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By Godfrey Olukya
VOL African correspondent
November 21, 2022

A senior cleric in the eastern Uganda Diocese of Mbale has quit the Anglican Church of Uganda and joined the Upper Nile Diocese under the World Wide Anglican Church.

The Rev. Canon Abednego Kasawa Watenga was consecrated a bishop in the new denomination.

In an interview with the Daily Monitor, he said that his decision was spiritually inspired.

"It took me almost a year to make this decision after praying, fasting and waiting upon the Lord about changing from one denomination to the other after I was approached," he said.

The Rev. Watenga was consecrated by Archbishop Lwanga Tusubira of the Worldwide Anglican Church in Mbale City.

The ceremony was graced by primate Bishop of Kenya Abraham Amwayi, primate Archbishop Jan Beaderstadt of North America, Bishop Samuel Ssebuufu, among other dignitaries.

The Rev Watenga said it was God's calling to be appointed bishop.

"I never went seeking to be a bishop but this was God's work for the service I have rendered in the ministry," he said.

The new bishop said he was aware that a section of Christians and leaders in the Anglican Church are disappointed. "I am mindful that people will be disappointed that I have left to join another church but the choice I made was to obey God. I did not leave because I was disgruntled as people claim," he said.

Archbishop Lwanga said his decision to choose Rev Watenga as bishop was the work of the Holy Spirit.

"It's common that people change priesthood and it was not his initiative. The House of Bishops was led by the Holy Spirit and we shared our vision with him and he was able to accept the call," he said.

When contacted, The Anglican Church of Uganda Bishop John Wilson Nandaah of Mbale Diocese, declined to comment on the matter.

However, the sub-dean of St Andrew's Cathedral, the Rev Eridad Milton Shissa, said the Rev Watenga had not communicated his decision officially to the diocese.

The Worldwide Anglican Church was founded in 1921 in Uganda with a mission of evangelism and service in the name of the 'Great Commission.' It claims a combination of Anglo/Catholic Eucharist services, as well as opportunities for the expression of dance and music.


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