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The Anglican Church of Kenya is part of the Anglican Communion, and includes 29 dioceses. The Primate of the Church is the Archbishop of Kenya. The Most Rev. Benjamin M. Nzimbi has served in this position since 2006.

Official name

The Church became part of the Province of East Africa in 1960, but by 1970 Kenya and Tanzania were divided into separate Provinces.


The church was founded originally as the diocese of Eastern Equatorial Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania) in 1884, with James Hannington as the first bishop; however, Anglican missionary activity had been present in the area since 1844, when Dr. Johann Ludwig Krapf landed in Mombasa. The first Africans were ordained to the priesthood in 1885. In 1898, the diocese was split into two, with the new diocese of Mombasa governing Kenya and northern Tanzania (the other diocese later became the Church of Uganda); northern Tanzania was separated from the diocese in 1927. Mass conversions of Africans began as early as 1910. In 1955, the diocese's first African bishops, Festo Olang’ and Obadiah Kariuki, were consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in Uganda (Olang’ would be elected the first African archbishop in 1970); in 1960, the province of East Africa, comprising Kenya and Tanzania, was formed with L.J. Beecher as archbishop. Tanzania seceded from the province in 1970 and was created as its own province. Manasses Kuria was the Archbishop of Kenya from 1980 to 1994. The current archbishop is Benjamin Nzimbi.


Today, there are at least 1,500,000 Anglicans out of an estimated population of 30,700,000.


polity of the Anglican Church of Kenya is Episcopal church governance, which is the same as other Anglican churches. That is, headed by bishops from the Greek word, "episcopos," which means overseer or superindendant. The church maintains a system of geographical parishes organized into dioceses. There are 29 of these, each headed by a bishop:

  • The Diocese of All Saints Cathedral
  • The Diocese of Bondo
  • The Diocese of Bungoma
  • The Diocese of Butere
  • The Diocese of Eldoret
  • The Diocese of Embu
  • The Diocese of Kajiado
  • The Diocese of Katakwa
  • The Diocese of Kirinyaga
  • The Diocese of Kitale
  • The Diocese of Kitui
  • The Diocese of Machakos
  • The Diocese of Maseno North
  • The Diocese of Maseno South
  • The Diocese of Maseno West
  • The Diocese of Mbeere
  • The Diocese of Meru
  • The Diocese of Mombasa
  • The Diocese of Mount Kenya Central
  • The Diocese of Mount Kenya South
  • The Diocese of Mount Kenya West
  • The Diocese of Mumias
  • The Diocese of Nairobi
  • The Diocese of Nakuru
  • The Diocese of Nambale
  • The Diocese of Nyahururu
  • The Diocese of Southern Nyanza
  • The Diocese of Taita-Taveta
  • The Diocese of Thika

Each diocese is divided into archdeaconries, each headed by a senior priest. The archdeaconries are further subdivided into parishes, headed by a parish priest. Parishes are subdivided into sub-parishes, headed by lay readers.

Worship and liturgy

The Anglican Church of Kenya embraces three orders of ministry: deacon, priest, and bishop. A local variant of the Book of Common Prayer is used.

Doctrine and practice

The center of the Anglican Church of Kenya's teaching is the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The basic teachings of the church, or catechism, includes:

The threefold sources of authority in Anglicanism are scripture, tradition, and reason. These three sources uphold and critique each other in a dynamic way. This balance of scripture, tradition and reason is traced to the work of Richard Hooker, a sixteenth century apologist. In Hooker's model, scripture is the primary means of arriving at doctrine and things stated plainly in scripture are accepted as true. Issues that are ambiguous are determined by tradition, which is checked by reason.

Ecumenical relations

Like many other Anglican churches, the Anglican Church of Kenya is a member of the ecumenical World Council of Churchesmarker. In October 2009, the Kenyan Church's leadership reacted to the Vatican's proposed creation of personal ordinariates for disaffected traditionalist Anglicans by saying that although he welcomed ecumencial dialogue and shared moral theology with the Catholic Church, the current GAFCON structures already meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of conservative Anglicans in Africa.


  1. Anglican Listening Detail on how scripture, tradition, and reason work to "uphold and critique each other in a dynamic way".
  2. World Council of Churches
  3. A Pastoral Exhortation to the Faithful in the Anglican Communion

Further reading

  • Anglicanism, Neill, Stephen. Harmondsworth, 1965.

External links

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