A Course in Christian Discipleship for Africa


























St Pauls







zanzibar team




arusha 2013



















Tanzania is the home of Rooted in Jesus. Designed for and piloted in the Dioceses of Mount Kilimanjaro and Kiteto, it has now been adopted by 18 of the 27 dioceses of the Province. After 10 years of working in Tanzania Bishop Stanley Hotay took over as National Director in 2013, working closely with Canon Jacob Robert of the Diocese of Mara and Bishop James Almasi of the Diocese of Masasi, who serve as Zonal Coordinators in the North and South of the country. The Rooted in Jesus office is in Arusha, where Catherine Mwega is the Administrator.

Every year the Tanzanian Coordinators come together for an Annual Conference at which news is shared and future plans discussed. The most recent of these took place in Arusha in August 2017. News from the dioceses was encouraging - to catch up with what is happening do read the blog report.


Diocese of Mt Kilimanjaro (from 2002)

Rooted in Jesus was written in 2002 at the request of Stanley Hotay, then Diocesan Missioner and Director of the Jesus Film programme in Tanzania. It was translated into Swahili and Maasai, and introduced at the invitation of Bishop Simon Makundi through 3 training conferences for clergy and evangelists. Rooted in Jesus got off to a cautious start but gradually took off throughout the diocese. Coordinators were appointed for the deaneries of Kiteto, Arusha and Babati. Group leaders were given Bibles and gifts of milk goats to enable them to support their families, funded by an appeal in Leicester diocese and administered by the diocesan Agriculturalist Matthias Troff.

By October 2007 many of the groups had completed the course, and a new generation of leaders was trained, many of whom are women, all of whom are lay. In the first round there were eventually over 3,500 people belonging to about 350 groups across the diocese. The groups in the Kiteto region completed the course in 2007, and 330 new groups were formed. In 2009 the diocese divided into two, with the Kiteto deaneries forming the new Diocese of Kiteto.

In 2011 Stanley Hotay succeeded Simon Makundi as bishop, and in October 2012 a team returned to Arusha. The conference was attended by 180 pastors and evangelists, and had the dual purpose of helping the diocese move forward after the period of challenge and conflict leading up to and following the retirement of Bishop Makundi and the appointment of Stanley Hotay as his successor, and re-establishing Rooted in Jesus as the primary tool for discipleship and churchplanting within the diocese. Rooted in Jesus is now the primary preparation material for confirmation candidates across the diocese. The Diocesan Coordinator is Revd Charles Unjiro.

In May 2013 the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro hosted its first Junior conference for 127 Sunday School teachers, facilitated by a team from the link Diocese of Leicester. By October 2013 Bishop Stanley estimated that some 2000 children were now in Junior groups across the diocese.

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Diocese of Kiteto (from 2002)

In July 2009 the Diocese of Kiteto was formed from the southern part of the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro, prepared for independence by Bishop John Hayden who had established the Rooted in Jesus programme in the area. Isaiah Chambala became the first Bishop of Kiteto. In 2010 the Diocesan Council agreed that:

  1. Rooted in Jesus will work under the office of Mission, Evangelism and stewardship
  2. The 7 Rural Deans will be responsible for supporting and supervising the groups in their deaneries
  3. Rooted in Jesus will be used with all children from ages 10-12 as their catechismal preparation.
  4. Rooted in Jesus becomes a condition and a qualification for any one who becomes a group leader such as MU and YOUTH.
  5. Rooted in Jesus becomes a standard for the Bible knowledge of all workers in the diocesan offices, as a way of building their spiritual maturity, challenging their call to ministry and inspiring them to grow in their discipleship.
  6. Regular seminars and conferences will be planned by the coordinator in cooperation with the rural deans and the bishop.

In August 2011 the Rural Deans met to review progress. After the training of some new leaders, there were now 385 second generation groups, most of which are about to complete the course. At this point 299 new leaders will begin a third generation of groups. Existing leaders will start a new group, giving a total of 674 groups in the diocese. This means that about half of the 20,000 Anglicans in the diocese will now have had the experience of belonging to a Rooted in Jesus group.

