The changing understanding of the Eucharist among the Kikuyu communicants of the Thika Diocese in the Anglican Church of Kenya

George Kiarie, Stephen Muoki Joshua


This article is set out to explicate the changing understanding of the Eucharist among the Kikuyu communicants in the diocese of Thika since its introduction by the Anglican missionaries. The concept of Athomi, literally rendered as “leaners”, ascribed communicants the attributes of continuing Christian learners full of spiritual expectation in the holy communion sacrament. These days however, that “unique thing” is absent as the service is invaded by “the wrong people” with “mud”. The article is informed by qualitative data collected among the members and clerics of Thika Diocese in the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK). It argues that the changing perception of the Eucharist by communicants of Thika diocese is largely influenced by Kikuyu’s incarnation of the meal elements, the manner in which the meal is administered, the preparation of the communicants and the teachings on the subject by clerics. Informed by the incarnation theory, the article further argues that there is a need for an ideological shift in the diocese so that the Eucharist is not merely perceived as affecting the social relationships and individual identity but more so the spiritual wellbeing as a means of conveying God’s grace.


Inculturation; Anglican tradition; missionary; Kenya; East Africa; Eucharist; Holy Communion; elements

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ISSN 2413-9467 (online); ISSN 2413-9459 (print)

© 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch.

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