A communique from GAFCON-Tanzania

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WE, the undermentioned ten bishops of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, meeting at Holiday Inn, Dar es Salaam, on the 14th August 2019, after prayerful discussion, hereby issue this Communique.

PREAMBLE

Recognizing the need for us to contribute to the global movement seeking to renew the Anglican Communion through Gafcon;

Recollecting our experiences and commitments through our participation in the GAFCON Conferences (2008, 2013, 2018);

Recognizing the serious reality of the liberal agenda being pursued by some sections of the Anglican Communion; and

Seeing the need to reach out and equip Anglicans in Tanzania to remain faithful to the Gospel;

WE, THEREFORE, HEREBY STATE AS FOLLOWS:

1. That today, we have inaugurated a Gafcon Branch and those who attended the meeting are hereby constituted as an Interim Branch Council.

2. That, we re-affirm the position of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, that marriage is between one man and one woman in a life-long commitment, in accordance with Scripture and as affirmed by the Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution I.10.

3. That, we re-affirm our subscription to the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration. We further commit to uphold the orthodox view of Scripture as the inspired Word of God, fully and finally authoritative for all matters of faith and conduct, and to faithfully maintain biblical doctrine, particularly as found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

4. That, we re-affirm the position of the Anglican Church of Tanzania as contained in the 2006 Statement of the House of Bishops and subsequently ratified by the Provincial Standing Committee in 2007 and the Provincial Synod in 2008, which declared that the Anglican Church of Tanzania is not in communion with:

(a) Bishops who consecrate practicing homosexuals to the episcopate and those Bishops who ordain such persons to the priesthood and the deaconate or license them to minister in their dioceses; 

(b) Bishops who permit the blessing of same sex unions in their dioceses; 

(c) Priests and deacons in same-sex unions; 

(d) Priests who bless same sex-unions. 

5. That, we will develop and implement a strategy and programs to educate and equip Anglicans in Tanzania, both clergy and laity, to remain faithful to orthodox Biblical Anglicanism, participating in the global fellowship of Gafcon, including its networks. 

6. That, we will not attend Lambeth 2020 – because it is organized and planned in such a way that bishops who have departed from the authority of Scripture as understood in historic Anglicanism are invited and bishops who are standing faithful to Scripture are excluded, in particular those from the Anglican Church in North America and the Anglican Church in Brazil. 

7. That, we are thankful to God for the election of the Rt Rev Dr Mwita Akiri as Branch Chairman and the Rt Rev Dr Elias Chakupewa as Branch Treasurer.

BISHOPS 

1. Rt Rev Dr Elias Chakupewa – Bishop of Tabora

2. Rt Rev Dr George Okoth – Bishop of Mara

3. Rt Rev Dr Jacob Chimeledya – Bishop of Mpwapwa and Retired Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Tanzania

4. Rt Rev Dr Mwita Akiri – Bishop of Tarime

5. Rt Rev Dr Sospeter Ndenza – Bishop of Kibondo

6. Rt Rev Dr Stanley Hotay – Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro

7. Rt Rev Dr John Adiema – Bishop of Rorya

8. Rt Rev Johnson Chinyong’ole – Bishop of Shinyanga

9. Rt Rev Mathayo Kasagara – Bishop of Lake Rukwa

10. Rt Rev Sadock Makaya – Bishop of Western Tanganyika 

APOLOGY 

11. Rt Rev Oscar Mnung’a – Bishop of Newala – He was unfortunately not able to join the meeting due to reasons beyond his control, but we know that he is in agreement to be part of the Gafcon Branch. 

RESOURCE PERSONS 

1. Rev Canon Charles Raven – Gafcon Membership Development Secretary and Acting Operations Manager

2. Mr Peter Waruingi – Gafcon Communications Officer for East and Southern Africa (Kenya). 

IN ATTENDANCE 

Rt Rev Donald Mtetemela – Retired Bishop of Ruaha and former Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Tanzania. 

END