BRIEF HISTORY OF ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF THIKA
The Anglican Diocese of Thika was created on 1st July 1998 from the larger Dioceses of Mt. Kenya Central and Mt. Kenya South respectively. Prior to its creation, Christians within the area now called Diocese of Thika had a dream of one day having their own Diocese covering Thika administrative boundaries. Among the reasons behind their ambition were;
It was realized that at that time the Diocese of Mt. Kenya South had over one hundred parishes while the Diocese of Mt. Kenya Central had over eighty parishes. It was a common practice for the two bishops to do confirmation services on week days while some parishes would go for two years without a visit by the bishop. Other Episcopal services had to be performed during the week days.
With the establishment of a Diocese, more parishes would be created and more clergy would be engaged to serve Christians efficiently. Priestly services would therefore be more readily available to Christians
There were large areas to the east of the Nairobi/Thika and Murang’a main road which were newly settled; with the large scale farms being subdivided into small holdings and also the government establishing settlement schemes like Ithanga and Gatuanyaga. These areas also needed to be evangelized.
LONG DISTANCES TRAVELS
Christians then were making long journeys from Thika town, traveling from Kiarutara or Ithanga to Thika and then looking for transport to Murang’a which was the then Diocesan Headquarters, while others would travel from Gakoe or Ngoliba to Thika and or Ithanga to Thika and then looking for transport to Murang’a while others would travel from Gakoe or Ngoliba to Thika and find their way to either Kiambu or Kabete. Besides being too expensive, these long journeys were tiresome and inconvenient to Christians.
CREATION OF THE DIOCESE
The Diocese started with three (3) Archdeaconries, twenty three (23) parishes and twenty six clergy (26) serving a population of 9,488 Christians. There has been tremendous growth to date with the Diocese having 9 Archdeaconries, 76 parishes, 110 members of clergy serving a population of more than 34,000 Christians. In addition the Diocese has established mission partnerships with the Dioceses of Exeter (UK), Cyprus and the Gulf, Diocese of Sunyani (Ghana), Blackburn (UK) and churches in USA; St James, Attleboro and All Saints Quincy. The aim of these links is to assist each other in mission work.
In terms of development, the Diocese started from scratch with no property except Bishop Njuguna Academy and Christian Industrial and Technical College (CITC). To date the diocese has constructed Diocesan offices and a Cathedral; it has also established investment projects like Bishop Githiga Gardens, a bookshop (St. Luke Bookshop) and St. Peters’Academy. The Diocese also has a joint investment with the Dioceses of Mt. Kenya South, Mt. Kenya Central and Mt Kenya West, whereby together they own Bishop Magua House, along Ngong Road in Nairobi.
THE DIOCESAN STRATEGIC POSITION
The greater Thika has a population of close to 4 Million people and covers approximately 2000 Square Kilometers. The Diocese encompasses parts of two administrative counties that is Kiambu and Murang’a. The diocese has many faces ranging from its topography, climate, soils and economic occupations. The upper zone borders the Aberdare Ridges and has a cool climate with rich volcanic soils. Coffee, tea, pineapples and dairy farming are the main agricultural activities.
The Lower Zone is however marginal land bordering the Yatta Plateau with low rainfall ranging between 500-1000 milimeters.
Thika Town where the Diocese has its headquarters is about 26 miles North of Nairobi and with the opening of Thika Superhighway, there has been significant growth within Thika Town and its environs. Presently, the area is experiencing a high rate of new settlements in almost all directions. And with the establishment of County Government there is anticipation of more growth. Major real estate development within the Diocese is Tatu City, Thika Greens, Buffalo Golf Estate, Al Bizzar, Dykio, Bahati Rigde among others.