Dozens of bodies found so far in this former British island and over 70% of homes are destroyed. No water, no electricity . . .
Just where do you start?
News from Kadugli
What takes our missionary links forward is the way we develop the relationships with those we seek to support. Bishop Hassan’s visit to us two years ago, had a profound affect and we felt we had a friend in Sudan.
It was therefore very important that Christopher, Ann and I made the trip to Khartoum to share with them in the celebrations of the creation of the new Anglican province of Sudan. The service lasted four and a half hours in a blistering 43 degrees heat. As I put my robes on, there was no doubt in my mind that an extra layer was not going to be helpful…!
There were fans in the ceiling of the cathedral, and it was uncomfortable but just about bearable, that was until the electricity failed and the fans stopped turning. Then with all the people in the building we sweltered. Thankfully they cut out the last hymns and even the communion or the service would have lasted 6 hours! Anyway, it was great to be there and our friend Archbishop Ezekiel is now the head of this brand new province and the Archbishop of Canterbury was present to install Ezekiel in his new role.
Service for the creation of the 39th Province of the Anglican Church
Kadugli is situate in a part of the country to which entry is normally denied for foreign visitors. However, since ++ Justin Welby was allowed to visit Kadugli on an official visit, I was given the opportunity to fly down to Kadugli with him as part of his official party which included the acting head of DFID and the British Ambassador to Sudan. We were escorted round by the governor of South Kordofan state. Everything had been smartened up for our visit, which sadly meant I didn’t get to see the grinding station which is in an area of town which was not deemed fit for us to see. Our grinding station in Delling has been open several months and is making income for the Diocese and feeding the poorest. The Kadugli one has only just opened.
One of the televised sessions with ++Justin, the governor and +Hassan
Andrew, ++Justin and +Hassan in Kadugli
I did however see the Archbishop of Canterbury in action at press conferences and televised meetings and he was absolutely brilliant at thinking on his feet and saying exactly the right thing. He was very gracious to the governor, but at the same time challenging him to treat Christians equally with Muslims, and to work for peace. + Hassan says the government has not bombed the people of the Nuba mountains for 9 months, so there is hope of peace. Please pray for it.
The Archbishop re-opened the Diocesan Office in Kadugli and we enjoyed a joyous service in the Cathedral.
Christopher and Ann’s Golden Wedding party in Khartoum
Please read on for details of this wonderful occasion . . .
Our time in Khartoum started with this service among some refugees and here are some pictures of the building they borrow as a church and the people who attended and finished with a visit to Hassan’s home and family.
The building where the church met
Some of the lovely people at the service
And where they live
At Hassan’s house. Hassan’s new wife in the check next to Andrew & Ann
Lots more fantastic things to share about this trip as time allows!
A Golden Wedding with a Difference
I suppose the date of our Golden Wedding was fixed the day we got married; that is, as long as the marriage lasted that long! It presented us with something of a problem, therefore, when we received an invitation to attend the celebrations of the Inauguration of the 39th Province of the Anglican Communion in Khartoum on 30 July, the day after our date. How could we refuse, particularly when Bishop Hassan of Kadugli, who has stayed with us in Broughton Gifford, said that he would organise a party for us?
In the event, he could not be in Khartoum on that day, but someone else would take on the responsibility for all the organisation. We were told that it would take place on the Saturday evening, from 20:00 – 22:00, at the Kanon Hotel, and how much it would cost us. (Rather more that I had expected!) We had no idea, however, what format it would take or who would be invited. To be completely fair, this is not totally true. The Sudanese love ‘programmes’ and we were sent one which included a number of speeches and concluded, somewhat cryptically, with ‘gifts’.
On the morning itself, we were told that a car would come to collect us from our hotel at 19:00. However, TIA This is Africa, no-one had arrived by a quarter to eight, so we found someone else to take us to the hotel. When we arrived there, we were told that the party was on the seventh floor and, indeed, there were tables laid for 35 people, but no people.
In due course they arrived and they included two archbishops, Khartoum and Canterbury, and about twenty others. We cut an enormous cake and sat down to a most enjoyable meal. The ‘gifts’ appeared as commemorative mugs, for all present, bearing on one side the message: Happy Wedding of 50 Years of Mr. Christopher and Mrs. Ann. 2017.7.29 and on the other Episcopal Church of Sudan, Diocese of Kadugli. We are certain that, in time, these will become collectors’ pieces, more valuable than Coronation Mugs.
This was a Golden Wedding to be remembered. We feel honoured that it was graced by two Graces!
Christopher and Ann Fielden
Services have moved back to St. Katharine’s!
Our services have moved back to the church now that the work in St. Katharine’s has been completed.
Please join us at one of our Sunday services at St. Katharine’s to worship with us and experience the beautifully bright and updated surroundings of the church.
The dates for the much anticipated Benefice weekend away have been finalised. Our weekend of fellowship will be taking place at the Sidholme Hotel in Sidmouth from the 8th to the 10th of September 2017. It promises to be another exciting and enjoyable weekend. We hope you can join us.
For more information about Sidholme Hotel visit http://www.christianguild.co.uk/sidholme/
Holt continues to be a special community, and the parish church of St Katharine’s continues to thrive in this rich soil. St Katharine’s has seen steady growth for the last 10 years and it continues to grow and see more people wanting to follow Christ. Sometimes growth causes you to have to rethink your buildings and how you use them.
