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Kiswahili Prayer Book to be a tool for unity in East Africa

Bishop John Ndegwa of the Diocese of Kenya addresses his synod.

A number of Anglo-Catholic resources were used to compile the Kiswahili BCP.

Bishop John Ndegwa has long been motivated by a vision to build Kenyan missions to worship God in the high sacramental liturgy, but the lack of a Kenyan Prayer Book was an inhibition even at the early stages of the mission. “As a missionary church which is going out to call people to come and worship, we need to have a manner and form on which we introduce people to worship,” Ndegwa emphasizes. “Since our worship is liturgical, the Prayer Book becomes essential.” With copyright issues, language barriers, and cultural­context issues at play, however, Ndegwa could not simply use the African or English Prayer Books already available; yet by drawing on other approved prayer books, particularly the Anglo-Catholic BCP from Tanzania, Ndegwa was able to compile what would become the Kiswahili Book of Common Prayer (BCP) for Eastern Africa. 


The need to formally compile, edit, and publish the Kis­wahili BCP is growing in urgency as the cost of paper and other pressures of inflation make it difficult to print book­lets in­house before every service, and as the East African church community continues to grow. But the fulfillment of this urgent need is currently 95% complete, Ndegwa estimates. With a cost quote from a publisher, the timeframe for a complete, printed Kiswahili BCP is May 2024 at a cost of $2,100 USD, which Ndegwa is currently seeking to Ndegwa hopes to officially launch and distribute the Prayer Book on August 25, 2024, which coincides with the Diocesan Pioneer Day.


This story is excerpted from The Trinitarian. For the full version, along with other news from the G-3, click the link below:


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