A voice for the voiceless in the Anglican Province of Central Africa

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[via email from Anglican Information]

A voice for the voiceless in the Anglican Province of Central Africa

Saturday 1st August:


The election took place today for a new bishop of Upper Shire Diocese, Malawi vacant since the resignation of Bishop Christopher Boyle now working as an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Leicester, U.K.

The elected candidate was the Revd Fr Leslie Mtekateka of St Timothys, Chitipa.

Previously, the then only candidate, the Revd J. Scott Wilson, SSC, formerly of the Diocese of Fort Worth in the United States had withdrawn his candidacy. His active membership of a breakaway faction from the Episcopal Church known as the Anglican Church of North America (A.C.N.A) had ensured that even if elected he could not become a bishop in the Central African Province because he does not belong to a province in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The divisions in the Anglican Communion which have so plagued North America in particular and which have insidiously damaged parts of the Anglican Communion in Africa have had their logical outworking in this manifestation of schism.

The proceedings of the electoral process for the position in Upper Shire were marred by the unseemly haranguing of Upper Shire representatives by acting Dean Albert Chama who embarrassed those present by shouting out at them angrily Why are you choosing white people?

In Lake Malawi, where the House of Laity have held out for four years for their elected bishop, the Revd Dr. Nicholas Henderson of London, U.K. the successful candidate, at elections also held today, was the Venerable Francis Kaulanda, Archdeacon of Lilongwe. The other candidates were the Revd Joseph Kaswanyano and the Revd Paul Banda.

Francis Kaulanda has been a study leave student of Dr. Henderson in London and has been Archdeacon of Lilongwe for some years. Kaulanda will now have to work hard to regain the confidence of priests and people of the Diocese of Lake Malawi given the strong feelings of injustice that have resulted from the original flawed Court of Confirmation that unfairly condemned Henderson as being of unsound faith following his election.

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mkp
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Although I am sure that with time the new Bishop of Lake Malawi will prove to be up to the task of leading that recently troubled Diocese, I believe they have missed out on a valuable opportunity to be guided for a few years by a knowledgeable, trustworthy and hard-working man i.e. the previous Bishop Elect - the Revd Dr. Nicholas Henderson. With the added benefit of a recently awarded doctorate he would really have helped to build up and establish the Diocese and indeed the Province within the Anglican Communion. However, I am confident that Malawi's loss will eventually prove to be someone else's gain.

--mkpeterson

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