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Chapter 3 The Planting of the Diocese of Mashonaland


With the Diocese of Mashonaland having been carved out, the next step for Bishop Knight-Bruce was to make preparations to leave the Diocese of Bloemfontein and make his way to his new See. In order to ensure that his initial entry and settlement go on smoothly there was certainly a good deal of preparation that he needed to do soon after the Provincial Synod had given a green light to the division of the Diocese of Bloemfontein. One of the major preparatory initiatives, as noted above, was to go to England and canvass for support, both in cash and personnel for this challenge that lay before him. Locally the bishop also needed to make adequate preparations to ensure that his journey and eventual planting of this mission would go on smoothly. The Bishop became aware of the need for personnel who would evangelise the region as well as the need for support personnel in the area of medical help and farming.

Bishop Knight-Bruce’s voyage and Settlement at Umtali [now Mutare]

As noted above, it must be borne in mind that there were three chaplains who had accompanied the pioneer column and these people were already in the country where Bishop Knight-Bruce was going to be the first Anglican Bishop. These Chaplains, as noted above did not have any considerable effect on the local people since their task was to minister to the Pioneer Column and the Police. That is the reason why, Rev. F. H. Surridge had to leave soon after the Column dispersed, because he suddenly found out that he did not have any people to minister to. It was Canon Balfour, who remained behind, and tried to make inroads to the local chiefs, but without much success. One can therefore safely say that real missionary work began when Bishop Knight- Bruce arrived in his new Diocese of Mashonaland.
Once the Bishop was decided that there was no turning back, he moved to his new See in Mashonaland, he resolved that there was going to be two parties moving to his new diocese. According to G. E. P Broderick, one of these parties was to travel by sea to Beira, and the other was to go overland through Transvaal130. It is difficult to establish the reason why the Bishop decided on this approach. However it seems plausible that he did not want to put all his eggs in one basket, in case danger would strike it would mean that would have been the end of his intended mission enterprise. It needs to be remembered that there were two entry points on the western side of the country which could be used by the party that was to go through the Transvaal although either entry points would have taken the same time which was between two and half to five months of traveling. One way was to go through the Bechuanaland131 border with Zimbabwe, whilst the other one was to go through the Transvaal region and cross the Limpopo River into Zimbabwe.
The Bishop however decided to join the party that was to go through Beira. It would appear this was the closer route, but it had its own problems which will be highlighted below. The Bishop formed the two groups and ensured that all was in place. Since he was leading the other group, he ensured that the other was also well constituted. G. E. P. Broderick maintains that the second group which was to go overland was composed of the Rev. J. R. Sewell, Mr. Jagger, who was a candidate for ordination, Mr. Bennett a farmer, Mr. Iback and John, and the Bishop’s coloured servant who had accompanied him on his first expedition132. The racial problem can be discerned here by the way Broderick mentions the names of these people. The coloured gentleman is not given any respect at all, even though one would like to believe that he was quite advanced in age even older than some of the people mentioned above. He is just mentioned by name, although one may surmise that he played a crucial role in this party. It would appear considerable to suggest that he may have played the leadership role, although from the hind side, especially when one considers that he had traveled to that region with the Bishop in 1888. He was the one who knew the roads. He certainly knew where they would need to rest, and where they would get supplies, in terms of food and replacements of wagon parts and cattle to pull the wagons. Even though Broderick seems to be silent about the role played by John, it would seem conceivable that he played a critical advisory role in this party. In other words, the Bishop was crafty in ensuring that in both parties there was someone who had been to this new region before.
Before the Bishop left Bloemfontein, he had also made arrangements with some three ladies from Kimberley hospital, and a medical doctor to follow him through Durban to this new mission field. These three were Sisters Blennerhassett, Sleeman and Welby and Doctor Doyle Glanville133. These Sisters were to prove that they were indomitable in their work amongst the pioneers and the mission. This group was to follow Bishop Knight-Bruce’s route and move only when informed to do so by the Bishop, since the Bishop had to ensure that the route was safe first so as to avoid endangering the lives of these three ladies who had shown extreme bravery to become the first Anglican nurses to minister in this totally new region where they had never been before.
