establishment of the Diocese of Zululand can be traced right back
to 1859 when the bishop of Natal, John William Colenso, visited
King Mpande to secure his permission for a Zulu mission. This wish
was granted, and the King gave bishop Colenso land at KwaMagwaza
for the establishment of a mission station.
In 1860, bishop Colenso sent the Revd Robert Robertson from Umlazi
Mission outside Durban, to start work at KwaMagwaza.
After bishop Colenso's excommunication by the bishop of Cape Town,
Robertson refused to accept him as his bishop, and Bishop Thomas
Wilkinson was consecrated as the first bishop of the new Diocese
on 8 May 1870 at the Whitehall chapel in London. He was given the
title 'a bishop for the Zulus and the tribes towards the Zambezi'
and settled at KwaMagwaza.
From there he trekked north, establishing missions in Swaziland
and Mpumalanga on his way to Pretoria.
Zulu war of 1879 saw all the missions buildings in Zululand burned
to the ground, as well as the annihilation of a the British army
Law and order broke down
and KwaMagwaza became a very unsettled area. This resulted in
the removal of the Diocesan Centre to Isandlwana.
The second bishop,
Douglas McKenzie (1880), made Isandlwana his headquarters and
set up a training college there. Nine bishops followed, with
the current Bishop Dino Gabriel being the 13th Bishop of Zululand.