'A voice for the voiceless in the Anglican Central African Province'
Bishop Chad Gandiya receives his mitre after his consecration
We have received several eyewitness reports of the consecration and enthronement of the Rev’d Canon Dr. Chad Gandiya as the new Bishop of Harare, Zimbabwe.
We have gathered these reports together below
in an account of the occasion
– Bishop Nolbert Kunonga's influence continues to wane
Sunday 26th July 2009 truly was "a day that the Lord has made!". The parishes from all over the Diocese of Harare (CPCA) flocked in their thousands, despite the chilly weather and attempts by Dr Kunonga to have the enthronement stopped, to the City Sports Centre - the scene last year of Bishop Bakare's enthronement. The stadium was full to capacity and great enthusiasm in the Holy Spirit was very evident, about 10,000 people were present with many in Mother’s Union uniforms (The Mothers’ Union is a powerful and influential organisation in Africa).
The organization was magnificent. A stage had been set up with an altar and the chairs for the Dean of the Province Bishop Chama and the other bishops and priests assisting with the service. The space in front of the altar where it all happened was a bit narrow so that when
the Bishop Elect lay prostrate during the Litany (the liturgy of the Central African Province is high anglo-catholic in nature) his feet were dangerously near the edge!
On either side of the stage were four large arrangements of chrysanthemums and one in the centre on the floor. A red carpet led down the central aisle and across in front of the stage flanked by stands with bowls of orange and yellow flowers with a similar arrangement at the foot of each stands. The playing area had rows of chairs with white chairs being reserved for the dignitaries and Bishop Chad Gandiya and the two bishops who would assist him. The priests and servers sat behind the stage with the choir to their left. All the seats were taken up with the different congregations and people also stood in the entrance way. There were teams of ushers, some selling the Order of the Service and others guiding people to their seats. The choir comprising members from different parishes was in full voice accompanied by drums and rattles.
The service started around 9:00 am with the procession of servers, subdeacons, clergy, archdeacons, vicar generals and the dean of the cathedral. The second procession led by servers with the Registrars and Chancellors and Ecumenical guests. The third procession comprised the servers, bishops from the Anglican Communion, Bishops of the Province, the Vicar General Bishop Bakare and Bishop Elect Chad Gandiya, the Emeritus Archbishop of the Province the most Reverend Dr Walter Khotso Makhulu and the Dean of the Province Bishop Chama.
The acting Dean, the Right Reverend Dr Sebastian Bakare welcomed the congregation, the visiting guests from the Province and the Anglican Communion and dignitaries present. The Holy Communion Service then commenced. The Old Testament reading was from Isaiah 6:1-8, Psalm 100 and the New Testament reading from 2 Corinthians 4:1-10. The gospel reading was from John 21:15-17 followed by the anthem"Here I am Lord." The Sermon was preached by the Emeritus Archbishop the most Reverend Dr Walter Khotso Makhulu with interpretation into Shona by the Dean of the cathedral. The Nicene Creed was sung in Shona.
The ordination of the Bishop-Elect Chad Nicholas Gandiya proceeded with the congregation responding accordingly. The Dean of the Province then gave the Charge and asked the Questions to which the Bishop Elect replied with the words "With God's help I will" to all the questions and the congregation singing at the end "I say yes, yes Lord..." followed by the Veni Creator sung in Shona and the ordination with all the bishops gathered around him. He was then presented with the Bible, cross, ring, mitre and staff. After this there was a fanfare of musical instruments with the congregation clapping and ululating for a minute. The Peace was then passed with the congregation milling around to pass the peace to family, friends and fellow parishioners. This was a time of real joy for everyone present. After the consecration the new Bishop was presented with his cross, ring, mitre, and staff. The congregation greeted each with clapping, but the longest and loudest cheer was for the mitre. No turning back now.
The Dean then continued with the Eucharist. Each parish had contributed wafers, wine and brought their chalices. The bishops and visiting ecumenical guests received first and then the priests and servers. A priest, a server and a member of the Mother's Union then proceeded to each of the bays and the congregation received communion by intent. This went extremely smoothly. The choir were the last to receive as they were singing throughout the giving and receiving of communion.
Prior to the Blessing Bishop Bakare called for messages of solidarity to be read. The first message was from the Archbishop of Canterbury read on his behalf. Bishop Michael Gear a former parish priest of St Mary Magdalene, Avondale Parish read greetings from Rochester Diocese. There were messages from the Secretary of USPG, the American Episcopal Church and others all wishing Bishop Chad every success in the shepherding of his new flock.
The service ended with the words "Go in Peace to love and serve the Lord "and the response from the congregation.
Lunch followed for the guests and dignitaries in two tents pitched behind the stadium-again extremely well organised. The parishioners then wended their way some on foot, others in cars or buses to the cathedral for the Installation at 2:30pm. This had not been publicised probably to prevent crowds trying to attend, or possibly because disruption from Dr Kunonga was
feared. Nevertheless, the cathedral was packed as well as the cloisters with a loud speaker through to the congregation assembled there. The cathedral doors had been barred (by the Kunonga faction) with large chains and lock blocks fitted but these were removed by the locksmith and the people were able to enter the cathedral and cloisters in peace. Some of the flowers from the stadium had been brought into the cathedral and placed around the font. The bells were ringing as we entered the cathedral- a most joyous and welcome sound.
The Installation proceeded with the Bishop knocking on the door three times before it was opened. The clergy and bishops then processed down the aisle while the congregation sang in Shona "Guide me, oh though Great Redeemer". The readings were from Jeremiah 8:18-22 and 2 Corinthians 5:11-2. Greetings and expression of loyalty was given by the priests from the diocese, and the bishops. Prior to the new bishop giving his Charge his daughter sang "There is a balm in Gilead." His Charge reflected on these words and the balm that is present in Harare. He said his prayer was that the Anglican Church should be the
physician for the healing of the diocese, the city and the country. Afterwards various presents were given. Faith, Bishop Chad’s wife, somewhat nonplussed, was called out from the congregation to sit in front of the altar receiving gifts from the Mothers'
Unions of other dioceses on their knees at her feet. The service concluded with Bishop Gandiya blessing the City and Diocese.
Then over five hundred people attended a reception for Bishop Gandiya at Caroline Wilderness just outside Harare to conclude a most moving day and unforgettable day.
The Diocese of Harare (CPCA) has been blessed with the attention to his flock, vision, humility and passion of Bishop Sebastian Bakare. We are really grateful for all that he has done for us in the time that he has been in the invidious position of interim bishop. We wish him and his wife Ruth who has been a mother to the diocese every blessing as they return to their home and lives in Mutare. Thank you Bishop Sebastian, makorokoto and amhlope. May the Lord continue to bless and guide you both.