Rt Rev Dr Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu has taken over the reins of the Church of Uganda (CoU) as the 9th Archbishop today at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe. His enthronement was spearheaded by the Dean of the Province of the Church of Uganda, the Rt Rev Jackson Nzerebende.
Rev Kaziimba, the then Bishop of Mityana Diocese was elected Archbishop by the House of Bishops at the Provincial Office of the Church of Uganda at Namirembe in August 2019. He beat top contenders like Bishop Sheldon Mwesigwa of Ankole Diocese and Bishop Samuel George Bogere Egesa of Bukedi Diocese.
The 57-year-old takes the baton from the 8th Archbishop; the Most Rev Stanley Ntagali who is soon clocking 65 years of age, which is the mandatory retirement age for the Archbishop in CoU. The Archbishop can’t serve for more than 10 years.
But what exactly is the procedure of enthronement?
The Dean of the Province Rt Rev Jackson Nzerebende will lead the Archbishop-elect by hand and formally introduce him to the congregation with a proclamation; “Brethren in God, we now present to you our beloved brother, (Steven Kaziimba Mugalu), whom in accordance with the Constitution of our Church has been duly elected Archbishop.”
Certificate of election
The Provincial Secretary (Canon William Ogeng) will then read a Certificate of Election to confirm that on receipt of information from the Dean of the Church of the Province of Uganda that a vacancy had been created by the retirement of Ntagali over two-thirds of Diocesan Bishops convened on August 28, 2019, under the Chairmanship of the Provincial Chancellor and elected Dr. Kaziimba to be the Archbishop of the Province of CoU and the Bishop of Diocese of Kampala.
Abdication by the Archbishop
The Provincial Chancellor will then call upon the outgoing Archbishop to read his Act of Abdication the seat stating that “I (Stanley Ntagali), Archbishop of Church of the Province of Uganda do hereby relinquish the leadership and supervision of the Church of the Province of Uganda praying that God’s blessings may continue to rest upon you and His servant (Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu) now to be installed as Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Uganda.”
After the abdication, he will hand the Primatial Cross over to the new Archbishop. The Primatial Cross is a symbol of the Archbishop’s spiritual authority.
Oath by New Archbishop
Shortly after receiving the Primatial Cross, the Provincial Chancellor will invite the new Archbishop to affirm the oath, declaration, and undertaking stating that:
“I, (Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu), elected to be the Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Uganda, do swear, loyalty to the inheritance of the faith, professed by the Church of the Province of Uganda, as part of one United Anglican Church, and as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and set in the articles of religion. I, accordingly declare my belief in such faith as aforesaid. In public prayer and administration of the Sacraments, I will use, only the forms of service which are authorized, and approved, by the Church of the Province of Uganda and the Anglican Communion.”
The Declaration: “I, (Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu), promise that I will conserve, the approved customs of the Church of Uganda, and Anglican Communion, and will do to the best of my ability, help and assist in defending the rights, laws, and liberties of the said Church.”
The Undertaking: “I, (Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu), sincerely promise that I will respect, maintain, and defend the faith, privileges, liberties, and Constitutions of the Province of the Church of Uganda and the Diocese of Kampala. I will serve therein with truth, love, justice, and charity. I will show myself in all things, as an example to the flock of Christ.”
Following the undertaking, the Archbishop-elect will sign the oath, declaration and the undertaking witnessed by the Provincial Chancellor. After this legal process, the 39 Bishops under the Church of Uganda are expected to pledge canonical obedience to the new Archbishop by stating that, “Most Reverend Father in God, We Bishops do receive you as our Archbishop and promise to observe the Constitution of our Church in the furtherance of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The same pledge is made by the clergy and laity of the Province of COU followed by prayers by the new Archbishop led by the Dean of the Province.
At this stage, the Dean of the Province leads the new Archbishop to his throne saying…”I, Bishop Jackson Nzerebende, the Dean of the Province of the Church of Uganda install thee, Stephen Kazimba Mugalu as the Archbishop of this Province, wherein may the Lord Jesus Christ preserve thy coming in from this time forth for evermore, and mayest thou remain in Justice and sanctity, and adorn the place delegated to thee by God. God is powerful, and may He increase thy grace.”
After his installation, the new Archbishop then gives his charge likened to a manifesto and vision for his ministry, leadership, and strategic direction.
Who is Rt Rev Kaziimba
Dr. Kaziimba’s calling started with teaching Sunday school children in November 1979 after his confirmation. He later served in Madudu Church of Uganda as a catechist from 1981 to 1983.
He was trained as a Lay-Leader at Baskerville Theological College Ngogwe in 1985 and was posted to Lugazi St. Peter’s Church. Between 1988 and 1990, he trained at Uganda Martyrs’ Seminary and was ordained in December 1990 by Bishop Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo. He served as Assistant Vicar at St Apollo Kivebulaya Church of Uganda, Nakibizzi between 1990 and 1994.
In 1996, Dr. Kaziimba completed his Diploma in Theology at Bishop Tucker Theological; College and was posted to Katente Parish as Parish Priest from 1997 to 2000. He was transferred to Mukono Cathedral as Vicar in 2,000 and later appointed Acting Provost of Mukono Cathedral by Bishop Michael Ssenyimba. In 2004, he was confirmed as the provost of St. Philip and Andrew‘s Cathedral before becoming the 4th Bishop of Mityana Diocese on October 26, 2008, replacing Bishop Dr. Dunstan Bukenya.