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Archbishop Justin preaches at enthronement of Tanzania’s new Archbishop

Sunday 19th May 2013

Around 3,000 people from Tanzania, Africa and beyond gathered at Dodoma’s Cathedral of the Holy Spirit yesterday for the installation of the Anglican Church of Tanzania’s new Primate

The enthronement of the Bishop of Mpwapwa Dr Jacob Erasto Chimeledya was described by one church member as “like a dream” because of the number of notaries in attendance. These included the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Justin Welby and his wife Caroline.

In his sermon, Archbishop Welby spoke of the risk of fear, especially to a church leader. He stressed that while fear is a part of life, it can be overcome through the Holy Spirit.  

The full text of his sermon will follow shortly.

Bishop of the Diocese of the Rift Valley, the Rt Revd John Lupaa, was one of those who expressed his gratitude to the Archbishop of Canterbury for visiting Africa so recently after his own enthronement in March.

Bishop Lupaa said: “It’s a great honour to have the Archbishop of Canterbury visit Tanzania. His visit will definitely raise the profile of the Church and Africa as a whole.”

Other notable guests at the service included the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya, the Most Revd Eliud Wabukala and the President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete. Having President Kikwete present would, said Bishop Lupaa, “help improve the relationship that exists between the Church and the government.”

Archbishop Chimeledya used the service, which was held in the country’s political capital, as an opportunity to speak to the country’s political leaders. He urged the government to take action against those guilty of “hate speech”, especially the traditional media and those who publish comments online.

He asked Tanzanians to not just tolerate one another, but respect each other: “We only tolerate an enemy, not our fellow citizens”.

The new Primate also announced a plan by the Anglican Church of Tanzania to begin a new micro-finance bank that will support small business enterprises in Tanzania and asked the government to help support the Church in addressing the various needs of the people.

Archbishop Chimeledya's previous roles included Principal of St Philip’s Theological College, in the town of Kongwa in Tanzania. He also worked as a priest in various areas of the Diocese of Mpwapwa before becoming Bishop of Mpwapwa in 2007.

The Mpwapwa area is particularly significant in CMS mission history as a place where much of the planning and execution of missionary work to the rest of Tanzania took place in the early years of the church there.

Speaking to ACNS, Executive Director of CMS-Africa, the Revd Dennis Tongoi congratulated the new Archbishop and wished him the best in his new role. He also acknowledged the importance that CMS attaches to leadership development and investment as a way of growing the Church in Africa.

“Finally our investment is bearing fruit. Africa now has a contingent of well-equipped leaders ready to support the growth of the Church,” he said. “The new Archbishop [Chimeledya] needs to shepherd the flock. Africa is a youthful continent therefore investment in [Tanzanian] youths should also be his top priority.”

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