Archbishop visits Provinces of Burundi, Congo, Rwanda and Kenya


Archbishop Justin and Caroline Welby with the Primate of Rwanda, Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, and bishops and clergy at the Rwanda University youth convention, Sunday 19 February 2017.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has completed a week-long visit to Africa to meet Primates in four Anglican Provinces.

The purpose of the visit was to spend time with the Primates of Burundi, Congo, Rwanda and Kenya; to hear about and see the work of the Church in each Province; to discuss future opportunities for the Anglican Communion in the world; and to pray together

The trip comprised an official three-day visit to the Anglican Church of Rwanda, and fraternal visits to the Provinces of Burundi, Congo and Kenya to spend time with their recently enthroned Primates.

In each province Archbishop Justin met with the House of Bishops of Rwanda and Burundi to hear updates from them about their different dioceses. The Archbishop updated them on various developments in the Anglican Communion, and also shared with them about the Thy Kingdom Come prayer campaign taking place around the Communion between Ascension and Pentecost this year.

In Burundi, Archbishop Justin and Mrs Welby were hosted by the new Primate, Archbishop Martin Nyaboho. During the visit, Archbishop Justin and Archbishop Martin broke the ground for a new Christian university in Bujumbura. Archbishop Justin also met with Provincial staff working to tackle gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS.

In Rwanda, Archbishop Justin and Mrs Welby were hosted by the Primate of Rwanda, Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje.

Archbishop Justin visited the East African Revival Heritage Centre in Gahini, which he described as the “most beautiful place and the birthplace of the Anglican Church in the Great Lakes Region.” During his visit the Archbishop declared the site a Regional Revival Heritage Centre, and spoke of the impact that the East African Revival had had on his personal faith.

In a sermon preached at Gahini, the Archbishop said that Gahini is the never-ending river that feeds the faithful with the Holy Spirit. He encouraged them to keep praying for the betterment of the world, and for the building up of God’s church for His glory.

During his time in Rwanda the Archbishop also attended the Rwanda University Youth Convention in Kigali, joining Archbishop Onesphore, bishops, clergy and three thousand young people.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Archbishop Justin and Mrs Welby were hosted by the new Primate of Congo, Archbishop Masimango Katanda. The two Archbishops spent time discussing reconciliation and opportunities for the Anglican Communion to serve the world.

Speaking in DRC, the Archbishop said: “Something I see every time I visit is that the Anglican Church here has lots of vigour, life and lots of spirit. It uses this spiritual force in its work tackling violence against women, in contributing to reconciliation, education, healthcare and development in the towns and villages where it works.”

On the final leg of the trip, the Archbishop and Mrs Welby were hosted in the Province of Kenya by Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit, who was enthroned in June 2016. In Kenya the Archbishop spent time in discussion and prayer with Archbishop Jackson, and met with his team, as well as with the staff of All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi.

While in Nairobi, Archbishop Justin attended a meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) to discuss the ongoing crisis in South Sudan. The meeting was convened by the Chair of CAPA, the Primate of Central Africa, Archbishop Albert Chama.

While in Kenya the Archbishop also met with former Primate of Kenya, Bishop Eliud Wabukala, and assured him of his prayers in his new role leading Kenya’s new Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

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