NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 3 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has congratulated the newly enthroned Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop, the Most Reverend Dr Jackson Nasoore Ole Sapit.
Speaking at the enthronement service at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, President Kenyatta wished Archbishop Sapit success in his duties as Head of the Anglican Church in Kenya and assured him of his support.
“You have very large shoes to fill. Your predecessor did us all proud as Kenyans. After listening to you, I’m convinced that you are equal to the task. And based on the firm foundation of your predecessor, you will be able to build even a stronger, firmer and greater church for all of us,” President Kenyatta said.
The former Bishop of the Kericho Diocese was enthroned as the sixth Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya at a colourful ceremony witnessed by thousands of faithful led by religious and political leaders from across the country and beyond, including Deputy President William Ruto, former Tanzanian Prime Minister Edward Lowassa and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Justin Welby.
The 51-year-old Archbishop Sapit takes over from Bishop Eliud Wabukala who retired last month. Archbishop Sapit will also serve as the fourth Bishop of All Saints Cathedral diocese and the Bishop Ordinary of the Kenya Defence Forces.
President Kenyatta praised the existing partnership between the Church and State, saying the two entities have a duty and responsibility to work together to improve welfare of Kenyans.
“We have to work together to eradicate poverty, we have to work together to combat diseases and we have to work together fight corruption and other social vices,” President Kenyatta said.
He added: “Indeed, Kenya is a Godly nation but we also have to be a prosperous nation where every single citizen feels that they are part and parcel of the Kenyan society.”
Deputy President Ruto hailed Archbishop Sapit’s elevation to the helm of the Anglican Church of Kenya, saying terming it a “deserving appointment”.
The Deputy President expressed confidence that God will give the new Archbishop the grace, courage and wisdom to lead the Church.
He said the country looks up to men and women like Archbishop Ole Sapit to provide the country with a moral compass.
The Deputy President also called on the new Archbishop to be firm and say “no” to those spreading hatred, reject divisions and rebuke ethnicity.
“It is my prayer that God will give the grace and courage to consolidate our bonds of brotherhood,” the Deputy President said.
In his acceptance speech, Archbishop Sapit encouraged dialogue in addressing national issues.
“It is therefore my prayer that one day the President, his Deputy, and the CORD principals may take a retreat together and have sufficient time to talk about the beautiful Kenya they want to see, and communicate this vision to us in words and deeds,” the Archbishop said.
In response to Archbishop Sapit, President Kenyatta said he was always open to dialogue as long as it was held within the framework of existing institutions.