Education Minister David Coltart yesterday hailed the restoration of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe following the re-dedication of St John the Baptist Cathedral in Mutare two weeks ago after the deposition of the renegade bishop Elson Madhodha Jakazi.

The rededication service, which was held on April 6, was led by the Bishop of the Diocese of Manicaland and Dean of the Province of Central Africa, Reverend Julius Makoni and the Archbishop of the Province, the Most Reverend Albert Chama.

“For all the terrible things that still happen in Zimbabwe it is important for us to recall some of the ways the good Lord has answered our prayers. In my mind one of the most heartwarming answers to prayer this year has been the restoration of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe,” Coltart wrote on his Facebook page.

He said the turn of events confirmed God’s faith after a hard trial that “has refined and strengthened” the Anglican Church in the country.

Over 3 000 Anglican faithfuls marched from the city centre to St John the Baptist Cathedral to witness its re-dedication.

The rededication was a consecration rite through which the parishioners sought to cleanse the cathedral after years of alleged defilement.

Jakazi withdrew from the Anglican Church’s province of Central Africa in 2007 and, with the assistance of the police, removed church members who had remained loyal to Bishop Chad Gandiya. Jakazi forcibly took over the church’s schools, hospitals, clinics and orphanages in the province.

The development set the stage for a bruising court battle that was eventually won by Reverend Julius Makoni.