- Bishop says he has no problem splitting the diocese but procedure must be followed.
- Says the Anglican church has suspended any split of a diocese for 10 years.
Christians in the Anglican Diocese of Maseno West want their bishop to convene an urgent synod to address growing divisions.
The Christians, among them priests and laity, accuse Bishop John Mark Haung Godia of lying that he was yet to receive an official demand for the creation of the Maseno Central diocese from Maseno West.
But Godia asked those calling for a split to come up with a proper approach.
The bishop said he has no problem splitting the diocese but procedure must be followed.
He said at the moment, the Anglican church has suspended any split of a diocese for 10 years.
“Before we decide to create a diocese or declare a region a sub-diocese, there are things they have to check then send a commission to come up with recommendations before any decision to create a diocese is made,” Godia said.
Addressing the media separately, Christians from Got Regea archdeaconry led by Simon Omondi Otiang, retired archdeacon Paul Okinyo and the chaplain of the Technical University of Kenya, Charlton Ochola, said the demand for a new diocese cannot be wished away.
Ochola, who spoke to the press in Siaya town on Sunday, urged the bishop to table the matter before the diocesan synod for deliberation as stipulated in the church constitution.
“The matter must be tabled before the synod where a vote will be taken before the results and recommendations are forwarded to Nairobi for ratification,” he said.
Ochola said they will not be muzzled by forces opposed to their demands.
“I was in a team that presented the bishop with the letter demanding the hiving off of Got Regea archdeaconry to form a new diocese,” he said.
Ochola said he was shocked to hear the bishop denying receiving such a letter.
Speaking in Mindhine, Gem subcounty, the committee spearheading calls for the creation of a new diocese said all the 22 parishes in the archdeaconry are in support of the initiative.
The committee, led by archdeacon Paul Okinyo, said they have stopped financial remittances to the diocesan headquarters as part of measures to exert pressure on the bishop to heed to their demand.
Okinyo said their demand for separation was not new as it was first mooted in the early 1990s.
Maseno West Anglican Diocese has been dogged with controversies since last year when Bishop Godia was elected to succeed Bishop emeritus Otieno Wasonga.
Apart from Got Regea archdeaconry, Ng’iya archdeaconry has also been agitating for a new diocese. Its leaders have stopped financial remittances to the diocesan headquarters.
Edited by Frank Obonyo