It is the Bishop’s group whose composition had to prove that the Bishop had understood the role that the native people were to play in the evangelization of the local people. The Bishop certainly believed in the indeginisation of the church. He behaved as if he had read the advice of people such as Henry Venn that the native church needed a native ministry, which would eventually become, self-supporting, self-governing and self-extending134. One can not be sure with certainty whether the Bishop really intended this mission to be self-propagating since most of the African agents were not given any positions of authority over a long period of time as will be shown in this research. Whatever the case maybe, the important thing to note in the Bishop’s group was that it had some indigenous African people in it. Scholars seem to differ on the number of Africans who were in the Bishop’s group with, R. R. Langham Carter suggesting that there were “fife catechists”135 and Jean Farrant suggesting “six Africans”136. On closer analysis, it would appear they are saying the same thing since, Langham is referring to catechists and Farrant is referring to Africans which included catechists and workers. Before mentioning these Africans who were part of the Bishop’s entourage, who also form an important element of this research, it is important to mention the other person whom the Bishop included in this group-John Wilkins.
John Wilkins was an elderly European carpenter of extensive experience. As such he was a strategic person to have in this group since there was going to be need to build churches and mission houses. His skill was certainly indispensable. Over and above that dexterity Wilkins also came with extensive experience of working in new regions. This means that his presence in Mashonaland was going to be critical. Jean Farrant suggests that he had worked with David Livingstone when he traversed the region of Central Africa, ending up acting as one of his pall-bearers at his funeral service in Westminster Abbey137. On the whole, Wilkins had two critical things, both of which were critical for this mission namely his carpentry skill and his experience in working in new lands, where disease and wild animals were the greatest danger to worry about and skill in meeting new races of people was indispensable as well. This man was certainly going to be handy in this new mission as will become clear in this study.
As is typical of the way in which the African people were looked down upon, the names of some of the African people who formed part of the Bishop’s entourage are only mentioned by their Christian names in the Bishop’s diary as being Bernard, Edward, Charles, Frank, Thomas and Samuel138. Such a thing makes it difficult to identify who these people really were? However through research which has been done before, we now know most of these people and can identify them easily.
It has been established from other extant documents that Edward was the Bishop’s personal servant. His surname has not been established since he seems not to have been mentioned much in the Bishop’s diary. Whenever his name is mentioned, it is simply the first name that is mentioned. However it is important to mention that this man was to remain faithful to serving the Bishop until retirement when he left the mission field due to illness. One can also conjecture that as the Bishop moved around in his daily work in the diocese, Edward carried out an immense ministry to the local people, which was not recorded by the Bishop. As a person of mixed race, he was much closer to the local African people than the Bishop, who was a total stranger to most people who had never seen a European before. As noted in other fields of study such as in Counseling, it is usually the people who do the simple jobs who provide the most needed counseling to the people who are sick in Hospitals. In this regard, it is such people as the Bishop’s servant, such as Edward who ministered to the local people because they could relate to the local people since they were also African.
Frank was identified by Jean Farrant as Frank Ziqubu, a Zulu by origin from Pietermaritzburg139, who turned up to be one of the prominent missionaries stationed at Makoni near Mutare. It was Frank and Bernard Mizeki who proved to be such critical people in this new mission field as will be seen below when we consider their work in their missionary centers. It would appear the Bishop met this man in Durban on his way to Beira enroute to Manicaland.
The next person was Charles. He is identified as Charles Makolami140. Charles is one of the persons who presented themselves together with Bernard Mizeki at St Phillip’s in Cape Town when Bishop Knight-Bruce passed through that place on his way to Mashonaland. Charles seems to have been placed at the other mission center opened at Mazoe, but it seems he did not last for a long time in the new Diocese since his name was never mentioned anywhere else. Given the challenges of the mission field, and the fact that many people including the European missionaries, gave up mission, Jean Farrant concludes that Charles may have decided to follow those who streamed back to South Africa where life was much more comfortable and settled141.
