Tongan Anglicans, 1902-2002: From the Church of England Mission in Tonga to the Tongan Anglican Church
Forman, Charles W., International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Tongan Anglican 1902-2002: From the Church of England Mission in Tonga to the Tongan Anglican Church. Edited by Allan K. Davidson. Auckland,N.Z.: College of the Diocese of Polynesia, 2002. Pp. 158. Paperback NZ$25.
The Anglicans of Tonga are a small and yet surprisingly influential group. They are now celebrating the centennial of their founding, and it is good to have this centennial history, edited by Allan Davidson, lecturer in church history at St. John's College, Auckland. The book is well written and thoroughly researched, with much use of archival resources. It is not the first history of this church, but it is certainly the most comprehensive. Davidson has himself written the bulk of the book, providing the main historical narrative, but he has included chapters by several other authors covering special aspects of the church's life.
The book is completely honest about the problematic beginnings of the church, which were fraught with local political machinations and international HighChurch pretensions. It shows how a church that started out in considerable friction with the Methodists, the predominant denomination of the country, gradually became a leader in ecumenical cooperation not only with the Methodists but also with the Roman Catholics. …