by Munene Kamau and Moses Njagi
The Standard, Nairobi, Kenya
A local paper Kenyan paper published a story on Sunday 21 May having discovered that the Rt Revd John Gladwin, Bishop of Chelsmford, is a patron of Changing Attitude. The story maliciously and totally untruthfully claimed he is in Kenya to lobby for homosexual deviance.
Canon Matthews, a member of the visiting Chelmsford group, was reported to be seething with anger in the pulpit of St Thomas Cathedral, Kerugoya, Kirinyaga District, as he waved a copy of a local daily containing the story on Gladwin. “If the story were true, we would not have dared to step in any church in this country,” Mathews told the congregation. There was reported to be quiet in the fully packed cathedral as he bitterly exonerated the English group from the homosexuality allegations.
Bishop John is reported to have denied that he had links with homosexuality or that he was in the country to lobby for the sexual deviance. He was categorical that the Anglican Church in England did not condone homosexuality. “We did not come here to talk about homosexuality. Those issues will be dealt with elsewhere, but we are all united in the Lord,” he said. Bishop John said just as Christians in any other parts of the world faced enormous challenges, Britain was no exception.
There was tension earlier when word went round that the “much awaited guests from England” were indeed coming on a mission to persuade faithful to back homosexuality and lesbianism. One of the church elders, Komu Gikunju, is said to have alerted the diocese bishop, Daniel Munene Ngoru, on seeing the story. Ngoru, who was scheduled to host the team, is said to have rushed to the church a few moments before the arrival of the guests to hold held consultations with other clergy.
The church leaders reportedly agreed to receive the guests but to also alert them about the prevailing tension owing to their alleged links, so they could clear their name. Later when the tension eased, Bishop John confirmed 29 followers who were admitted as the church members.
The provost of the cathedral, Rt. Rev. Winfred Munene, said she had stayed in Chelsmford Diocese, where Bishop Gladwin ministers, and had not heard reports linking him to homosexuality.
The East African Standard has added to the news, reporting that Bishop Gideon Ireri of Mbeere Diocese, Kenya spoke about homosexuality at St John’s Mbita Church during the diocese’s education Sunday on 22 May. He maintained that gay marriages were in contravention of the doctrines of the Church and the teachings of the bible. Bishop Ireri, who is the chairman of the Justice and Peace Commission, said Anglicans in Kenya objected to such relationships.
“We have met in very different forums as the world communion of Anglicans and even the African church and our stand is a big ‘No’. No matter how much anyone may wish to lobby for our support our decision is known,” he said.