The article considers the involvement of Bishop Alfred Tucker and other missionaries of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in the establishment of a British Protectorate in Buganda between 1890 and 1894. These missionaries were drawn, often not unwillingly, into political affairs, both within Uganda and internationally. The contribution made by Tucker was frequently ill-informed and sometimes tendentious. Nevertheless, he sought to uphold the long-standing CMS regulation that missionaries should abstain from any political involvement. The theoretical distinction between the sacred and secular was alien to the intellectual heritage of Uganda, and in practice it was contradicted by the activities of CMS missionaries, who justified their involvement in terms of considering Uganda to be a 'special case'.