Archbishop of Canterbury visits Kenya for enthronement of new Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby takes a selfie during his Kenya trip. Photo: Twitter/NjugushG

Yesterday, Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, was among the guests as the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACE) enthroned their new Archbishop, the Most Reverend Dr Jackson Nasoore Ole Sapit.

Formerly the Bishop of the Jericho Diocese, the new Archbishop was enthroned as the sixth Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya at a colourful ceremony attended by religious and political leaders from across the country and beyond, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, and former Tanzanian Prime Minister Edward Lowassa.

The 51-year-old Archbishop Sapit succeeds Bishop Eliud Wabukala who retired last month and will also serve as the fourth Bishop of All Saints Cathedral diocese and the Bishop Ordinary of the Kenya Defence Forces.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in Kenya
Archbishop Ole Sapit with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Nic Hailey and Hon Raila Odinga. Photo: Twitter/allsaintsnrb

Speaking at the enthronement service at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, President Kenyatta wished Archbishop Sapit success in his duties as Head of the Anglican Church in Kenya and assured him of his support.

“You have very large shoes to fill. Your predecessor did us all proud as Kenyans. After listening to you, I’m convinced that you are equal to the task. And based on the firm foundation of your predecessor, you will be able to build even a stronger, firmer and greater church for all of us.” – President Kenyatta

President Kenyatta also took the opportunity to praise the existing partnership between the Church and State, saying the two entities have a duty and responsibility to work together to improve welfare of Kenyans.

“We have to work together to eradicate poverty, we have to work together to combat diseases and we have to work together fight corruption and other social vices. Indeed, Kenya is a Godly nation but we also have to be a prosperous nation where every single citizen feels that they are part and parcel of the Kenyan society.”

– President Kenyatta

In his acceptance speech, Archbishop Sapit encouraged dialogue when addressing national issues.

“It is therefore my prayer that one day the President, his Deputy, and the CORD principals may take a retreat together and have sufficient time to talk about the beautiful Kenya they want to see, and communicate this vision to us in words and deeds.” – Archbishop Sapit

After the ceremony, the Archbishop of Canterbury and President Kenyatta took the opportunity to have their own private discussion.