Seychelles bids farewell to a precious child
26 May 2023 | Condolences
Seychelles is in deep mourning following the passing of Archbishop Emeritus, French Chang-Him. The country has lost a precious child, a man of deep faith, an obedient servant and a devoted father and grandfather. His departure leaves a void in the Anglican church, in our community and around the world.
As the first Seychellois Anglican priest, Bishop French served everyone with love and was a source of encouragement to those who would later respond to the same calling. His ministry as a bishop and archbishop will be cherished as he always placed emphasis on the pastoral tasks in taking care of all those who came his way. He had a big heart that was open to everyone who approached him.
As a man of God, he embraced all faiths and was welcomed in temples, mosques, and churches. He helped set up SIFCO, the body that provides the platform for all faiths in Seychelles to sit and seek common goals in the search of reconciliation and unity. He was there till the end.
As a man who believed in justice, Bishop French stood against any form of tyranny. He expressed himself openly against abuse of human rights and was often the sole voice of the voiceless during the one-party years. He would give support to those whose loved ones were detained or whose children had disappeared, all while mourning the brutal death of his dear brother, Davidson Chang-Him, who was murdered on 5th June 1977. He paid the consequences for standing up in many ways.
As a man who had been by the side of his beloved wife Suzy in her fight against cancer, Bishop French was instrumental in the setting up of the Cancer Concern Association following her demise. To this day the charity accompanies so many cancer patients and is a source of encouragement for families. He also worked very closely with other charities in the country, advising and promoting the welfare of the weakest.
On behalf of the government, the people of Seychelles and on my personal behalf, I wish to express our deepest condolences to his daughters, Frances and Michelle, the grandchildren, the family and the Anglican community.
His soft voice and gentle touch will be missed by everyone. He fought the good fight and was faithful to the end. May he be blessed with the gift of eternity as he is welcomed by the Saviour he served.
May his soul rest in peace and rise in glory