Anglican-Information reports that although the Zimbabwean power sharing agreement between the Movement for Democratic Change headed by Morgan Tsvangirai and the Zanu-PF Mugabe regime, as agreed on 15th September, does not look healthy,
… there are straws of good news in the wind regarding the Anglican Church that deserve mention.
From a correspondent in Harare, Zimbabwe 6th October 2008
‘The political stalemate of the last months seems to be tied to the impasse in the relationship with ex-Bishop Kunonga in the Harare Diocese. But last week there was a move forwards in that a number of congregations returned to their church buildings. This is not universal, for example it is reported that the churchwardens at St Mary’s, Chitangwiza were arrested when they went back.
At St Peter’s Meyrick Park, the diocesan registrar went to the local police station and spoke to the member-in-charge, who told him the orders “from above” were that no-one was to go back. It now seems to depend on the local member-in-charge as to whether or not he is willing to turn a blind eye. Many of them are of course Christians and Anglicans.
An old lady who had worshipped at St.Peter’s all her life died last week. The ex-rector, Prosper Muzambi, still living in the rectory, was approached to see if they could have the funeral at St.Peter’s. He rang Kunonga who said “Yes, provided you take the service”. Prosper is of course excommunicated (by the Province, see our news on the website 20th May 2008). The mourners went elsewhere.
Later this month Bishop Sebastian Bakare, will hold a huge confirmation at the Sports Stadium, where he was enthroned in February. We had a confirmation at St Peter’s taken by Kunonga, after he had pulled out of the Province, but before he was excommunicated.
The parents worry as to whether they should have their children ‘done again’.* I understand Sebastian is willing to do this. We continue to trust that the Lord will sort things out.’
*ANGLICAN-INFORMATION comments that perhaps Article 26 of the Thirty-Nine Articles is helpful here: ‘Of the unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacraments.’ The Article explains that despite evil sometimes finding its way into those in authority this doesn’t diminish the efficacy of the sacraments.
Thank goodness, because the continued discreditable behaviour of some of the Central African Provincial bishops would otherwise have renewed ‘done again’ confirmations going on all the time!