To Zambia with love

Bishop Peter to visit Zambia in August

It’s said that good relationships don’t just happen; they take time, patience, and two sides who really want to be together. They need to be worked at, cherished and cultivated, not taken for granted nor left to chance. Being intentional about what we do is a good way of improving the quality of what we do, instead of ‘doing what we’ve always done’ or simply ‘hoping for the best. It’s as true for Companion Links across the Anglican Communion as it is for any relationship.

Archbishop Justin of Canterbury reminded us in a powerful presidential address to General Synod in November 2014 that the Anglican Communion exists and is doing wonderful things, but that there are great divisions and threats. He issued a challenge: “There is a prize of being able to develop unity in diversity … demonstrating the power of Christ to break down barriers and to provide hope for a broken world. We must grasp that challenge: it is the prize of a world seeing Christ loved and obeyed in His church, a world hearing the news of his salvation.”

We in Bath & Wells value our link with the Anglican Church in Zambia. We want to make sure it is the best it can be. We want to make sure that it properly honours our brothers and sisters in Christ in Zambia, who are fellow disciples with us of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and we want it to foster a growing global dimension to our own discipleship as the Anglicans of Somerset.

As part of that intentional, careful cherishing of our relationship, Bishop Peter is going to spend three weeks in Zambia in August. He will visit all five of the Anglican dioceses in that country (which is part of the Province of Central Africa), getting to know people and places, forging his own personal relationships with his brother bishops and other leaders, both clerical and lay, and seeking to grasp the challenge that Archbishop Justin threw down, to strengthen “unity in diversity” between Zambia and Bath and Wells.

Myself and Peter Merson, chair of the World Mission Group (part of the Mission Forum) will accompany Bishop Peter and his wife Jane.

Jeremy Key-Pugh, chair of the Zambia sub-Group and a regular visitor to Zambia

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