The Diocese of Leicester has been linked with the Anglican dioceses of Kiteto and Mount Kilimanjaro since 1982.
Originally, they were together as one whole diocese corresponding to the administrative regions of Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Manyara. This is largely savannah grassland which is at the mercy of two rainy seasons. In the south, in the Masai Steppe, the rains are much less reliable and the area is vulnerable to severe drought and starvation.
Since Kiteto became a separate diocese in recent years, the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro (DMK) covers Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions and Kiteto diocese comprises the districts of Manyara Region, Simanjiro and Kiteto, the Masai Steppe.
Kibaya, in Kiteto, is at the heart of the diocese. The whole district is rural and populatld mainly by the Masai. It is also one of the poorest and driest areas in Tanzania.
Mission in DMK
The Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches have been present in Tanzania for over a century. There is also a Muslim presence there. The Anglican presence was strengthened in 1982 by the creation of DMK under Bishop Alpha Mohammed. His visits to Leicester inspired a diocesan partnership which was cemented by an official visit to Tanzania by the then Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Richard Rutt, in 1985.
The Anglican church in DMK grew fast. In 1982 there were 39 parishes and 19 pastors. This grew to more than 200 churches, 61 pastors and 47 parishes in recent times. Some of the greatest progress was among the Masai people in the south, where successful evangelism means that the people have much to share with the Church here.
Leicester partners with the Tanzania dioceses in numerous ways:
Support for Kiteto Diocese in expanding the provision of education through Kiteto Christian College, particularly ensuring greater educational opportunities for girls.
Partnership with DMK in its current programme of planting 300 new churches.
Support for Munguishi Bible College in training new [pastors and evangelists.
Regular financial support by giving to three priorities agreed by our bishops: training; church planting and a fund for emergencies arising from natural causes such as lack of rain.