditions and a warm culture. Back then I decided that if I ended up living in Melbourne, I would worship at St Paul’s, and today I count it a privilege to be called to serve as a Lay Canon. Undoubtedly, a blessing from God.’
Canon-designate Pope grew up in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, and spent time as a school teacher before pursuing a call to ministry, culminating in his ordination as priest in 2007. He subsequently served in several parishes across the Diocese of Calcutta, including six years as Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Kolkata. He was team leader for the Council for World Mission’s team visit to the UK in 2014, and is presently serving as a member of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, but his greatest passion is for pastoral work at the local level, and for pioneering new ministry initiatives to better serve the needs of his parishioners. Nigel, his wife Candida, and their two children moved to Australia at the beginning of 2018.
Nigel said of his appointment: ‘I am excited to enter into a ministry space where one is challenged to think of the church beyond the parochial and toward the larger picture of making the Word of God fully known in the wider Australian Society. I am confident that it will be a big learning curve for me and I pray that with my experience of working in an overseas context, I would be able to contribute as a voice that represents the multicultural character of the Church in Melbourne.’
In congratulating the new canons-designate, Dean Andreas said: ‘I am delighted to be welcoming two such excellent candidates to Chapter, both of whom have a range of skills and breadth of experience that will enable them to make a strong and valuable contribution to the life and governance of the Cathedral. I am also very pleased that these new appointments reflect the diversity both of our Cathedral congregations and of the wider Diocese of Melbourne.’