|Property destroyed by fire at the Diocese of Umzimvubu.|
Subject: Diocese of Umzimvubu
Dear Bishops and Colleagues
I write to ask for your continued prayers on the issues of the Diocese of Umzimvubu.
As you all know, following the Diocesan Synod that I presided over, assisted by Bishop Mzamane (of Mthatha) as the Vicar General, new structures were elected for the management of the diocese. These included the Diocesan Council, Diocesan Finance Board and Diocesan Trust Board amongst others.
Furthermore, a petition was tabled at this Diocesan Synod which was accepted unanimously. The petition passed a motion of no confidence on Bishop Ngewu and his administrative team. It called for the Diocese to be declared vacant.
Subsequently, the Synod of Bishops at their meeting in September 2015, dealt with this petition through the Canon 14 route. Bishop Ngewu was given time to answer as required by Canon 14.
His response is due at the end of December 2015. He will deliver his response at the Synod of Bishops in February 2016.
The matter of administration was delegated to the Diocesan Registrar, Vicar General and the newly elected Diocesan Council, following the Synod promulgation set time. The Diocesan Council, the Vicar General and the Registrar, following the stipulated time have engaged Mr Ngeke [diocesan secretary] to effect this synodical petition.
Today, the Diocesan Council met at the Glenthorne Diocesan Centre. Amongst the other things that were discussed, the matter of Mr Ngeke and the 2016 Diocesan budget were finalised. These they have done and we are grateful to God for their service. Sadly, before the end of their proceedings the diocesan centre, the houses and the old Cathedral burnt down.
I am pained and devastated by this loss and act of callousness. Do pray for Bishop of Mzamane and the team of people that we elected during this difficult time in the diocese. As scripture says: We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies (2 Cor 4:8-10). We will keep on seeking the truth of Christ even in such difficult times.
I ask of you to drop +Mzamane prayer notes to give him strength as he acts in our stead in the diocese.
I am currently in Swaziland for a pastoral visit and will arrange to go and see +Mzamane to give him and his family support.
Yours in the service of Christ
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba