Funeral preparations underway for Fiji church president

The Methodist Church in Fiji is preparing for a week of ceremonies following the death of its president yesterday.

Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu died in hospital after a short illness at the age of 66.

A spokesperson for the church, the Reverend James Bhagwan, says traditional ceremonies to commemorate Reverend Tuikilakila will take place from Monday before his full funeral on Thursday.

He says the church's standing committee will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to elect an interim president and to work out funeral details.

"As you can imagine with 56 divisions of the Methodist Church, more than a quarter of the population being Methodist in Fiji it is a tremendous loss, not just to the Methodist Church, but also to the people of Fiji and to the community of faith, or Christians in Fiji."

James Bhagwan says the Reverend Tuikilakila will be most remembered for his work at attempting to heal post-coup factions within the church.

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