Revd Michael Kimindu’s attempt to encourage listening in Nairobi, Kenya, rebuffed

The Revd Michael Kimindu, Director of Other Sheep Ministries in Kenya and Changing Attitude’s representative in Nairobi, continues in his attempts to meet with the Archbishop of Kenya.

In this context, he has sent a very sad account of a scenario that developed around the cathedral last Wednesday. What happened provides a snapshot of the fear of individual clergy in engaging with LGB&T people in Africa.

Two gay journalists from the USA visiting Kenya had asked Michael if he could arrange an interview with some of the Kenyan clergy who are against homosexuality so that the journalists could hear their arguments. Michael phoned one of the Anglican clergy from the Cathedral and he agreed to meet and be interviewed.

When they reached the Cathedral he met them outside. He requested that they give him 30 minutes to dash to the bank. In the meantime he invited them to take pictures if they wished and said he had asked another colleague to receive them until he returned.

They decided to go to the cathedral office and meet the priest colleague, only to find that she was out, fearing to meet them. She was apparently consulting with the Provost who advised her not to entertain them but to ask them to wait for the priest who had gone to the bank.

As they waited outside the office, the priest returned from the bank and happily went to meet the woman priest. After a short while he returned with a face like thunder complaining that he did not know they had a camera (although he had invited them to take pictures as they waited for him).

He left them and went to the Provost’s office. After a while he came back complaining that he had children in school who needed fees and that Michael’s presence with the gay journalists was putting his job at risk. He called Michael his enemy. He left them and went to his office complaining loudly. One of the secretaries asked in Michael’s hearing if he was not the one who instructed that they were to be received in his absence!

Shortly afterwards the Provost emerged from his office going to the toilet. He did not greet them. On his way back Michael stopped him and introduced him to the journalists, telling him why they were there. He was also furious. He said he was busy with a guest in his office and asked them to go to the Provincial Secretary at the Anglican Church of Kenya Headquarters. She is the only one who can handle such matters since the stand of the Church has not changed.

We gave up and left, writes Michael.

The clergyman is the one in charge of Pastoral Care at the Cathedral. You can see where the Church is from what happened. That is why I am seeking this dialogue. Pray for me as always and the Anglican Church of Kenya.

Peace to all of us,

Michael Kimindu

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