The Zambia link was first suggested in 1978 when ‘Partnership in Mission’ was a growing idea around the Anglican Communion. Bishop Jack Cunningham had retired to Somerset after working for some time in Central Zambia and The Rt Revd John Bickersteth, Bishop of Bath & Wells at the time, was keen to build on that connection.
There are now about 50/60 parish links. During the four decades since it was first established there have also been links with St Francis Hospital, the Seminary of St John the Evangelist, Employment & Training Centres, Mission Stations, Street Kids Projects and schools.
The main emphasis of the Link has always been on building relationships through prayer, correspondence and visits. It has grown and prospered with regular exchange visits by priests, doctors, school staff, students, diocesan staff and members of congregations. Overtime many good friendships have also been formed.
For more than 40 years Bath & Wells and the Zambian Dioceses have worked together on global justice issues; such as the Trade Justice Campaign and Make Poverty History. And they have come together to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS, Gender-based Violence, Environmental concerns, Climate Change, and many other issues.
Representatives from both ends of the link have been involved in clergy exchanges, clergy & lay training days, diocesan conferences, Christian Aid campaigns, USPG events, Linking seminars, Anglican Communion conferences, and national celebrations.
Celebrating 40 years
Parishes in Bath and Wells and Zambia have supported each other to live and tell the story of Jesus in their communities since 1978.
We celebrated this milestone in 2018 with a programme of thanksgiving and celebration. Events will began in Zambia in April with ‘Live the Link’ which saw a group of Bath and Wells’ folk visit Zambia on an immersive, educational experience. Special services were held in the five Zambian dioceses and our bishops visited Zambia to give thanks for the partnership and be welcomed to a national celebration in 29 April. In Bath and Wells, celebrations continued in July with a service at Wells Cathedral and a tour of link parishes by our Zambian bishops. A group of young people from Zambia visited the diocese in the August.
Who to contact
Annabel Capel, Zambia Programme Coordinator