World Mission Adviser Jane Tompsett, who joined the diocese last year, has returned from her first visit to Zambia during which she formally met each of the five Zambian bishops. They took the opportunity to discuss plans for 2018 when we celebrate 40 years of our link.
Commenting on her visit, Jane said: “It was a short visit, but it was wonderful to meet the bishops and exciting to start talking about our plans to celebrate this long-standing connection and I am looking forward to returning to progress this further. During the visit I very much enjoyed the sermon of the Very Rev Canon Charlie Thomas of Cathedral of Holy Cross Lusaka, who is currently standing in for Bishop David who is unfortunately off sick at the moment. While listening to his sermon on Christ’s Mission and Manifesto, he asked us to ask ‘Where am I going in my Christian life? What is God asking me to do for him? How am I using the gifts God has given me?’ It struck me how similar it was to the challenge the Bishops have for us in Bath and Wells to Live and tell the story of Jesus – a clear illustration of our common purpose. I was also impressed to see the gifts of food given by the congregation for support of the clergy and for an after church fellowship lunch.”
She will be returning for a six week visit from 11 April to 24 May to spend a week in each diocese and to visit link parishes to get an even better picture of what is happening on the ground in Zambia.
In the meantime, Bath and Wells will be welcoming Bishop Derek from the Central Diocese of Zambia between the 11 and 16 of February and the Most Revd Archbishop Albert Chama to Bath and Wells from 21 to 23 April. Archbishop Albert, who is also Bishop of the Northern Diocese of Zambia, is working hard on reconciliation issues in Africa.