Thomas is another person who was mentioned by the Bishop in his diary but he seems to have been so quiet. Jean Farrant talks of a teacher who was named ‘Tom’ who was teaching at Nemakonde’s kraal142 in the present day Makonde area. It would appear this was the same person that the Bishop mentions in his Diary. However he also seems to have just fizzled into thin air since his name does not appear in most of the records kept at the National Archives in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The last person mentioned in the Bishop’s diary referred to above is Samuel. He is identified by Jean Farrant as Samuel Makosa and he makes a brief appearance in the writings of Bernard Mizeki and Bernard’s friend Llewellyn Meredith. Samuel was a Zulu by origin and he seems to have been a person not suitable for mission work as mentioned by Jean Farrant who says Meredith described him as “a bit of a rascal, quite unsuitable for the work and quite unlike Bernard. He had been in prison in Salisbury for assault and learnt a lot of devilry there”143. It is also probably that the Bishop may have picked up this man in Durban on his way to Mashonaland.
Whatever the characters that made up these African people, one thing that seems to come out clearly and mentioned by some scholars is that they had been trained in institutions in South Africa. Most of these had been trained to be catechists. For Bernard and Charles, that had been done at Zonnebloem College in Cape Town and for the others it would appear they had passed through the Isandhlwana College which was situated in Zululand, which also trained African catechists and teachers144.
With everything sorted and a plan laid down, what was left was to implement the missionary journey which was to lead to the settlement and evangelization of Mashonaland. R.R Langham Carter suggests that the Bishop together with John Wilkins left Bloemfontein for Cape Town on the 17th April 1891. Although he was still the Bishop of Bloemfontein, he realised that his days were drawing to a close and he had decided to send in his resignation of the See of Bloemfontein once he would have set his foot in Mashonaland. It would appear Bishop Knight-Bruce decided to pass through Cape Town for two reasons. First the Archbishop, West Jones was there, and he would confide with him and get his blessing for his new adventure and second, he would pass through the Zonnebloem College and ask for volunteers for his missionary undertaking in Mashonaland. He was certainly conscious that without the African evangelists, it would be almost impossible to make any inroads in Mashonaland. It would seem likely that Bishop Knight-Bruce had kept himself abreast with the struggle with which the London Missionary Society had encountered in Matabeleland, since they had decided to go it alone. Cecil Northcott, propounds that Moffat had pursued his quest to convert the Matabele with unwearied patience, pressing the frontal attack, a method which in the field of military tactics Mzilikazi well understood and secretly admired, but failed to make inroads amongst the Matabele people145. It is a known fact that Moffat’s enterprise in Matabeleland was a dismal failure. It is most probable that R. Moffat and his LMS, failed to realize the need to have Africans minister to their own people. This is what Bishop Knight-Bruce realised and decided upon from onset and he ensured that he would not make the same mistake.
Upon arrival in Cape Town the Bishop visited Zonnebloem College, and asked the Cowley Fathers who were in charge of this college if he could have volunteers to accompany him on his missionary journey to Mashonaland where he was going to plant a new Diocese. Jean Farrant says, the Cowley Fathers, Fraulein von Blomberg, St Philip’s, St Columba’s, and Zonnebloem College all played their part in the preparations for the planting of the Diocese of Mashonaland146. It is during this visit that Bernard Mizeki and Charles Makolami volunteered for the missionary work in Mashonaland. It was here that Bernard proved to be a real force to reckon with when he was asked by his friends if he was not afraid of going to Mashonaland where he had never been before? He responded in a way, which surprised them, but a way which also goes to show that he had been called to missionary work. In response he said “why should I be afraid? It is my will to serve God, because He first did so much for me. Only now can I really start work, and Mashonaland is no further from Heaven than Cape Town!”147 This was indeed a bold statement to be made by someone who had been baptized five years back in 1886. He was certainly devoted to his call from the first day that he offered himself to the church at St Phillip’s in Cape Town.
By the end of April 1891, Bishop Knight-Bruce John Wilkins, Bernard Mizeki and Charles Makolami, boarded Roslyn Castle148, and set off for Durban where they would change that ship. This ship was to pass through Port Elizabeth and head towards Durban. It is probable that whilst at Durban the Bishop met and conscripted Frank Ziqubu and Samuel Makosa, since both were Zulus and they were not at Zonnebloem College. Whilst in Durban the Bishop is reported to have met with Frank Johnson who was his old shooting friend, who was to inform him about the problems of the route he had taken to enter Mashonaland. Johnson had done a good job in preparing supplies and transport for the pioneer column and he had now been contracted to construct the road to the Pungwe River. It was Johnson who informed Bishop Knight-Bruce that the road through the Pungwe River was quite uncertain given the boarder disputes between the Pioneer Column and the Portuguese Administration in Mozambique149.
