[ACNS] The first locally trained priests in the Diocese of Botswana have been ordained in what was the largest ordination service held in the 42-year history of the diocese, in the Anglican Province of Central Africa.
Thirteen priests and two deacons were ordained earlier this month at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Gaborone, by the Bishop of Botswana, the Rt Revd Metlhayotlhe Beleme.
“This was a truly exciting event in our national church history,” the diocese’s Susan Mogwera told ACNS. “This is the largest number of priests to be ordained in the 42 years’ history of the Diocese of Botswana.
“Twelve priests were trained locally at St Augustine Theological School and they are the first class to graduate.”
The diocese’s vision is “to be a spiritually growing and self-sustaining, nationwide church, that is welcoming and serving.”
A number of Anglican and ecumenical guests were present at the cathedral for the historic service, including Bishop Stephen Pedley and the Revd Catherine Pickford from the Diocese of Newcastle in the Church of England; Father Victor Mosima from the Diocese of Pretoria in Southern Africa; the Revd Erik Isaksson from Sweden, and Will Campbell, Will Hughes, Bucky Harris and Clint Smith from the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Tennessee in the United States.
The diocese gave thanks for the “tremendous assistance” it had received from its link dioceses of Newcastle in the Church of England and North Carolina and West Missouri in the Episcopal Church; and singled out Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Bishop Martin Whartin, Bishop Martin Field, and Canon Howard and Fiona Moffat “for availing finances, books, vehicles and resource personnel for the school.”
They were trained at St Augustine’s Theological School by Fr Dr Leon Spencer from the Diocese of North Carolina and Bishop Brian Smith.
“The primary success of the school and ordination of these men was made possible by Canon Professor James Amanze, Principal of St Augustine and Canon Theologian,” the diocese said.