Dr Farai Mutamiri was yesterday consecrated as the new bishop of the Anglican Church’s Diocese of Harare, Church of the Province of Central Africa at the City Sports Centre.
The consecration was later followed by his enthronement at the Cathedral of St Mary and All Saints in the afternoon.
He replaces Bishop Chad Gandiya, who retired at the end of last year. Bishop Mutamiri’s consecration was presided over by Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Central Africa Albert Chama.
Bishop Mutamiri was elected on November 27 last year.
Archbishop Chama in his sermon urged Bishop Mutamiri to put the interest of the clergy ahead of his own.
“The church belongs to God and your role is to shepherd his flock and not to personalise the church,” he said.
He called on Bishop Mutamiri to come up with his own unique style of leadership and not to seek to copy Bishop Gandiya.
He urged him to use his own unique God-given gift to achieve this. He said it was only through creating his own brand of leadership that he would leave his own legacy.
Bishop Chama also paid tribute to Bishop Gandiya for mentoring a lot of bishops and clergymen including himself when he was still the principal at Bishop Gaul College, the training institution for Anglican priests.
He also thanked Bishop Gandiya for facilitating the education of priests that resulted in Bishop Mutamiri obtaining a doctorate from a South African university while he was still the dean of the diocese.
In his brief message after his consecration, Bishop Mutamiri said he was grateful for the support of the clergy and the church.
Bishop Mutamiri, who was expected to spell out his vision, said he was going to do so at a special synod in six months’ time after he had consulted church leaders and assessed the challenges and opportunities being faced by the diocese.
He said he could not come up with a vision since he had been out of the country in Canada and the short period between his election and consecration.
Anglican Council of Zimbabwe president Bishop Godfrey Tawonezvi welcomed Bishop Mutamiri and pledged to support him. Bishop Mutamiri issued his predecessor with a licence which permits him to carry out pastoral duties and visits within the diocese. The licence removes the need for any parish within the diocese to seek permission if they want to invite Bishop Gandiya to preside over their church services.
He also issued a blessing on the city of Harare which was received by Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba and his predecessor Bernard Manyenyeni.
The two ceremonies were attended by Bishop Simon David Burton-Jones of Rochester, England, Bishop Francis Kaulanda of Lake Malawi, Bishop Eric Ruwona of the dioceses of Manicaland, Bishop Ignatius Makumbe of the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe, Bishop Brighton Vita Malasa of Upper Shire Malawi and Zimbabwe Council of Churches general secretary Dr Kenneth Mutata.