Bishop Selwyn's see was focused on New Zealand. In December 1847 he began a series of voyages to the Pacific Islands, which were included in his diocese by a clerical error in his letters patent. His letters and journals of these journeys through Melanesia present the reader with a vivid picture of his versatility, courage, and energy. In 1849 he formed the Melanesian Mission to work in the Western Pacific.
The Undine, a small 21-ton schooner, serviced the mission from 1849 to 1857. In 1854, Selwyn commissioned the construction of a 100-ton schooner, the Southern Cross to service the mission and enlisted John Coleridge Patteson to lead the mission. His voyages and the administrative work resulted in 1861 in the consecration of Patteson as the first Bishop of Melanesia.
In 1867, the Mission established St Barnabas College on Norfolk Island, as a church and training centre for missionaries. The Melanesian Mission established an administrative centre on Mota island in the Banks Islands (now part of Vanuatu) and the Mota language became the lingua franca of the mission.
Members of the missionEdit
The missionaries included:
- Bishop John Coleridge Patteson;
- Percy Temple Williams (born 19 March 1866; died 12 October 1933) who was active in the mission from 1895 - 1899 in the Melanesian Mission in Queensland, Australian; in the Guadalcanal diocese of Melanesia.
- Richard Cuthbert Rudgard (born 28 December 1901;died 19 April 1985): During World War Two a Chaplain to the Forces  (mentioned in despatches thrice); later Archdeacon of Basingstoke from 1958 until his retirement in 1971.
- Official website
- Limbrick, Warren E. (1990). "Selwyn, George Augustus". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Project Canterbury
- Correspondence and photographs of the Melanesian Mission dating from 1872 are held by SOAS Archives.
- Lawrence, David Russell (October 2014). "Chapter 5 Liberalism, Imperialism and colonial expansion" (PDF). The Naturalist and his "Beautiful Islands": Charles Morris Woodford in the Western Pacific. ANU Press. pp. 142–146. ISBN 9781925022032.
- Historical resources on Anglicanism in Oceania
- "The History of the Melanesian Mission" Armstrong,E.S. London Isbister & Co, 1900
- God's Gentlemen: A History of the Melanesian Mission 1849-1942 Hilliard D: Australia], University of Queensland Press, 1978 ISBN 0702210668
- Wikimedia commons
- Blain's Biographical Directory
- "Blain Biographical Directory of Anglican clergy in the South Pacific" (PDF). 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
- God's Gentlemen: A History of the Melanesian Mission 1849-1942 Hilliard, D: Australia, University of Queensland Press, 1978
- London Gazette
- RUDGARD, Ven. Richard Cuthbert’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2016; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014 accessed 7 Oct 2017
- Ecclesiastical News. The Times (London, England), Wednesday, Apr 30, 1958; pg. 12; Issue 54138 1971
- Church news The Times (London, England), Thursday, Mar 04, 1971; pg. 16; Issue 58113
- Melanesian Messenger Online