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The Church of Zimbabwe is formed - UPDATED

The Church of Zimbabwe is formed
New jurisdiction wants to throw off colonial yoke; bans homosexuality

By David W. Virtue, DD
January 23, 2018

A new independent Church of Zimbabwe has been formed under the leadership of the Rt. Rev. Morris Brown Gwedegwe, its territorial bishop. It is a separate but parallel jurisdiction with the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe, in the province of Central Africa, recognized by the Anglican Communion.

According to Gwedegwe, the Church of Zimbabwe is a new entity...a new Church developing in Zimbabwe. The Church Times reported in 2007 that Gwedegwe was vicar-general to the now deposed Bishop Nolbert Kunonga and had a criminal record. He was Bishop Kunonga's election campaign manager, and was rewarded with ordination and the post of diocesan secretary after the Bishop's consecration.

"Zimbabweans expected a shift of Systems on the Church since the reigns were under the Church of England from 1890-1980 and anything Church was the Church of England," Gwedegwe wrote to VOL.

"By 1980 Anglicans expected to see a shift to being religiously Zimbabweans in fellowship with Britons of the Church of England with the formation of the Church of Zimbabwe and not the Province of Zimbabwe," he said.

"The incumbent bishops between 1981-2001 were overwhelmed with Anglicanism, but had not researched what exactly it was in the literature developing Anglicanism's. Part of the prayer instructions were many prayers to the Queen, the Royal Family the Prime Minister including the singing of the British National Anthem.

"All these were 100% signs that the Church of England had played a pivotal role in colonizing our country Zimbabwe. Ordinary Zimbabweans were not aware of some of these facets in the prayers prescribed in the Prayer Books of Anglican believers. There was no way one would pray for another authority other than that of the Queen and Royal Family. All blessings would go to these guys and the world lost fortunes that way.

"Along the processes, progressive Zimbabweans had forged ahead in forming so many independent Churches that rejected the called Anglicanism and Catholicism. Some even rejected correct Biblical principles because they did not want to associate with the British."

Bishop Gwedegwe said Zimbabweans needed "de-colonization" and to have built into them "correct Spiritual Principles that are catholic (universal) in scope."

He said that for those who remained in the present Anglican structure in Zimbabwe meant maintaining the governing system of Britain, which left most people with no option but to support the views of British Anglicans, resulting in some supporting and becoming homosexual. The political scenarios also added to the further mutilation of Zimbabwe using Christian principles.

"It is incumbent upon Zimbabweans to transform the Church's ethos from British Anglicanism to Zimbabwean Spiritual basics which means directing every prayer to God and to pray for the Zimbabwean President and Mambos (Chiefs) in their respective orders. That could not happen under Anglicanism's when prayer books directed that "you pray for the Queen and the Royal Family to prosper". Our Zimbabwean soil is the soil God gave Zimbabweans and it is necessary for Zimbabweans to SEE GOD on the Zimbabwean Soil. Without proclaiming the Church of Zimbabwe, it is not possible."

The Church of Zimbabwe will be a separate entity altogether, he said. "We can fellowship with Canterbury and Archbishop Justin Welby whilst he recognizes us as The Church of Zimbabwe."

Questioned by VOL if he was in fact an Anglican province, Bishop Gwededge said no. "A province would always be affiliated with England like the Church of the Province of Central Africa which is Church of England in everything. WE ARE NOT A PROVINCE. WE ARE THE "CHURCH" and our Deed of Registration is very clear that we are the Church not in Zimbabwe but of Zimbabwe.

The bishop said he understood he would not be recognized by the Anglican Communion Office (ACC) and its general secretary. "We are creating our own offices which we hope with God's help in the next few years will be established.

"We are not under GAFCON either because GAFCON is a grouping of continuing Anglicans, neither are we under ACNA. We are totally separate. We are independent. We are LEGALLY INDEPENDENT.

Responding to criticism about his previous association with the deposed and disgraced Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, Gwedegwe responded saying that hopes for an independent Church of Zimbabwe under Kunonga could not come to fruition. "We wanted the Church of Zimbabwe which our bishops (black bishops) on the Independence of Zimbabwe in 1980 failed to articulate. In 1981, four black bishops were elected to office and a few dioceses created to unite and form the Church of Zimbabwe. This failed as well. They were too attached to the Church of England's Anglicanism that they could not view divorcing themselves from the Church of England.

"It will be up to the Church of England to say let's be friends. We are willing to have fellowship with anybody who does not subscribe to homosexuality. If there are friends who wish to fellowship with us, and share the word of God with us, we are open to them and we welcome them. What we will not embrace is homosexuality, or have partnership with them. Homosexuality is an abomination."

The House of Bishops comprises of the following Territorial Bishops:
1. Rt. Rev Morris Brown Gwedegwe
2. Rt. Rev Elijah Peter Musekiwa Masuko
3. Rt. Rev Alfred Munyanyi

Bishop Gwedegwe writes: "We have more than 30 Parishes spread across Zimbabwe with the majority in the Northern Part of Mashonaland Central where we have our Cathedral at St Gabriel's Foothills Parish Church under Dean, the Very Rev. Edward Magaratia with more than 150 parishioners at the Cathedral.

"We have 26 Clergymen who are assisted by parishioners to run the spiritual affairs of the Church. The Territorial Bishop Gwedegwe is assisted by Trustees led by Lay Canon Webster Bepura and Lay Canon David Chifamba. Other trustees are scattered across the Dioceses.

"Meanwhile we are encouraging Bishops, clergymen, layministers and parishioners to grow the Church. We have no stipend for anybody We are just building. If we get friends we welcome them to assist in our missionary work.

"As for Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, we have kept our contacts at distance so that we avoid people who label us over nothing. Kunonga is in charge of the Anglican Church Province of Zimbabwe which is a different entity from the Church of Zimbabwe. He is Anglican and we are independent from the Anglican System."

Bishop Gwedegwe's residence where he can be reached:

The St. Emmanuel's Bishop's Chapel
Plot 3 Penarth Farm
P O Box 14

The Church of Zimbabwe email address is: churchofzim@yahoo.com

The Bishop's email: bpgwedegwemc@yahoo.co.uk


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