Carlos Matsinhe elected first primate of the IAMA

177

The newly-approved province of the Anglican Communion, Igreja Anglicana de Mocambique e Angola (IAMA), has adopted its Constitution and Canons at a special synod, and will be formally inaugurated on September 24.

Bishop Carlos Matsinhe of Lebombo will be the Acting Presiding Bishop of the new province and Bishop Andre Soares of Angola the Dean of the Province.

The special synod was held on September 1, the day ACSA commemorates its founding bishop, Robert Gray.

It was presided over by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba in his capacity as Metropolitan of ACSA. “I am delighted for this journey of faith, planting another province within the Anglican Communion,” he said after the completion of the special synod.

“We look forward to the Archbishop of Canterbury inaugurating the new province and welcoming the Acting Presiding Bishop. Since the vision for a new Portuguese-speaking province was first mentioned in my charge to our 2019 Provincial Synod, we have moved from four dioceses to nine.

“Although nothing replaces eyeball-to-eyeball contact, we have managed to conduct the process virtually. We are grateful that it has been possible to do it efficiently and cost-effectively.”

On August 18, the Most Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary General of the Communion, wrote to Archbishop Thabo informing him that more than two-thirds of the Primates of the Communion had approved an application for independent provincial status for IAMA.

“All that remains,” he concluded, “is for me to celebrate with you in the birth of the new province, pray for its leaders and people, and for you and your staff as you prepare for the synods and inauguration.”

IAMA has Portuguese as its common language. The first diocese in Lusophone Africa was Lebombo, which was established in 1893. Anglican missionary work began in Angola in the 1920s but a missionary diocese was established as part of the Southern African province only in 2003.

The church in Mozambique and Angola has grown rapidly in recent years. To the four founding dioceses of the new Province – the dioceses of Lebombo, Niassa and Nampula in Mozambique – and the Diocese of Angola-Good Shepherd – are being added new dioceses in both countries.

These are, in in Mozambique, the dioceses of Maciene, Inhambane, Pungue River and the missionary dioceses of Tete and Zambezia, and in Angola the Diocese of Christ the King-Uige and the missionary dioceses of the Divine Hope and of Central and South Angola.

The special synod was addressed by the bishops of the founding dioceses and by the retired Bishop of Lebombo, the Right Revd Dinis Sengulane, who served from from 1976 to 2014. Overseas partners – including the USPG – were represented, as was the Lusitanian Church by Bishop Jorge Pina Cabral.

The new province will be inaugurated at the end of ACSA’s forthcoming Provincial Synod. The elections of bishops for the new dioceses will take place between March and May of 2022.