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ORTHODOX VS MODERN WORSHIP

Butere ACK Bishop Wambunya quits five months after Covid-19 attack

Cleric says he wants to return to his family in the UK and take time to fully recover

In Summary
  • Synod member Barrack Muluka says Wambunya was ahead of his time and found it difficult to fit in a rural society.
  • According to him, the diocese is not adequately funded to support a bishop and his family. 
Outgoing Butere Anglican Church of Kenya Bishop Tim Wambunya
HEADED TO UK: Outgoing Butere Anglican Church of Kenya Bishop Tim Wambunya
Image: HILTON OTENYO

 

An Anglican Church of Kenya bishop has resigned, citing a Covid-19 attack as one of his reasons to do so.

Butere ACK Bishop Tim Wambunya said he needed time to be with his family in the United Kingdom and to fully recover from the disease.

Wambunya, who was consecrated on October 6, 2013, as the third bishop of the diocese after emeritus Horace Etemesi and Mark Sande, quit barely four months after he survived the Covid-19 attack.

"After much prayer and reflection, I have decided to give notice to resign as Bishop of Butere.

"The reasons for my resignation being that I wish to return to the UK to better support my family and secondly, healthwise I am not able to engage in vigorous ministry because of my Covid-19 infection," he said in his resignation email at the weekend.

Wambunya thanked the diocesans for praying for him as he continued to regain strength and health post-Covid-19. 

The cleric is relocating to the United Kingdom to begin a new ministry in which he will lead a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic church while resourcing for other churches wanting to plant new multi-ethnic congregations in the Diocese of Oxford. 

Wambunya served in the UK before he replaced Etemesi seven years ago.

But a member of the diocese synod (the top decision-making organ), Barrack Muluka, said the clergyman's attempt to modernise the diocese through processes like scheduled worship had been resisted by the faithful.      

"Wambunya is ahead of his time and he doesn't, therefore, fit in a rural society. I think it was a mistake from the beginning for him to have presented himself for a candidate for bishop for the Butere diocese," Muluka said.

ā€œIā€™m saying this because there will be others who will come in for this seat now that Wambunya has left and they will not fit in unless they want to strictly stick to tradition." 

Muluka said what Wambunya was trying to introduce - charismatic worship - in the diocese was not new because other ACK dioceses and even some Catholics were practising it.

Muluka said that indigenous churches like the African Israel, Legio Maria, African Brotherhood Church and African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) were religious movements that broke away from the African traditional worship style brought to Kenya by the West.

He said that the amount of collection in the diocese was insufficient to support Wambunya and his family.         

According to him, the annual collection is equivalent to a small fraction  collected at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi in a week. As such, it was difficult for the diocese to support the bishop and his family.

"If those who will come will keep the church within the traditional cadre they will not be able to attract people who can make proper contributions to support the church," he said.

 

Edited by P.O