Bolly Lapok

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Bolly Lapok
Archbishop of the Province of Anglican Church in South East Asia, Primate
Church Anglican
Archdiocese Church of the Province of South East Asia
Diocese Kuching
In office 2012 — 2016
Predecessor John Chew
Successor Ng Moon Hing
Ordination 2 March 1975
Consecration 14 May 2007
Rank Bishop of Kuching
Personal details
Born 10 August 1952
Sebemban, Simanggang, Sarawak
Previous post Bishop of Kuching

Datuk Bolly anak Lapok (born 10 August 1952) was the fourth Metropolitan Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of the Province of South East Asia as well as the Bishop of Kuching.

An ethnic Iban, Bolly was the first Primate of the Province from Sarawak.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Bolly was born into an Iban family in Sebemban, a traditional longhouse village near Simanggang (present-day Sri Aman) in Sarawak. He had his early primary education in the Selanjan and Pantu primary schools, and completed his secondary education up to the Sixth form in the Simanggang Secondary School.[2]

In 1971, Bolly began his theological training at the House of Epiphany, the theological seminary of the Diocese of Kuching, graduating with a Diploma in Theology in 1974. He proceeded to obtain a Licentiate in Theology in 1975 and a Scholar in Theology in 1976.[3] In 1983, he went to Westhill College (today part of the University of Birmingham), on a scholarship from the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG), where he majored in Pastoral Theology, Ecumenism and English. In that period, he also went to Rome for studies in Anglican - Roman Catholic ecumenism.[3] In 2001, he did his postgraduate studies in Missiology in the University of Birmingham on another USPG scholarship; he graduated in 2007 with a Master of Arts.[2][3]


On 2 March 1975 Bolly was ordained a deacon. As he was below the canonical age for ordination, special dispensation had to be granted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Donald Coggan.[4] On 7 December the same year, he was ordained as the priest for the parish of St. Luke in Simanggang.[3]

In 1978, he was called to the rural parish of St. Boniface in Mamut near Miri. He returned to the parish of St. John in Sibu in 1983, and St. Thomas in Bintulu in 1984.[3] On 13 June 1991, he was called as Archdeacon of North Sarawak and Brunei, serving for several years. He was elected as Assistant Bishop of Kuching on 5 September 1999.[4][5]

On 15 April 2007, Bolly was consecrated as the 13th Bishop of Kuching, succeeding the Rt. Rev'd Made Katib. In the Extraordinary Provincial Synod Meeting held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on the 21–23 September 2011, he was elected as the Archbishop elect of the Province of South East Asia and was installed on 12 February 2012 at St. Thomas' Cathedral in Kuching, succeeding the Most Rev'd John Chew. He is the first person from Sarawak to serve in this position.[2]

Bolly has served as the Chairman of the Association of Churches in Sarawak since 2009.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Bolly married Lily Unchau in 1981, whom he first met while serving as the parish priest in Mamut.[3] He was widowed when Lily Unchau died from illness on 27 May 2006.[6]

On 18 August 2007, Bolly married Mary Jean Baba in a ceremony held at the Bishop's Chapel.[7] Bolly has a total of four children from his two marriages.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Iban archbishop Bolly makes history". New Straits Times. 12 February 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Ten, Marilyn (12 February 2012). "Historic installation today". Borneo Post. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Edgar, Nigel (24 October 2011). "From just another longhouse lad to first Iban archbishop". The Star. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Witter, Lameen (30 September 2011). "New Primate for South East Asia". Church of England Newspaper. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Press Statement: Election of the Fourth Archbishop of the Province" (Press release). Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Passing of Lily Unchau (Mrs. Lily Bolly)" (PDF), Sarawak and Brunei Diocesan News, Second Quarter 2006, retrieved 1 March 2012  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ "The Wedding" (PDF), Sarawak and Brunei Diocesan News, Third Quarter 2007, retrieved 1 March 2012  Check date values in: |date=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)

External links[edit]

Anglican Communion titles
Preceded by
Datuk Made Katib
Bishop of Kuching
Preceded by
John Chew
Archbishop of South East Asia
Succeeded by
Ng Moon Hing