Leading the Anglican Church of Congo from the grassroots

Apr 28, 2017 by

By Jem Hovil, BUILD Partners. 

The Most Revd Zacharie Masimango Katanda is not only the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Congo (ACC), but he remains bishop of the vast Diocese of Kindu. Travel along narrow dirt roads through forest to the church centres is all but impossible except at certain times of the year. We listened to his experience of training local leaders to see what BUILD can learn as it partners with the ACC.

The Archbishop began by describing a typical visit to a distant group of churches: “Most of our parishes are in remote, equatorial areas. This means we are only able to visit them in the dry season: we go for confirmations, to visit the pastors, and to train the catechists where they are. We invite those from around five local churches to come to a central place, so that they are able to walk to meet with me. Sometimes I travel with my wife, Naomi, so that she can meet with the women, otherwise she will not have a connection with them.

“A visit like this can involve 250 kilometres of travel from the headquarters, and there is no petrol anywhere on the way. And so I carry my own petrol supplies on the back of the motorcycle. My bishop’s cross for ordination and confirmation [is in short sections] – I unscrew those so that it can travel in a box on the motorcycle, and I then screw it back together again when it is needed.”

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