THOUSANDS of pilgrims of the Anglican Church of Central Africa (CPCA) in Zimbabwe are on Friday set to return to the Bernard Mizeki Shrine in Marondera for the first time in five years when they were banished from the sacred place by a rival faction of the church.
Report by Jairos Saunyama
The church, led by Bishop Chad Gandiya, will gather to commemorate the life of Bernard Mizeki, a missionary martyred in 1896.
The event, scheduled for June 14-16 will be held under the theme God Is Faithful.
Most church members had been unable to go to the Shrine after being barred from the sacred venue by members of a faction belonging to excommunicated Bishop Nolbert Kunonga. They had all these years been paying pilgrimage at alternative venues.
When NewsDay visited the shrine recently, preparations for the conference were underway.
In an interview, CPCA Zimbabwe spokesperson Precious Shumba said all was in place and they were expecting thousands to attend the event.
“The atmosphere is really electric and the entire five dioceses across Zimbabwe have confirmed their attendance. The people are really excited to come back to the shrine after such a long time,” Shumba said.
“We are going to have a number of Bishops from Mozambique and Zambia who all have confirmed their attendance.”
Bishop Gandiya said his church had been in exile for five years.
“After having been in exile for five years and failing to host these celebrations at the shrine, this year’s celebrations are indeed special and the theme ‘God is faithful’ could not be more timely.
“This time we are back at our churches, and all other church properties including the shrine are back in our hands,” he said.
Anglicans each year travel to Marondera for the event where they celebrate the life and contributions of Bernard Mizeki.