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First Motswana Anglican bishop to be consecrated

Staff Writer
The Venerable Metlhayotlhe Rawlings Ogotseng Beleme will be consecrated as the fifth Bishop of Botswana by Reverend Albert Chama, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA), at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Gaborone.

Invited guests include President Ian Khama, fellow bishops from the CPCA, other Christian leaders, representatives of linked overseas churches including the Bishop of Newcastle in the Church of England, and the bishops of Johannesburg, Matlosane, Lesotho and Swaziland. Beleme becomes the first Botswana-born leader of the Diocese of Botswana since its foundation in 1972.

"This is a truly exciting event in our national church history. Although the Anglican Church has been served by four faithful and dedicated leaders since the Diocese became independent in 1972, Fr Beleme will be the first to have been born in Botswana," Dean of Holy Cross Cathedral and Vicar-General of the Diocese of Botswana, Rev James McKeran said."He also comes with a personal story that whilst deeply rooted in the Setswana culture gives him a good appreciation of the wider church and world," he added.

The combined consecration and enthronement service (the latter marking the formal beginning of his ministry of teaching and care for his diocese) will be followed by lunch for all attendees in the Cathedral

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grounds. Fr Beleme was born in Molepolole in 1962 and is married with three children.  A qualified artisan electrician, he once worked for Jwaneng mine from 1986 until the end of 1989. Responding to God's call to serve the church as an Anglican priest, he studied theology at Lelapa la Jesu Seminary and the National University of Lesotho in Roma from 1990 to 1992.

Fr Beleme served as rector of Francistown and archdeacon of the North in the Diocese of Botswana. In 2001 he was appointed sub-dean of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Gaborone, and undertook further studies at the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches and the University of Geneva in Switzerland.After briefly serving as rector of the Parish of St Simon of Cyrene, Tlokweng, from 2006, he moved to the Diocese of Matlosane, South Africa, in 2007, initially as dean of the Cathedral of the Resurrection in Ikageng-Potchefstroom and then as rector of the Parish of St Peter's Klerksdorp and archdeacon to the bishop.



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