The Bishop and his entourage decided to proceed and see it for themselves when they arrive at Beira. They left Durban aboard Norseman150. R. R. Langham Carter suggests that when they landed at Beira, the situation was still bad. There was a lot of sad news that the Bishop received upon arrival there. The wagon that the Bishop was expecting was reported to have been delayed due to the abnormal rains that had been received. News also reached the Bishop that the wagon driver who had come to meet the Bishop had been arrested by the Portuguese soldiers and was now suffering from an extreme attack of fever. The Bishop had to find his way up the Pungwe river and to do so, there was need to get a boat. The Bishop and his party had arrived in Beira on the 12th May 1891151. It therefore took the Bishop and his entourage three days to organize themselves and find space in a boat that was to take them up the Pungwe River.
It must be noted that there was not much space on this boat since there were many Chartered Company people and fortune hunters who were also trying to travel into Mashonaland. It is correct therefore to suggest that there was some kind of competition to get onto this single boat that was taking people up the Pungwe River. This boat was called Agnes and the Bishop and his team made sure that they found places on this boat and left Beira on the 15th May 1891. The journey is reported by R. R. Langham Carter to have been a very rough one, characterized by sandbanks that the boat struck on many occasions. News reached the Bishop and the other passengers that the Portuguese had been defeated in a battle that had taken place at Macequece [Masekesa] in the Manica Province, and that those Portuguese were on the run back to Beira. This caused a great deal of uncertainty to the travelers.
However the journey by boat ended with a foot journey to Mapanda, a place which was still far away from the Bishop’s destination. They only managed to reach Mapanda on the 20th May 1891, tired and exhausted and given the political situation between the Portuguese and the Pioneer Column, the Bishop could not find any carriers to carry his supplies. However Victor Osmund CR suggests that the Bishop became impatient and decided to press on, and left some of his entourage behind152. He took five of his catechists with him and together they carried what ever they could. These catechists were resolved to prove that they had dedicated themselves to do the work of Christ, despite the hardships which would come with it. Even as early as the mission started during this initial journey, they had decided to ensure that they carry the luggage themselves without waiting for carriers who were not forthcoming.
The Road from Mapanda to Mutare had its own problems. From Mapanda the Bishop and his team would travel to Mutacheri, from Mutacheri to Sarmento, then through Mandiga, Chimoio, Ruvue River, Masekesa and Sable Valley to Umtali153 [now Mutare]. There was still a river to cross, and a tsetse fly infested region to traverse between Sarmento and Chimoio. The Tsetse fly seems to have been so serious such that Jean Farrant says, from Sarmento to Chimoio the road was littered with abandoned wagons of the pioneers and the rotting carcasses of their oxen154. These pioneers were now using this road for trade through Beira. This is the route that the Bishop and his five catechists had to take also. The Bishop was warned about these stumbling blocks that lay ahead of him, but when he heard that some wagons managed to pass through, he decided to take a chance. Given the fact that the Portuguese were angry because of their defeat, the catechists had to load the wagons by themselves and so they set out on their journey.
However before going further than Mandiga, all their oxen had been attacked by Tsetse fly and died. The Bishop had to abandon his wagons with most of his goods and proceeded with the journey on foot. Once more the Bishop was encouraged by the fortitude of his catechists. Bernard and his colleagues offered to carry the few loads which they could manage and the journey proceeded. The entourage arrived at Umtali (now Mutare) on the 1st June 1891, after what can best be described as a long, arduous, formidable and life threatening journey. It was here that Bishop Knight-Bruce wrote a letter in which he resigned from the See of Bloemfontein and formally accepted the office of Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Mashonaland. Therefore it is on this date that one can safely say that Bishop George Wydham Hamilton Knight-Bruce became the first Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Mashonaland. Bishop Knight-Bruce immediately decided to make Mutare the headquarters of his Mission Diocese as such he had a hut built for him.