Therefore between 18th March and 30th April, the Bishop of Salisbury has agreed that St Katharine’s Church will be closed for services, and Sunday services will take place in the Primary School Hall. During this period the first stage of the long awaited internal re-ordering of St Katharine’s will take place. The walls will be decorated, and the wooden floors restored and re-sealed and the North aisle floor carpeted. A dais will be constructed extending the height of the chancel floor out into part of the nave to improve sight lines for those seated in the congregation. The font will be moved to a new location in the area on the left as you enter the South door, which will provide a better setting for baptisms. Certain pews are being retained and repositioned along the walls of the interior, but the majority are being replaced by stackable oak chairs on metal frames. The chairs will provide for flexibility for the use of the church for services and other events. Anybody wanting to purchase any of the pews that will not be retained should contact Vaughn in the church office on 782717.
The further stages of the re-ordering, which will take place at a later date, will see the installation of new lighting, improved kitchen and toilet facilities, cupboards, and a new AV system.
The re-ordering of the church together with the redevelopment of the Coach House as a suite of church rooms will see St Katharine’s better equipped to meet to needs of the growing number of villagers who are part of the St Katharine’s family, attending services and other events. The St Katharine’s family is very wide and includes all who want to be a part of it. The week by week worshiping community is growing. But there are many others who feel a part of our Anglican village church and who want to come and worship at major festivals, and to celebrate their weddings and mark the passing of their loved ones. We are all part of the St Katharine’s family, and it is my hope that the changes in our buildings will bless us all.
With Every Blessing
‘Father God, what do you want me to give?’
This is the bold question we want members of St Katharine’s to ask the Lord as we proceed with the next steps to the completion of the building programme. Thank you all those who have given generously and lent funds to allow the projects to reach their current stage.
We know that many people’s circumstances change all the time. Some who have already given will want to give more; some who were not in a position to give before will now find that they are now able to; some will feel that now is the time to give now that consents for the work are coming in; some have joined us since the project started and will want to come on board.
Planning Permission for the Coach House and Church House were granted in August. The architect has been instructed to produce the next level of drawings for the development of the Coach House, and we are proceeding towards marketing Church House.
As to the church, the Chancellor has consented to all proposed work save our choice of chairs – we therefore have to choose another chair that will be acceptable to her so that the full faculty can be granted. The costings including a 15% contingency show that there is a further £300,000 to raise to complete both projects. We have grants to apply for and if we are all prepared to ask God this simple question, ‘Father God, what do you want me to give?’, the final stage of the funding will now fit into place.
We were privileged to have Tina and Harry Alexander and one of their daughters Renautta at St K (George, Tina’s dad from the St K congregation on the far left).
As Tina shared about their ministry in Dominica, many of us were surprised at just how many avenues of assistance they end up offering to the island – recovery after Storm Erika, fighting for the abused, advocacy, promoting change in the law, assisting the disabled and the dying and the list goes on…
We can help by continuing to pray and by contributing to the container loads of ‘useful things’ that are shipped each year, and we can give financially. Tina mentioned other ways to connect – Visit them, they have Airbnb and two rain forest homes to let – opportunities for Gap Year placements – has anyone got storage space for packed boxed for the months before they go in the container? – Can we send toys for the children of Dominica for Christmas? Please contact us if you can help!
We have designated 2016 as a ‘Year of Invitation’. That idea started with some invitations for us and the thought that we might make some invitations to others. The first invitation to us is an invitation that we might make to Jesus to invite him to be our Lord and to allow ourselves to be changed by his love. That is a very important invitation that only we can make for ourselves. The second invitation was an invitation to believe that from the moment Jesus died and rose, the tide irreversibly turned. It is all too easy to take on board the world’s judgment that the church has had its day, and is now in decline. That is not an accurate picture of the church worldwide nor is it a picture of our 3 Benefice churches, all of which are currently growing. The third invitation is one that I want us to do a lot of in 2016 – inviting others into the life of our Benefice Churches. This is about us exercising our faith, rather than keeping it a private matter. This is about saying that our time has come to engage in the work we know God wants us to do for him. You could invite a guest to any of our services, and you might like the look of the 2 special evening services this month, Sunday Night Live and Praise and Preach. You could invite people to Tiny Tots, Sew and Grow, soaking prayer in the Healing Centre, your homegroup. Whilst there are people who wouldn’t thank you for an invite to a church event, there are plenty who would and especially if you are able to tell them why you enjoy it so much! Let’s start making the invites and see God’s Kingdom come on this patch of Wiltshire earth…! There are talks currently on the website on the subjects of ‘the tide has turned’, ‘exercising your faith’ and ‘Your time has come’ – don’t miss out on those and other updates on our new wonderful website.
With Every Blessing Andrew
You are invited to:
St Katharine’s Holt – God’s Kingdom on this patch of Wiltshire earth.
This morning Andrew had a short interview on BBC Radio Wiltshire. It was about how St Katharine’s is going against the tide as the Church of England announces that national attendance has dropped below 1 million for the first time.
If you would like to have a listen, click on the following link and skip to 1:23:50 (this is the point in the show that you can hear the interview).
The pictures below show the recipients of the important gifts, chosen with some care…
A sewing machine was donated to a lovely young woman in St Jo with eleven children……Yes 11! and the oldest was just 14!
They live in a two roomed wooden house with no furniture, no beds, no clothes storage and the stove and a washing machine on the porch! She has placed the precious sewing machine in a what was an ice cream kiosk on the side of the road and she is already underway making hair decorations and bags to be able to sell.
And here are some pictures of the big send off…
If you would like to find out more about Tina’s news and Lifeline Dominica, please visit her website: http://www.lifelinedominica.org/lifeline-blog
George & Angela