Message from the Chaplain: 13 May 2022


Africa is a continent of enormous cultural wealth and diversity. The South African government celebrates the month of May as Africa month. As an Anglican, it is the light-hearted comment Ghanaian Anglican Theologian John Pobee shares in his reflection on the meaning and movement of Afro-Anglicanism, that gives insight into the challenge of being African and Anglican:

Let me get away from this Ghanaian who belongs to the Church of England,” says a friend to me. “This is not exactly correct—John Pobee is a Ghanaian, a proud one too, and an Anglican, a proud one too,” is my response. This is a regular repartee between myself and a Zairean colleague, a member of the United Church of Zaire. It goes on in a joking manner. But there is a very serious point in the Zairean’s comment: how can an African, a Ghanaian from Ghana, which led the way to the modern phase of African nationalism (the prince of which was Kwame Nkrumah), continue to be part of Anglicanism, which is every bit British, if not English, the established religion of the former colonial master, Great Britain, who “ruled the waves”?

He concludes his essay by saying:

Afro-Anglicanism, if it should be the Church of God in Cape Coast of South Africa, must be authentic in its theology, structures, values, and general ethos and orientation, in short, in its context of mission. Only then will the communion be seen to be the mosaic that truly is of its essence. And only then will Afro-Anglicanism be an authentic imprint in the mosaic called Anglican Communion. Pobee’s image of a mosaic is a reminder of how a community can be enriched by diversity. As a South African and Anglican school, we see this diversity reflected in our community and chapel services. We are also intentional about embracing this diversity in our weekly chapel services.

Wishing you all a happy Africa month, this Eastertide.


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