BACKGROUND TO ACK NAIROBI DIOCESE
Nairobi Diocese, which is within Anglican Church of Kenya, is part of the wider Anglican Communion. The history of the Anglican church of Kenya dates back to 1844 when the first missionary from the Church Missionary Society (CMS), Dr. Johann Ludwing Krapf, arrived in Mombasa. He was joined two years later by Rev. Johann Rebman. The two CMS missionaries started several CMS stations in the coastal region which culminated in the diocese of Eastern Equatorial Africa formed in 1884. This covered areas including Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika with James Hannington as the first Bishop.
In 1955 The first African Bishops of the Anglican Church in Kenya, Festo Olang’ and Obadiah Kariuki were consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in Uganda
In 1960 the Anglican Province of East Africa, comprising of Kenya and Tanganyika was formed with L.J. Beecher as the first archbishop.
In 1964, the diocese of Nairobi was separated from the diocese of Mombasa.
The first African Archbishop of the Church, the Most Rev. Festo Olang’, was elected in 1970.
In 1974 Imani house, the then headquarters of the Anglican church of Kenya and the diocese of Nairobi was opened.
The most Rev. Dr. Manasses Kuria was elected the second Archbishop of the Church succeeding the most Rev. Festo Olang’ in 1980
In 1996, the most Rev. Dr. Manasses Kuria retired and in 1998 The Most Rev. Dr. David Gitari was elected the third Archbishop to take his place.
In September 2002 Nairobi diocese was split into two dioceses creating All Saints Cathedral diocese under the Most Rev David Gitari and the Nairobi Diocese, where Bishop Peter Njoka was elected the first Bishop.
In July 2010, Bishop Peter Njoka retired and he was succeeded by The Rt Rev Joel Waweru.
Due to the dynamic environment in which the Church in the capital city operates within, and the contextual experiences taking place in the world today, the diocese resorted in strategic planning as a roadmap to meeting the needs of its stakeholders.
THE HISTORY OF THE ANGLICAN CHAPLAINCY IN THE KENYA SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT
While visiting Kenya in 1924, the Anson Phelps-Stokes led Commission recommended to the colonial government rural education and industrial training for natives. This recommendation was adopted in 1925 when the Jean’s school was opened to train artisans. It eventually grew into an in-service training school for civil servants.
The Anglican Pastoral involvement in what is now K.S.G. dates back to the pre-independence era where the colonial government in the 1930’s built a chapel for the Jean’s school. The Church of England missionary wing, the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S.) enjoyed a good rapport with the colonial government and it was the custom that wherever there was a government installation, a C.M.S. a chaplaincy was established to give pastoral and emotional care to the staff, students and families of the Colonial government. This can be attested to by the several shelves of 1662 Book of Common Prayer, Anglican hymnals and the numerous Old King James Bibles found in the St. Martin’s Chapel to date.
With the dawn of independence in Kenya, the same arrangement continued. It has been the practice of Government facilities such as the military, prisons, schools and colleges to have one established mainline Protestant Church seconding a Minister to give pastoral care to all protestant staff, students, families, in-mates e.t.c. This is because protestant faiths largely agree on matters of doctrine.
Moreover, where the Kenya School of Government is concerned, the Anglican Church has had a rich heritage of seconding disciplined, spiritual, well educated ministers who have always reached out to all Protestants of the K.S.G. fraternity in giving pastoral care. We have faithfully administered the holy sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist and have conducted sacramental ministries such as weddings and burials of staff and families of all Christian backgrounds.
It has always been clear to the Anglican Church from the beginning of the Chaplaincy in the 1930s that the land and building of the Chapel has always been property of the Government of Kenya and that our role has always been to provide Pastoral services to the community without discrimination of denomination or any other consideration. In view of this, we have always been accountable over the years to the incumbent Administration of the K.S.G.
Other than the relevant Chaplaincy service, from the very beginning, the Anglican Church has had the responsibility of maintenance and upkeep of the Chapel in terms of Personnel, furniture, cleanliness, supplies and even the structure. In 1994, with the permission of the then Principal of the Kenya Institute of Administration and his board, the Anglican Church did a funds drive and collected Ksh250, 000.00 and put up a new roof at St. Martin’s Chapel, the old one having become totally dilapidated. The testimony of this contribution is in the plaque at the entrance of the old chapel that reads, “To the Glory of God, the roof of St. Martin’s K.I.A. was dedicated to commemorate 150 years (of the Anglican Church of Kenya-1844-1994) by the Archbishop of Kenya, the Most Reverend Dr. Manasses Kuria on 24-12-1994.”
Moreover, we have continued to buy, repair all furniture of the Chapel. For instance, just recently raised a substantial amount of money to repair and varnish the pews in readiness to move to the new Chapel. Having received communication from Mr. Iko, the Human resource manager and in-charge of projects, that the institution would not be able to furnish the new Chapel, we took it upon ourselves to fundraise within the Anglican Church and were able to raise Ksh265, 000.00. From these monies we have procured a mahogany alter- table at Kshs65, 000.00, a mahogany pulpit at kshs65, 000.00, a baptistery at ksh30, 000.00, a reading lectern at Khs25, 000.00, Holy communion implements (Chalice and paten, trays and cups, bottles of wine and wafers) worth 43, 250.00. The rest of the monies are budgeted for use in the consecration service.
Given that the Anglican Church has played the Chaplaincy role on behalf of all Protestants from the very beginning, there has never been a problem, with good consultations and arrangement with the Chaplain, to have other denominations use the Chapel. In the years past, we have had P.C.E.A. holding services in the Chapel (in the 1970s), and the Friends Church in the nineties.
In view of this, our Anglican run services for an ecumenical audience commence at 8.30am- Children’s service and 9.30am to 11.30am - English Service. With good planning, from time to time, we have had other denominations use the Chapel during the other hours. We also hold afternoon activities such as rallies for the youth on some afternoons reaching out to K.S.G. students, lower Kabete Campus of the university of Nairobi and members of the K.S.G. community.
From the Anglican Chaplaincy at St. Martin’s we have been able to offer regular Pastoral services to the nearby Lower kabete Primary school, which is an extension of the K.S.G. community, through PPI, counseling, prayer and thanksgiving Masses during and after exam time and pastoral care during traumatic events such as bereavement.
From time to time we have also reached out to the Kabete Children’s home where we have visited with food stuffs and clothing and have involved our community children in exchange activities such as sports with the residents of the home.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Given that the Anglican Church has taken full responsibility of maintenance of the Chaplaincy, we have had to share resources with already existing Anglican Churches who have supported the upkeep of the Chaplain, procurements of supplies, and general upkeep such as cleaning services. With St. Martin’s Chapel being in a Parish that once had three local congregations - St. Joseph’s Uthiru, St. Mary’s Kabete and St. Martin’s and later two after St. Joseph’s became a Parish, the services are sometimes stretched. This is because the presiding minister has to share his Pastoral services between the two Churches and communities.
Henceforth, The Kenya School of Government has a great opportunity in sourcing a budget line of its Chaplaincy which could result in a full time minister being seconded by the Bishop of nairobi to give services to the St. Martin’s K.S.G. congregation and community only. This would enable greater effectiveness and allow the said Chaplain to be used by the K.S.G. management in the weekly activities of Staff and Students of the K.S.G.