[Episcopal News Service] The Rt. Rev. Dinis Sengulane, the longest-serving bishop in the Anglican Communion, retired March 25 after leading the Diocese of Lebombo in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa for almost 38 years.
Consecrated as bishop in 1976, Sengulane made his mark as one of Africa’s greatest peacemakers when his efforts to mediate between the Mozambique government and the rebel group Renamo brought an end to 15 years of civil war in 1992.
Once dialogue had been established and peace was in sight, the bishop didn’t stop there. His Preparing the People for Peace program bore many fruits, including the much-acclaimed Swords Into Ploughshares initiative that exchanged thousands of weapons for tools of construction.
About 1 million weapons have been decommissioned since the end of the war. Many have been converted into art, a project that continues today with works exhibited throughout Mozambique and all over the world.
A long-standing partner with the Episcopal Church, Sengulane also has played a significant roll in fighting malaria, one of Africa’s biggest killers, through his involvement in the Rollback Malaria initiative. Sengulane and the Diocese of Lebombo have partnered in particular with Episcopal Relief & Development and the Diocese of Connecticut in various asset-based development programs and other initiatives.
In 2013, Sengulane joined more than 400 Episcopalians in Washington, D.C., for a march against violence.
As he enters retirement, Sengulane reflects on his ministry of peacemaking. Yet he doesn’t see this as his story.
— Matthew Davies is an editor/reporter of the Episcopal News Service.