In October 2012 a further team spent a week in Kibaya, helping the diocese to move on from the difficulties associated with the transition to independence and to re-establish Rooted in Jesus. 68 pastors and 20 pastors' wives attended the conference, many of whom said that they had come up through the RinJ groups. In 2017 Coordinator Anderson Lesijila reported that harmony still reigns in the diocese, and that RinJ is now in use in 61 of the 74 parishes; they plan to introduce it to the remaining 13 soon.

Rooted in Jesus Junior. Whilst the reconciliation conference was going on a separate team offered a four day RinJ Junior conference for 83 Sunday School teachers. The team was delighted at the overwhelmingly positive response to the conference. 35 Junior groups had been established by November 2013.

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Dioceses of Masasi and Newala (from 2009)

The Diocese of Masasi is the southernmost diocese in Tanzania, right on the border with Niassa in Mozambique. In 2009 the diocese divided into two, to form Masasi and Newala dioceses. Rooted in Jesus was introduced in August 2009, just before the dioceses divided, by a team with members from both the UK and the Diocese of Kiteto. A second visit was made in November 2010

In August 2009 we offered two 4 day conferences for both dioceses, working with 53 clergy during the first and with 58 catechists during the second. Emmy, wife of Bishop Patrick Mwachiko, told the conference that in 2007 the Bishop felt that God was promising that he would 'rebuild the walls of the diocese', from Nehemiah chapter 2; and that she believed Rooted in Jesus would be the means by which that promise would be fulfilled. Follow-up conferences in November 2010 were attended by 54 clergy and catechists in Masasi, and 44 clergy and catechists in Newala; these included both existing group leaders and new ones.

By March 2011 coordinator Lukas reported that 130 groups were now active, with over 1000 members. 37 group members have been baptised, many are able to testify to the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives, Sunday attendance and giving is increasing and prayer growing in the churches.

In September 2016, following the appointment of Bishop James Almasi as successor to Bishop Patrick Mwachiko, a further Rooted in Jesus conference was held.

Rooted in Jesus Junior

In 2010 the Diocese of Masasi became one of the first places to host some pilot training for Sunday School teachers with the new Rooted in Jesus Junior programme. In November 2010 Canon James Almasi and Revd Carlos Marcus, priests in the two pilot parishes, reported: “Rooted in Jesus Junior has transformed our work with children; it is changing our church; teachers and children are enthusiastic for Jesus; it has given us a curriculum”. A further conference was held in July 2011.

In July 2015 a followup conference for RinJ Junior was held in Masasi, attended by 44 leaders from the diocese, plus 3 from neighbouring Newala and 14 from Mpwapwa.

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Diocese of Mara (from 2011)

Rooted in Jesus was introduced in March 2011 by a team from the UK, South Africa and Tanzania. Two 4 day conferences were held in the cathedral at Musoma, attended by pastors and lay leaders from each of the 20 deaneries of the diocese. Local coordinators were elected for each deanery. About 100 people were trained in all, and each group leader who did not possess a Bible was given one. The groups are ably supported by national coordinator Canon Jacob Robert, and the programme is known locally as 'The Family of One Heart and One Mind in Rooted in Jesus'.

In March 2012 a team from South Africa returned to lead two further conferences, one for new leaders and one for existing leaders. Jacob Oyange wrote, "These groups help the church to grow as never been in the History of the Church here in the Diocese of Mara and many people have been receiving the Gospel everywhere in our Diocese." Jacob is now running regular archdeaconry conferences for group leaders, and is planning to introduce Rooted in Jesus Junior to the diocese next year. He sends regular reports and testimonies, and you can read some of these on the testimony page.

In October 2012 Canon Jacob Robert and Revd Grace Daudi attended the Rooted in Jesus Junior training conference in the Diocese of Kiteto, and in November they ran a pilot training scheme for 34 teachers from 17 parishes.

