In our overseas links we aim to:
- Support and encourage each other in God’s mission
- Commit ourselves to learning about each other’s history, tradition and partnership
- Share our spiritual resources and our material ones
- Build strong and lasting friendships in order to advance the Kingdom of God within our Dioceses
We are linked with four dioceses, in parish-to-parish relationships that are growing and active! To enable this to happen we have set up a sub-committee for each diocesan overseas link, which then report to the Diocesan Links Committee (DLC). The DLC is chaired by the Bishop of Tonbridge and meets four times a year.
Our Link Dioceses are:
Bishop Brian led a team from four parishes to Harare for an excellent visit in June 2010. Under the leadership of then Bishop Sebastian Bakare and now Bishop Chad Gandiya, the churches here are growing and in good heart, despite being locked out of their church buildings by the previous Bishop Nolbert Kunonga. They worship in tents, in borrowed buildings, or under trees. They ask for your prayers for their nation. Bishop Chad came to preach at the annual Diocesan Links Service on 10 October 2010 at St Peter and St Paul, Tonbridge.
Bishop Yohana Mkavu resigned in February 2009 and a new bishop is yet to be announced. This may be delayed until 2012. With financial help from three parishes in Rochester and from the Diocesan Links Committee, three churches were completed in Kondoa Diocese in 2010 – in Bereko, Chemba, and Wekense.
Following the inspiring link between Mascalls School in Paddock Wood with a secondary school in Kondoa, some pupils from Bennett Memorial Diocesan School visited Mpwapwa in July 2011. Two Rochester parishes are sponsoring the building of a girls’ secondary school outside Mpwapwa at present.
Here we are linked under the Poorvoo Agreement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Estonia, whose practices are in many ways similar to ours. Three clergy from the Diocese of Rochester visited in January (in temperatures of -24°C!) in order to attend their annual clergy conference. We were reminded of their enthusiasm for their link with us after domination by Russia for so long. More Estonian parishes seek local church links with us.
Developing a Parish Link
For more information about how to develop a parish link please contact:
The Rev Canon David Kitley (Bishop’s Adviser on overseas links)
Tel: 01732 452112
Mr Mike Fawcett (Links Co-ordinator)
Tel: 01892 536704