Diocese of Lesotho

The Diocese of Lesotho is a diocese in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. It comprises the entire nation of Lesotho. It is divided in three archdeaconries, Central Lesotho, Northern Lesotho and Southern Lesotho. The current bishop is Adam Taaso, in office since 2008.

Diocese of Lesotho
Ecclesiastical provinceSouthern Africa
CathedralCathedral of St. Mary and St. James, Maseru
Current leadership
BishopAdam Taaso


Lesotho was originally included in the Anglican Diocese of the Free State but became an independent diocese in 1950, still with the name of Basutoland. His first bishop was John Maund, who would be in office from 1950 to 1976. Upon the independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, the diocese was renamed the Diocese of Lesotho.[1]

The seat of the diocese is the Cathedral of St Mary and St James in Maseru.

List of Bishops

  • John Arrowsmith Maund 1950-1976
  • Desmond Mpilo Tutu 1976-1978
  • Philip Stanley Mokuku 1978-1997
  • Andrew Thabo Duma 1997-1999
  • Joseph Mahapu Tsubella 1999-2006
  • See Vacant - 2007
  • Mallane Adam Taaso 2008–present

Bishops suffragan


  1. ^ Dove, Reginald (1975). Anglican pioneers in Lesotho: some account of the Diocese of Lesotho, 1876-1930.

External links

Diocese of the Free State

The Diocese of the Free State is a diocese in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

John Osmers

John Robert Osmers (born 1935) is a New Zealand-born anti-apartheid activist and retired Anglican Bishop of Eastern Zambia. Osmers was raised in Anglican vicarages in New Zealand. After completing his schooling at Christchurch Boys High School, Osmers obtained a BA, and an MA (Hons) in English Language and Literature, at Canterbury University, Christchurch.

Osmers read about apartheid in South Africa in Trevor Huddleston's book Nought for our Comfort. In 1958, he travelled to South Africa by ship and toured the counry by motorbike for 6 weeks. This visit determined his wish to work eventually in Southern Africa. For one year, he studied Anthropology at the London School of Economics (LSE), as well the Sesotho language at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. With the encouragment of Father Huddleston, he decided to study to become an Anglican priest, and studied for two years at Mirfield Theological College, Yorkshire, England, run by a community with a long history of involvement in southern Africa. He was ordained in 1961, and worked as a priest for three years in the Yorkshire working-class parish of Rawmarsh near Rotherham.

Trevor Huddleston encouraged Osmers to join the Diocese of Lesotho in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. He worked in Lesotho as a parish priest for 15 years in the mountain parishes of Quthing and Masite. He was also Travelling Secretary of the Lesotho Student Christian Movement, as well as a member of the anti-apartheid South African University Christian Movement, which was forced to close down in 1972. Osmers was made a prohibited immigrant to South Africa from 1970-1991. In 1976, he became closely involved with South African students who came to Lesotho following state violence against the student demonstrations in Soweto. He helped them to enter schools in Lesotho, and encouraged them to become cadres of the African National Congress (ANC).

In 1979, Osmers was attacked by a bomb planted by South African Security in a parcel of the ANC magazine Sechaba; he lost his right hand and the front of his legs in the blast. There were six people in the room where the bomb exploded. Another victim was Phyllis Naidoo, a renowned anti-apartheid activist in exile in Lesotho; the parcel bomb was opened in her house.

As a result of this attack, the ANC president Oliver Tambo and the ANC leadership in exile saw that members of the faith communities were actively involved in the liberation struggle and opened 'the church front', which later became the multifaith ANC chaplaincy. This involved supporters working underground in South Africa, and church leaders and institutions outside the country.

Through pressure from the South African government on the government of Lesotho, Osmers was forced to leave Lesotho in 1980. He worked for some months in the ANC office in London, then spent several months in New Zealand doing a national tour for Halt All Racist Tours (HART), speaking against the Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand in 1981.

In the same year, Osmers became a parish priest in Botswana, where he worked for 8 years in Gaborone and the parish of Molepolole. In 1985, the South African forces attacked and killed ANC members in their homes in Botswana. At the time, Osmers was in New Zealand, and when he returned to Botswana, he was the only ANC member in the country who was not underground. In 1988, Botswana security warned Osmers that he was being targeted by a South African death squad, and he was obliged to leave the country immediately for his own safety.Osmers moved to Lusaka, Zambia, where for 5 years he was chaplain to the ANC, as well as helping in the Anglican diocese of Lusaka. In those years, the ANC had a large community in Lusaka of 3000 cadres, the government-in-waiting for the new South Africa. Osmers officiated at ANC funerals, weddings, and national services, as well as providing pastoral care for those who were sick and in prison. When cadres returned to South Africa from 1991 onwrds, Osmers decided to remain in Zambia helping with Anglican diocesan administration. In 1995, he was elected as the first Bishop of the new diocese of Eastern Zambia, and retired in 2002. Subsequently, he was Rector of St. John's Anglican Seminary in Kitwe until 2011. Currently, he is Assistant Bishop of Lusaka, helps as an assistant priest at the Holy Cross Cathedral in Lusaka, and is involved with the welfare of Rwandan former refugees, especially with their tertiary education and advocating for their local integration in Zambia.In 2013, the South African Broadcasting Corporation broadcast a documentary called “A Helping Hand: the Story of Bishop John Osmers” as a tribute to his contribution to the liberation of South Africa.

John Salt (bishop)

John William Salt, OGS (30 October 1941 – 7 February 2017) was a British Anglican bishop. He was the Bishop of St Helena from 1999 to 2011. He lived on the island of St Helena, which is situated in the South Atlantic.

Lineo Ntoane

Matlotliso Lineo Lydia Ntoane (also Matlotliso Lineo Khechane-Ntoane) (12 May 1966 – 22 December 2017 in the Kingdom of Lesotho) was a Basotho diplomat.


Mantsonyane is a town in central Lesotho. It is located southeast of the capital Maseru, close to the western approach to the Mokhoabong Pass, on a high mountain plateau between the towns of Marakabei and Thaba-Tseka, in the Thaba-Tseka District.

Located on the central mountain plateau of Lesotho, Mantsonyane is difficult to reach by ground transport. In the official biography of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was the Bishop of Lesotho in the late 1970s, the difficulty of travel around the mountainous central region of Lesotho is illustrated by a detailed account of the Bishop's journey from his official residence in Maseru to St James's Hospital in Mantsonyane.

Religion in Lesotho

Christianity is the dominant religion in Lesotho, which is estimated to be more than 95 per cent Christian. Non-Christian religions represent only 1.5% of the population, and those of no religion 3.5%. The non-Christian people primarily subscribe to traditional African religions, with an insignificant (< 0.2%) minor presence of Islam, Judaism and Asian religions.

St Nicholas' Church, Durham

St Nicholas' Church, commonly known as St Nic's, is a Church of England place of worship located on Durham marketplace and is the city's civic church. The church stands in the open evangelical tradition of the Church of England.


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