In June 2013 the diocese ran a 4 day training conference for 84 Sunday School teachers from across the diocese. Canon Jacob commented: "The conference has succeeded like I have never seen before, and the passion of attendees is very big. I saw the Holy Spirit moving in the way people were talking and rebelling against the past showing that we were doing nothing for children; now we have something to do for children. This conference has strengthened me too.’ By September Jacob was able to report that there are now 87 Junior groups meeting each week.

In November 2013 Jacob reported that there are now 81 active RinJ groups in the diocese, some of which have now reached book 4. In addition there are 71 Junior groups.

In February 2014 Revd Dr Linnet Smith visited the Diocese in her capacity as Rooted in Jesus Tanzania Link Officer. Linnet visited groups in different parishes and sent back some wonderful testimonies.

In July 2015 a team from the UK travelled to work with Canon Jacob and Mother's Union leader Grace, to run parallel conferences for Mothers Union leaders (RinJ) and Sunday School teachers (RinJ Junior). 91 people attended the conferences.

In August 2017 Jacob Robert reported that there are groups in every parish, many of which have completed all four books of the course; and RinJ Junior is strong in the Sunday Schools too. It is diocesan policy to use RinJ whenever they start a new church, and Jacob observes that the result is rapid maturity – in a very short space of time it no longer seems like a new church, he says. Jacob also explained that many of the churches in Mara are now led by graduates of RinJ groups.

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Diocese of Morogoro (from 2011)

Rooted in Jesus was launched in the diocese at the invitation of Bishop Godfrey Sebaba in May 2011 by a team which included members from Morogoro's link diocese in the UK, Worcester, and from the Dioceses of Masasi and Kiteto . 147 leaders (84 pastors and 33 catechists) attended the two 4 day conferences, and in July the diocese was able to report that 1,332 people were now involved in 104 Rooted in Jesus groups across the diocese. Bishop Godfrey was present throughout the first conference and for part of the second. He gave a moving closing address which included the following words:

“This is the most joyous day in our Diocese; an important day. I didn’t think this Conference would bring such blessing. For me it has been much more of a blessing than I expected and the seminars have been such a blessing to me through the power of the Holy Spirit. This Conference will have a big impact on the Diocese” – Bishop Godfrey Sebaba

A followup conference was held in October 2012, with 70 participants. Some groups had been going well, others had struggled due to a failed harvest and other constraints. Testimonies were shared, support and encouragement was provided to group leaders and to Himily, and some new leaders were trained. The news in April 2013 is that the groups are now moving on to book 2, and certificates have been given to those who have completed book 1.

In June 2012 the Diocese hosted a regional Rooted in Jesus Junior conference for representatives from 5 dioceses, all already using Rooted in Jesus. The dioceses represented were the host diocese of Morogoro, plus Mpwapwa, Mount Kilimanjaro, Kiteto and Masasi. Translator Revd Godson Madihi said afterwards, "now I am a new person who wants children to be given room to perform or practise their gifts in the church and before the Lord. Please let us change our attitudes (to children) for the glory of the Lord." Godson was appointed as the diocesan Junior coordinator. At Easter 2015 he held a RinJ Junior day at the cathedral, attended by over 1200 children and their parents.

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Diocese of Mpwapwa (from 2011)

Rooted in Jesus was introduced to the diocese at the the invitation of Bishop Jacob Chimeledya in May 2011 by a team from the UK and Tanzania, led by +John Hayden. Conferences were held in Kibaiwa and Kibakwe, attended by 190 leaders, and Bishop Jacob took an active part in both conferences. There was a wide spread of participants - pastors, evangelists, Mothers Union leaders, youth workers and office staff, which means that the programme will impact the whole of diocesan life. At the end of each seminar the Bishop asked for a solemn commitment for any coming forward for the certificate and books that they would start a group within 10 days - as he and his wife intended to do.

Bishop Jacob writes: “It was a real blessing for us to have the Rooted in Jesus Seminars in our Diocese. We believe that the RinJ course came at the right time of our ministry. Thank you very much for your encouragement and financial support for the seminars. We look forward to the implementation of the materials in or churches.”

