Anglican Church of Kenya
|Anglican Church of Kenya|
|Primate||The Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala|
|Website||Anglican Church of Kenya Official Website|
The church was founded originally as the diocese of Eastern Equatorial Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania) in 1884, with James Hannington as the first bishop; however, Anglican missionary activity had been present in the area since 1844, when Dr. Johann Ludwig Krapf landed in Mombasa. The first Africans were ordained to the priesthood in 1885. In 1898, the diocese was split into two, with the new diocese of Mombasa governing Kenya and northern Tanzania (the other diocese later became the Church of Uganda); northern Tanzania was separated from the diocese in 1927. Mass conversions of Africans began as early as 1910. In 1955, the diocese's first African bishops, Festo Olang’ and Obadiah Kariuki, were consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in Uganda (Olang’ would be elected the first African archbishop in 1970); in 1960, the province of East Africa, comprising Kenya and Tanzania, was formed with Leonard James Beecher as archbishop. Tanzania seceded from the province in 1970 and was created as its own province. Manasses Kuria was the Archbishop of Kenya from 1980 to 1994. The current archbishop is Eliud Wabukala.
The Anglican Church of Kenya has been politically active throughout its history. As the official church of the colonial power, the Anglican missions enjoyed a privileged position, and Anglican preachers sharply denounced the Mau Mau rebellion in the 1950s. A number of Kikuyu loyalists who rejected Mau Mau were active church members. When President Daniel arap Moi moved to consolidate his power by suppressing free speech and limiting political opposition, Anglican leaders spoke out in defense of civil rights. Bishop David Gitari famously denounced election controls in a 1987 sermon that received considerable criticism from Moi supporters, but other church leaders soon joined in Gitari's criticisms. In 1990, Bishops Henry Okullu and Alexander Muge criticized the state's investigation of the murder of moderate foreign minister Robert Ouko. Bishop Muge was killed in a suspicious automobile accident later in the year after receiving open threats from a government official. His death spurred Bishops Gitari, Okullu, and other Anglican leaders to take an even more active public role, vocally supporting the move to multi-party democracy. Gitari became archbishop in 1995 and continued the church's active engagement around civil rights, using his position to promote constitutional changes such as term limits and fairer elections.
Today, there are at least 4,500,000 Anglicans out of an estimated population of 43,000,000, that form 10.6% of Kenyan's population (See D.Nkonge Kagema's PhD thesis, 2008, p. 62).
The Primate of the Church is the Archbishop of All Kenya. The See is fixed at Nairobi. He was previously styled "Archbishop of Kenya and Bishop of Nairobi", but the Diocese of Nairobi has now been divided into two. The Bishop of Nairobi has the geographically larger diocese, whilst there is a separate Diocese of All Saints, based around All Saints' Cathedral. The Primate's official title is now "Primate and Archbishop of All Kenya". The current Archbishop is the fifth since the Province of East Africa was divided into the Provinces of Kenya and Tanzania.
- Festo Olang, 1970-1980
- Manasses Kuria, 1980-1994
- David Gitari, 1997-2002
- Benjamin Nzimbi, 2002-2009
- Eliud Wabukala, 2009–present
The polity of the Anglican Church of Kenya is Episcopal church governance, which is the same as other Anglican churches. That is, headed by bishops from the Greek word, "episcopos," which means overseer or superindendant. The church maintains a system of geographical parishes organized into dioceses. There are 32 of these, each headed by a bishop:
- All Saints Cathedral
- Marsabit (created 2011, Bishop Robert Martin)
- Maseno North
- Maseno South
- Maseno West
- Mount Kenya Central
- Mount Kenya South
- Mount Kenya West
- Murang'a South
- Southern Nyanza
Each diocese is divided into archdeaconries, each headed by a senior priest. The archdeaconries are further subdivided into parishes, headed by a parish priest. Parishes are subdivided into sub-parishes, headed by lay readers.
Worship and liturgy
The Anglican Church of Kenya, like all Anglican churches, embraces the three traditional Orders of ministry: deacon, priest, and bishop. A local variant of the Book of Common Prayer is used.
Doctrine and practice
- Jesus Christ is fully human and fully God. He died and was resurrected from the dead.
- Jesus provides the way of eternal life for those who believe.
- The Old and New Testaments of the Bible were written by people "under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit". The Apocrypha are additional books that are used in Christian worship, but not for the formation of doctrine.
- The two great and necessary sacraments are Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist
- Other sacramental rites are confirmation, ordination, marriage, reconciliation of a penitent, and unction.
- Belief in heaven, hell, and Jesus's return in glory.
The threefold sources of authority in Anglicanism are scripture, tradition, and reason. These three sources uphold and critique each other in a dynamic way. This balance of scripture, tradition and reason is traced to the work of Richard Hooker, a sixteenth-century apologist. In Hooker's model, scripture is the primary means of arriving at doctrine and things stated plainly in scripture are accepted as true. Issues that are ambiguous are determined by tradition, which is checked by reason.
Like many other Anglican churches, the Anglican Church of Kenya is a member of the ecumenical World Council of Churches. In October 2009, the Kenyan Church's leadership reacted to the Vatican's proposed creation of personal ordinariates for disaffected traditionalist Anglicans by saying that although he welcomed ecumenical dialogue and shared moral theology with the Catholic Church, the current GAFCON structures already meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of conservative Anglicans in Africa.
The Anglican Church of Kenya is a member of the Global South (Anglican) and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. They broke with the Episcopal Church of the United States over the question of allowing blessing of same-sex unions and non-celibate gay clergy, and have supported the Anglican Church in North America as a new province in creation of the Anglican Communion.
Global Anglican Future Conference
The second Global Anglican Future Conference was held at All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi, from 21 October to 26 October 2013. The focus was the shared Anglican future, discussing the missionary theme, "Making Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ".
- Anglican Church of Kenya at the Anglican Communion Official Website
- Renison Muthiri Githige, “The Mission State Relationship in Colonial Kenya: A Summary,” Journal of Religion in Africa, 1982, pp. 110-125
- Galia Sabar-Friedman, “‘Politics’ and ‘Power’ in the Kenyan Public Discourse and Recent Events: The Church of the Province of Kenya (CPK),” Canadian Journal of African Studies, 1995, pp. 429-453
- See Anglican Communion official directory listing here.
- Anglican Listening Detail on how scripture, tradition, and reason work to "uphold and critique each other in a dynamic way".
- http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=3587 World Council of Churches
- A Pastoral Exhortation to the Faithful in the Anglican Communion
- KENYA: Anglican Primate Recognizes ACNA in Ressurrection Message, March 31, 2013, Virtue Online
- Anglican Mainstream http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2013/05/03/gafcon-2-formally-announced-for-october-21-26-nairobi-kenya/ retrieved 18 October 2013
- Anglicanism, Neill, Stephen. Harmondsworth, 1965.