Chew Magna and Kwacha

‘Buy a Brick’ helps build a house

Jenny Biggs reports on St Andrew's, Chew Magna's link with Zambia.

When we accepted a proposal in 1995 to link St Andrew's Chew Magna with St Mary & St John Kwacha in the Copperbelt region of Northern Zambia the Zambian congregation was meeting in a hall. Their new church just had foundations and walls, no roof and the rainy season due! That was our first joint project.

There have been the usual ups and downs over the years but visitors from Zambia and visits to Kwacha by members of our church and our Rector at various times have strengthened the link and a warm friendship has developed. During our 2004 visit I was invited to dance with the Mothers’ Union!

The priest’s house, which is needed to recruit and retain a priest in such a large rural area, has proved particularly challenging. Foundations were laid then the pandemic prevented us from fundraising to help with the construction. The parishioners however steadily fundraised themselves for cement and the foundations were cleared and the slab was laid in November 2020. Then a hugely successful ‘buy a brick’ service was held there on Sunday, 7 March 2021 and bricks arrived in the week. Wall building began on Friday 12th and the Archdeacon Ven Mutati attended.

We have at last been able to send some funds put by for the link which will help this project. Father Francis Mwansa, who is based at St John’s Seminary in Kitwe, is looking after the parish part time and calls it ‘a noble cause’. It certainly is!

Starting to build the priest's house