In Search of the Lost: The Modern Martyrs of Melanesia
by Richard Carter
In 2003, a story shook the Anglican world in general and Anglican monastic life in particular. On August 8th, seven members of The Melanesian Brotherhood, an Anglican order of Christian brothers living a simple and prayerful life and known for their peace work throughout the South Pacific and beyond, were brutally murdered as a result of ethnic conflict in the Solomon Islands. They had been taken hostage five months earlier. The Melanesian Brotherhood is the largest Anglican religious community in the world with over 300 brothers and more than 300 novices and has received a United Nations award for its peace work. From 1990-2005, Richard Carter, a British priest, was tutor, chaplain to the Melanesian Brotherhood, eventually becoming a brother himself. This extraordinary, powerful and moving book is based on his diaries from that agonizing time for the Community. It tells the harrowing story of the loss of seven good, young and holy lives and the aftermath of those deaths. It tells the story of individuals and a community trying to make sense of faith in the face of fierce conflict and tragedy. It recounts the challenge of living out the Christian faith when confronted by great fear and loss. It is thus a story for everyman. Rowan Williams writes a preface.