The Bishops’ journey into Mashonaland had been accomplished with no loss of life, but he still needed to travel further to Salisbury [now Harare], in order to meet Canon Francis Balfour, and the other party that had come overland through the Transvaal. More than that, he also needed to link up with the Administrator of the Colony, Dr. L. S Jameson and begin the process of acquiring land for the mission stations that he wanted to establish. Within a few days the Bishop embarked on the journey to Salisbury, taking with him two of his catechists, Bernard Mizeki and Frank Ziqubu. Although he started off on the Police wagon, the bishop eventually disembarked and completed the journey on foot. Bishop Knight-Bruce arrived in Salisbury on the 15th June 1891 and found that the town was still being laid out155. The Bishop met Canon Balfour at Salisbury, and he was debriefed on everything happening and, after obtaining permission to choose a site for his projected central mission he embarked on his return journey to Mutare. In other words the Bishop had finally linked up with one of the priests whom he had sent earlier on with the Pioneer Column. Up to this time there were only two Anglican clergymen in the Diocese that is the Bishop and Canon Francis Balfour.
As the Bishop proceeded on his way back to Mutare, he passed through Magwende’s village, where he had been during his reconnaissance journey, in 1888. He arrived at Mangwende’s village on the 23rd June 1891 and quickly made arrangements for the building of mission huts after negotiating with chief Mangwende and being given the green light to leave one of his catechists there. This seems to suggest that Bishop Knight-Bruce had already planned this prior to his journey to Salisbury. He therefore left Bernard Mizeki at this village, and proceeded to Makoni’s village close to what is called Rusape today. When he arrived there, G. E. P. Broderick suggests, the chief refused to see Bishop Knight-Bruce156. This is confirmed by Bishop Knight-Bruce himself when he says “at Maconi’s [sic] again, the chief lives some four miles from our mission, because originally he would not let us be any nearer him …”157. Although Chief Makoni had initially refused to see Bishop Knight-Bruce, it appears he went on to leave Frank Ziqubu there in order to see what he could do in finding a new mission. It was a kind of imposition since taking Frank back to Mutare would have spoiled the Bishop’s plan to plant these two catechists in these two chieftainships as the first mission stations in his newly found Diocese.

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1.0 Setting the scene
1.1 Area of investigation
1.2 Justification
1.3 Objectives
1.4 Research Methodology
1.5.i Primary Sources
1.6 Conclusion
2.0 Introduction
2.1 Definition of Terms
2.2 Initial Missionary contacts with Mashonaland
2.2.a The Adventures of the London Missionary Society
2.3 Diocese of Bloemfontein and its Vacant See
2.4 Bishop Knight-Bruce’s first visit to Mashonaland
2.5 The Pioneer Column and its Chaplaincy
2.6 The 1890 Synod of the Diocese of Bloemfontein
2.7 The Provincial Synod of the CPSA of 1891
2.8 Conclusion
3.0 Introduction
3.1 Bishop Knight-Bruce’s Voyage and Settlement at Mutare
3.2 The Place of Early African Catechists
3.3 The Resignation and Death of Bishop Knight-Bruce
3.4 Conclusion
4.0 Introduction
4.1 Rev. Arthur Shirley Cripps
4.2 Rev. Edgar and Elaine Lloyd
4.3 Guy and Molly Clutton-Brock
4.4 Conclusion
5.0 Introduction
5.1 Development of indigenous Clergy
5.2 Development of Indigenous Hymnody
5.3 The Emergency and Development of Chita CheZita Rinoyera [CZR]
5.4 Conclusion
6.0 Introduction
6.1 Canonical provisions to the Episcopal Office
6.2 Appointment and Consecration of Rev. P.A. Murindagomo
6.3 Consecration of Rev. R. P. Hatendi as Suffragan Bishop
6.4 Bishop R.P. Hatendi First Indigenous Bishop of Mashonaland
6.5 Conclusion
7.0 Introduction
7.1 Evaluation of the process of the indigenisation of Personnel
72 Conclusion
8.0 Introduction
8.1 Indigenisation of Liturgy
8.2 Church Music and Instruments
8.3 Liturgical Gestures
8.4 Liturgical Language
8.5 Liturgical Vestments
8.6 Liturgical Colours
8.7 Indigenisation of Eucharistic Elements
8.8 Indigenisation of Church Architecture
8.9 Development of indigenous Liturgical Art
8.10 Indigenisation of Diocesan Constitution
8.11 Conclusion 322
9.0 Introduction
9.1 Research Findings
9.2 Way Forward
9.3 Conclusion 339

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