Anglican Church of Tanzania
|Anglican Church of Tanzania|
|Primate||The Most Rev. Jacob Chimeledya|
|Headquarters||P.O. Box 899, Dodoma, Tanzania.|
The Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) is a province of the Anglican Communion based in Dodoma. It consists of 26 dioceses (25 on the Tanzanian mainland, and 1 on Zanzibar) headed by their respective bishops. It seceded from the Province of East Africa in 1970, which it shared with Kenya. The current Archbishop is the Most Rev. Dr Jacob Chimeledya, who succeeded, after a controversial election, the Most Rev. Valentino Mokiwa, the Bishop of the Diocese of Dar es Salaam, in May 2013.
The Church became part of the Province of East Africa in 1960. From 1970 until 1997, it was known as the Church of the Province of Tanzania. Today it is known as the Anglican Church of Tanzania, or literally abbreviated as ACT.
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 the Universities' Mission to Central Africa and the Church Missionary Society began their work in 1864 and 1878 at Mpwapwa. 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. 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 Beecher as first archbishop. Tanzania seceded from the province of East Africa in 1970 and the province of Tanzania was formed with John Sepeku as the first archbishop. In the early 20th century there was also a Diocese of Zanzibar.
Among the Church's prominent institutions, most of which are semi-independent of the Provincial Office, are the newly founded St. John's University of Tanzania based in Dodoma also the two Provincial Theological Colleges (St. Phillip's located at Kongwa, and St Mark’s in Dar es Salaam); the Central Tanganyika Press (CTP) and the Literature Organization (SKM, also known as the Dar es Salaam Bookshop). The ACT also has three semi-independent Associations: the Mothers' Union (MU), the Tanzania Anglican Youth Organization (TAYO) and the Anglican Evangelistic Association (AEA)
Today, there are at least 2.500,000 Anglicans out of an estimated population of 34,500,000 in Tanzania.
The polity of the Anglican Church of Tanzania is Episcopalian church governance, which is the same as other Anglican churches. The Archbishop of Tanzania is both Metropolitan and Primate. The church maintains a system of geographical parishes organized into dioceses. There are currently 27 dioceses, each headed by a diocesan bishop:
- Central Tanganyika
- Dar es Salaam
- Diocese of Kibondo
- Mount Kilimanjaro
- Rift Valley
- South-West Tanganyika
- Southern Highlands
- Victoria Nyanza
- Western Tanganyika
- Lake Rukwa
Worship and liturgy
The Anglican Church of Tanzania embraces three 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.
In December 2006 the ACT declared itself to be in "impaired communion" with The Episcopal Church (US) over the ordination of practicing homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions. The ACT is a member of the Global South (Anglican) and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, and has been a part of the Anglican realignment movement. Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa attended GAFCON in Jerusalem, in June 2008, and supported the inception of the Anglican Church in North America, in June 2009.
Bishops of Zanzibar
- Tanzania bishops welcome Archbishop-elect Jacob Chimeledya, Anglican Communion News Services, March 3, 2013
- 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
- Anglicanism, Neill, Stephen. Harmondsworth, 1965.
- ACT Official Website
- Diocese of Kagera
- Diocese of Morogoro
- Diocese of Mpwapwa
- Diocese of Tarime
- Diocese of Western Tanganyika