In June 2013 the Diocese sent 10 delegates to the Rooted in Jesus Junior regional training confernece held in the Diocese of Morogoro - for more information see the Junior page.

In September 2013 a team led by Fr James Almasi led a followup conference for the adult programme in Kibwaiga. 30 existing and 130 new leaders were trained. 100 new groups are now planned, in addition to the 96 established groups. The conference was marked by answered prayer - and apparently a great deal of laughter!

In November 2013 coordinator Revd Dunstan Mtoro reported that there are now 116 RinJ groups across the diocese, and that RinJ is also used in the Bible College at Kasulu.

In June 2013 twelve representatives from Mpwapwa attended the regional RinJ Junior training conference in Morogoro. By July 2015 there were Junior groups in every deanery, with 600 children attending the 57 groups led by the 12 trained leaders with 12 assistant leaders. A further 14 people attended the training conference in Masasi in July 2015; these people are to be appointed as additional deanery coordinators.

In August 2017 coordinator Dunstan Mtoro reported that there are now nearly 3000 people involved i the programme, w ith 147 adult and 123 Junior groups across the diocese.

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Diocese of Southern Highlands (from 2012)

In September 2012 a team led by Bishop Stanley Hotay of the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro introduced Rooted in Jesus to 68 clergy and lay leaders. The team was invited by Bishop John Mwela, and the single four day conference was organised by Canon James Almasi and held in Mbeya. Canon Bahati Jaule and Mrs Raches Mtambo were appointed as diocesan coordinators.

A followup conference attended by 69 leaders was held in Mbeya in May 2014, led by Canon James Almasi.

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Diocese of Shinyanga (from 2013)

In April 2013 a team led by Bishop Stanley Hotay of the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro introduced Rooted in Jesus to 67 clergy and lay leaders. The team was invited by Bishop Charles Ngusa, first bishop of this new diocese. The conference got off to a challenging start - to find out more, read team member Jenny's report! Canons Isack Manere and James Tuli were appointed diocesan RinJ coordinators.

A followup conference was held in August 2014, attended by 39 participants.

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Diocese of Western Tanganyika (from 2013)

In May 2013 a joint UK-Tanzanian team introduced Rooted in Jesus to a pilot conference for the 32 rural deans of this large diocese. Bishop Sadock Makaya and his wife were present throughout the conference, and Revd Meshack Manyaga was appointed as the Diocesan Coordinator.

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Diocese of Kibondo (from 2013)

In June 2013 a team led by Canon James Almasi of the Diocese of Masasi ran a four day introductory conference for 93 clergy, evangelists, deacons and lay leaders; Bishop Sospeter Ndenza and his wife were present throughout. Bishop Sospeter gave an inspiring testimony at the end of the conference, and wrote afterwards that “the seminar was so good, and rich. The pastors and all delegates were so pleased, encouraged, strengthened, and renewed." Revd Masabile Amon was appointed as Diocesan RinJ Coordinator, and in November 2013 Amon reported that there are 13 groups running in 8 parishes.

In July 2014 a followup conference was held. Some of the groups had made a slow start, but there were many positive testimonies, and Bishop Sospeter is committed to RinJ as a key element of diocesan life; 'We have new believers through Rooted in Jesus. We really thank God for the new lives and all who are doing the good work for him.'

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Diocese of Tabora (from 2013)

In June 2013 a team led by Bishop Stanley Hotay ran a three day introductory conference at the invitation of Bishop Elias Chakupewa. The conference was attended by 83 pastors and evangelists, and Bishop Elias wrote in July to say that the groups had already started. Revd Emmanuel Rubuye was appointed as Diocesan RinJ Coordinator, and in November 2013 Emmanuel reported that 8 groups have started, of which the first will complete book 1 in December. This, he says, is particularly encouraging in an area in which the majority of people are Muslims.

