REACH-Namibia reviving slowly but surely

28 November 2018 | Local News

The once abandoned Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of Namibia (REACH-Namibia), also known as the Church of England in Namibia, is slowly picking up.

According REACH-Namibia vicar-general Lukas Kaluwapa Katenda the Church of England in South Africa (CESA) was introduced to Namibia by Bishop Stephen Bradley during the 1970s. After Bishop Bradley's death in 1984 there was no longer any work being done in Namibia.

After deserting the Anglican Diocese of Namibia, Katenda decided to revive the religious organisation under the name REACH-Namibia.

The church currently has 11 parishes in the northern central and coastal areas of the country.

It is led a national executive committee consisting of Katenda (chairperson), general secretary Lasarus Nghifindwako Hakwaake, Conrad Shilomboleni, Denys Nandi, Vistoline Shaanika-Shipanga, Victoria Kandadi-Waandja, Tresia Erastus, Teofilus Nghishoono, Timoteus Chicken Kanime, George Jeremia and Tupehafo Mutilifa-Hainghumbi.

This month the church appointed lawyer Silas Kishi-Shakumu to the honorary position of chancellor.

'REACH, or the Church of England, came to Namibia in 1978 and it was led by the late Bishop Peter Kalangula. This is just an Anglican church which differs from the Anglican Church of Southern Africa which believes in Anglo-Catholicism, while the Church of England has been against Catholicism and only wanted the evangelical reformation of Martin Luther,” Katenda said.

“After deserting the Anglican Church of Southern Africa I decided to revive the Church of England, which is a movement known as Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) which has created a body called Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA) and we are now operating as REACH-Namibia.”

Katenda said he left the Anglican Church of Southern Africa because he does not support its Anglican Catholicism. He said they started reviving old churches and established new ones. Their main branch is at Ondangwa while Windhoek is their administrative centre.

They have the Christ Church at Ondangwa headed by Denys Nandi, St Paul's Church at Ohangwena headed by Deacon Lukas Katamba and Daniel Djooma, St Luke's Church at Omungwelume headed by Deacon Robert Nakwatumba and lay worker Victoria Hamadila, St Peter's Church at Onamambili headed by Josia Kuduva and lay worker Christofine Mande, St John's Church at Indangungu headed by Reverend Thaddeus Kambauh Thomas, Bethlehem Church in Windhoek headed by Katenda, Deacon Paulus Pengeyo and Deacon Joel Nghikelwa, All Souls at Eenhana led by Deacon Lazarus Hakwaake, Deacon Wilhelm Hamukwaya and Deacon Michael Namahengo, Christ Our Peace at Walvis Bay led by Deacon Nelson Ndakevondjo, Christ Our Saviour at Tsumeb led by Deacon Fredrich Hilifavali, Fountain of Life in Oshakati East led by Reverend Gottlieb Kamati and Deacon Fretha Tutaleni, and New Jerusalem at Onhga led by Reverend Thaddeus (Kambauh) Thomas.

Katenda said the church believes that lawyer Shakumu has a vast knowledge of not only Christian religion but also comparative analysis of how Christianity is different from other world religions. Practically he has interest in Christian music, having produced two Gospel music albums.

“Shakumu brings a wealth of skills and experience to the church fraternity taking into consideration his area of specialisation, namely land and environmental law, education law, regional and local government law, international law, corporate governance law, contracts, intellectual properties law, as well as civil and criminal practice,” he said.

In terms of Canon VI of the Constitution and Canons of REACH-Namibia, the position of chancellor in the church is an honorary and voluntary position.

The chancellor serves as the church's chief legal advisor, helping the bishops and other clergy to interpret Canon Law as well as the secular laws of the land.

Being a church chancellor is voluntary and the person holding that position is not paid for the services rendered to the church.

By virtue of his position, he is entitled to attend the meetings of the church's executive committee and its general synod. Further he will be entitled to attend to some other ecclesiastical matters and forums as required bishops or the exco.

Shakumu's appointment is with immediate effect and will run until January 2021, after which he will be eligible for re-election.



ILENI NANDJATO

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