Kikuyu controversy

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Peel in 1913
Willis in 1913

The Kikuyu controversy was an Anglican church controversy in 1913-1914.


In June 1913, William George Peel, the Bishop of Mombasa; and John Jamieson Willis, the Bishop of Uganda attended an ecumenical communion during an interdenominational missionary conference at the Church of Scotland's parish in Kikuyu, British East Africa, in what is now Kenya. Attending were Anglicans, Methodists, and Presbyterians.[1] [2] Controversy erupted in December after Frank Weston, the Bishop of Zanzibar, denounced Peel and Willis as heretics, and the issue was exhaustively debated in the press for weeks. Ultimately, the two bishops were not tried for heresy for the perceived schism.[3] In April 1915, the Archbishop of Canterbury issued a statement concluding the matter.[4]


  1. ^ "Bishop of Mombasa is Dead". The Argus. April 18, 1916. Retrieved 2010-07-04. Dr Peel was one of the leading figures in the Kikuyu controversy in 1913-14. A conference of missionary societies at work in British East Africa, (including Anglicans, Methodists, and Presbyterians) was held at Kikuyu in June, 1913 Among those who attended it were two Anglican bishops, Dr Peel of Mombasa and Dr Willis ofUganda.
  2. ^ "Rt. Rev. Wm. G. Peel Dies. Bishop of Mombasa Figured in Famous Kikuyu Heresy Case". New York Times. April 16, 1916. Retrieved 2010-07-04. The death is announced of the Right Rev. George Peel, Bishop of [Mombasa] Africa. ... in 1914 by the Bishop of Zanzibar against the Bishops of Uganda and Mombasa, ...
  3. ^ "No Kikuyu Heresy Trial. British Primate Refers the Case to Consultative Body of Bishops". New York Times via Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph. February 10, 1914. Retrieved 2010-07-04. The Bishops of Mombasa and Uganda will not be tried by a court of Bishops on the charge of heresy and schism in connection with the Kikuyu controversy. The statement issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury to-night shows that he has found a way out.
  4. ^ "The Kikuyu Controversy: Archbishop of Canterbury's Judgment," The Morning Post (London), 26 April 1915, p. 2.