For the last two Sundays, congregants at an Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) parish in Othaya, Nyeri County, have held service from just outside the church’s gates after their lead priest was sacked for failing to get a wife.
Ostracised by the Church but revered by his flock, Archdeacon John Gachau yesterday found himself at the centre of a dramatic morning during which worshippers escorted him to church from his home and demanded that he leads them in prayers.
This went against an order by Bishop Joseph Kagunda, who heads the Mt Kenya West diocese, banishing him from the church because he is unmarried.
Bishop Kagunda gave Mr Gachau six months to find a wife or else lose his job. When the ultimatum lapsed in December, Bishop Kagunda wrote to Mr Gachau demanding he hands over to the parish by January 1.
According to the ACK constitution, it is mandatory for a priest to have a wife. Since 2014, the bishop had been embroiled in a legal suit against three of his priests. He had accused Mr Gachau of homosexuality.
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