Anglican Communion Secretary General pays tribute to late Kenyan ecumenist and peacemaker

Posted Jun 1, 2023

[Anglican Communion Office] Agnes Abuom, a lay woman from the Anglican Church of Kenya who became the first African and first woman to be elected moderator of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, has died after a short illness. She was 73.

Abuom was a passionate ecumenist and peacemaker, and her ministry took her all over the world. Bishop Anthony Poggo, the secretary general of the Anglican Communion, was among many church leaders paying tribute.

“Anglicans mourn the death of Dr. Agnes Abuom and give thanks to God for her outstanding and exemplary leadership within the Anglican Church of Kenya, the Anglican Communion and in the ecumenical movement and the World Council of Churches,” Poggo said.

“I first met Dr. Abuom in the late 1990s when she attended St. Luke’s Parish in Kenyatta, Nairobi, where I was an attached clergy from 1996 to 2007. I next met her when she was moderator of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches and played a significant role in nurturing the peace process and reconciliation in South Sudan.

“Dr. Abuom’s contribution to ecumenism and peace-building were recognized globally and also within the Anglican Communion. In 2017, she was awarded the Lambeth Cross for Ecumenism by the archbishop of Canterbury.

“She had a passion for faith, for social justice and for Christian unity, and brought this, with her many gifts, to her long service on the committees and meetings of the WCC. I thank God for her life and witness. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.”