In March 2014 Emmanuel reported that the first groups have now completed book 1. He writes: When a first born is born it is a great pleasure - sometimes you won't believe is that true the first has come? As we the diocesan leaders saw such great class get finished their first book, it was an unbelievable moment. Parish coordinators have now been appointed and further groups are planned.

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Diocese of Zanzibar (from 2013)

In June 2013 a UK team travelled to Zanzibar to work with 14 priests and lay leaders. Zanzibar is a small diocese and a challenging place to be a Christian, and communication and preparation had not gone as well as they might have done - but the team was warmly welcomed and enthusiasm for discipleship grew during the time they were there.

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Diocese of Lake Rukwa (from 2014)

In May 2014 a team led by Canon James Almasi travelled to Mpanda at the invitation of Bishop Mathayo Kasagara to introduce Rooted in Jesus to the pastors, evangelists and diocesan staff of Lake Rukwa - 49 people in all. Formed in 2010 from the Diocese of W Tanganyika, the Diocese of Lake Rukwa lies in the SW of Tanzania, covering an area of 75240 square km, with an estimated population of around 2 million people. Bishop Mathayo writes: "This area is still a mission area, Christianity is not strong; the number of Christians is very low, especially for Evangelical Churches. But even though the area is big and the population is high, we still have 24 Parishes, and about 3000 Anglican Church members."

The 49 participants travelled from far and wide. Revd Stephen John Malack was appointed as diocesan coordinator. James Almasi reports: "The whole assessment of the reception of the conference was very very positive. The bishop with his clergies received us and the course with humility, humble and great thanks for the course to reach them. On the day of awarding the certificates, Bishop Matthew told the participants that, everything is there for them to serve in a simple way and that he is hoping that the gospel will be preached and be taught through the course -and that anyone who will not be able to begin the groups for the course, better to return his ordination certificate!!"

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Diocese of Rorya (from 2014)

Rorya is a new diocese in the far north-east of Tanzania, formerly part of the Diocese of Mara. Bishop John Adiema had invited us to send a team to introduce Rooted in Jesus back in 2013, and in July the first conference was held. Bishop John was present throughout the conference, and Revd John Lando was appointed as the diocesan coordinator. Careful plans were laid, and 49 people were commissioned to lead groups.

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Diocese of Victoria Nyanza (from 2014)

In August 2014 a team travelled at the invitation of Bishop Boniface Kwangu to Mwanza, with the aim of introducing Rooted in Jesus to the Diocese. The conference was attended by 47 people. This is a diocese which has been experiencing disharmony, and Bishop Stanley Hotay joined the team in order to help with this. Team leader Jacob Robert reported afterwards that "despite all conflicts in the Diocese of Victoria Nyanza, yet there is a seed of love of God that was planted during the conference which will grow among them and overcome their differences."

A followup conference was held in August 2015. Coordinator Leonard Giligwa reports that 15 new groups were started shortly afterwards, with others planned; existing groups have been strengthened.

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St Philip's Theological College, Kongwa (from 2014)

In November 2014 John Madinda, Principal of St Philip's Theological college, invited Revd Andrew Petit to introduce Rooted in Jesus to the college students as part of their training to become pastors or evangelists. Andrew was joined by two experienced RinJ diocesan coordinators, Canon Dunstan Mtoro and Revd Joseph Mangugi, and the team was completed by David Gibbons. 48 students attended the four day conference, and they plan to begin groups in their placement parishes.

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Diocese of Lweru (from 2015)

The first RinJ conference in this diocese took place in August 2015 at the invitation of Bishop Jackton Lugumira. The conference was attended by 120 people from across the diocese, and Capt Renata Bombo was appointed diocesan coordinator.

Diocese of South West Tanganyika (from 2016)

RinJ was introduced to the Diocese in September 2016 at the invitation of Bishop Matthew Mhagama by a team from the link diocese of Hereford and from Tanzania. 117 participants completed the training. By 2017 there were groups in all of the 40 parishes in the diocese, led by the evangelists and supported by Coordinator Mattiya Mtweve.