CPCA Press Statement – 21 Nov 07

Bishop Sebastian Bakare has come to Harare to stay

THE recent developments within the Anglican Diocese of Harare have created some unnecessary divisions among the Christians in our Church with the former Bishop of the Diocese Nolbert Kunonga and his misinformed supporters making grossly misleading statements about their status in the Diocese of Harare.

Bishop Bakare and the Anglican Community who understand the rules and procedures of business conduct in the Church will not engage in acts of violence to defend their position but will seek God’s guidance during these difficult times. Right is on their side. They must defend it with constant Prayers.The Anglican community in the Diocese of Harare should openly dissociate themselves from all members of the clergy and laity who for lack of information or deliberate mischief still view Mr Kunonga as the Bishop of Harare. Nolbert Kunonga officially left the Anglican Diocese of Harare in his personal capacity and not the Anglican Church.

The fact is that Bishop Bakare was legitimately appointed by the Dean of the Church of the Province of Central Africa on 7 November 2007 as the caretaker Head of the Anglican Diocese of Harare until a new one is properly elected next year. Since his appointment, he has been conducting Church business, supported by various Priests, Church wardens and laity.

Those Priests and Churchwardens who lack understanding of the current challenges within the Church should immediately conduct the undersigned before it is too late. Bishop Bakare is here to stay and they will have to decide now whether or not they serve as Priests under him or follow Kunonga when he eventually forms his own Church.

On Saturday, and at the Harare Club, Bishop Bakare presided over a meeting called to discuss Church business and re-assure the Anglican Community in Harare that he has not come on a witch-hunt mission but has come to lead the Anglican Church as mandated by the Dean of the Province of Central Africa in line with the teachings in the Bible and the Anglican Canons.

The meeting, attended by the Chancellor of the Church of the Province of Central Africa Advocate Eric Matinenga and his vice who is also the Chancellor of the Diocese of Harare Rob Stumbles, made the following key resolutions;

i) Bishop Bakare is the legitimate Head of the Anglican Church Diocese of Harare under the Church of the Province of Central Africa.

ii) Bishop Kunonga and all clergy supporting his campaign to destabilise the Anglican Church in Harare are no longer recognised by the Church of the Province of Central Africa.

iii) All Anglican Parishes in the Diocese of Harare should seek total control of their funds and property and where they encounter any difficulties, to seek the advice of both Advocate Matinenga and Mr Stumbles.

iv) Members of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Harare should render Bishop Bakare all the necessary support to discharge his mandate.

v) Bishop Bakare will host weekly meetings at different venues to ensure the Anglican Community is informed of the situation on the ground and to give them courage during this trying time.

vi) The Bishop will also meet with Clergy individually to hear their concerns. They must not hesitate to communicate with him because he is in Harare to serve everyone within the Anglican Church.

From the Office of the Bishop of the Diocese of Harare, in the Church of the Province of Central Africa

For details and comments please contact Reverend Chris Tapera (M.A. (UZ), MBA(UP)SA); Dip.Theo (UZ) on 0912 282 464 or 011 737 389

ENDS

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