OUR ZAMBIAN VISITORSOn October 9th our Zambian visitors, Sharon Mutale, Kherina Banda, Bronson Chiofu and Father Kashimoto, arrive in Bath for their visit.Their first big engagement will be on Saturday October 11th at the Parish Harvest Supper, a bring and share event, which will be held either at the Old Bakery or at Limpley Stoke Village Hall, depending on numbers. We hope as many people as possible will attend and we plan to make it an informal, fun evening. On Sunday October 12th there will be a Parish Communion and in the afternoon we will have a walk around the villages. If anyone would care to come with us or offer us a cup of tea or indeed just a welcome on the way round, that would be lovely. As well as exploring the Parish, visits to Bath Abbey, Wells, Dorothy House and the Genesis Trust are planned for the Monday and Tuesday.There are many ways we need your help to make the visit a success. We need offers to host an evening meal on Monday or Tuesday and offers to help with the Harvest Supper on Saturday October 11th. And of course, please join us for the Harvest Supper on Saturday October 11th and/or join us on the walk on Sunday October 12th and/ or welcome the party on the way round. If you can help in any way or would like to come to the Parish Supper, we would be grateful if you would email:Lesley MacKenzie at email@example.com or 01225 722156. Other committee members who can be contacted about the visit are Jill Wright, Pat Smith and Penny Jones.
In March 2011 a core group of parishioners met to discuss possible ways of extending our parish focus. It was decided that a link with a parish in another part of the world would broaden our vision of what it is to be Christian and to be an Anglican in a very different culture.The diocese of Bath and Wells is officially linked with Zambia so we have drawn on this experience. Jenny Humphreys, the diocesan World Mission Advisor, preached in our Parish Communion and then she consulted with Archbishop Albert. He is Archbishop of central Africa and regularly comes to Britain. He suggested a parish in Northern Diocese where there is a new area of expansion of the Anglican Church. He hopes we can develop the link and expand into the clinics and schools of the communities where the churches are being planted too. This is an exciting project which is “cutting edge” to quote Jenny.The parish we are linked with has three churches just as ours does, but there is a gap of 365 K or 228 miles between St Alban’s Solwezi and the other two, St Paul’s Mwinilunga and St Francis Chibwika. The priest-in-charge is Father Chama Kashimoto: he has a deacon and two evangelists. He lives in Solwezi so to take a Sunday service he has to have a stop-over. He also oversees a refugee camp of Rwandans who fled the genocide. Thirty of them were confirmed recently.Over the year we have been communicating by email and learning more about each other. We have sent photos of the 4O’Clock, the PCC, the parish away day and a Jubilee street party, and we pray for each other. At present they are replacing a church roof and electrifying a clergy house. Another extraordinary point of contact is that Father Kashimoto asked us to pray for his deacon as he prepares for ordination - just as Simon Robinson was being ordained.This September Jenny met Father Kashimoto and reported that he is very enthusiastic about the link and excited about the possible exchange of visits. This is what we must work on next so that the link can be nurtured and based on a wider footing but already a relationship has begun.
Report of the visit of Archbishop Albert Chama, Archbishop of Central Africa and Bishop of Northern Zambia. March 19th, 2013 at St Mary’s, Limpley StokeArchbishop Chama was in the UK for the enthronement of the Archbishop of Canterbury. We were privileged to have a meeting with him at coffee time in the side aisle in St Mary’s. The International Link Group and wardens from all three churches were present and in a brief time we learnt much more about the parish we are linked with, about Zambia and about the Province of Central Africa.The area of Solwezi has grown rapidly to the be a sizeable town and centre for North West Zambia. This is an area where copper and other minerals are mined. Old mines have been reopened and the Chinese are opening new ones.St Alban’s is the main church but there are two churches in the mining camps and also a flourishing congregation in a refugee camp. The refugees come from Rwanda, Congo, Angola, Burundi and more places seeking safety in the stability of life in Zambia. Some have been there for a long time.The Archbishop asked us to pray for the parish and for the commitment of its congregations and to pray for him – he needs strength, courage and wisdom as he leads such a vast area including Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and Zimbabwe.We were very honoured and excited by this visit.
NEWS OF THE FIRST VISIT TO OUR LINK PARISH IN ZAMBIA OCTOBER 2013For two years a small group in the parish have been communicating with a parish in Zambia, mostly by email. We were put in touch with them by the diocesan World Mission Advisor furthering the link between Bath and Wells and Zambia. Eventually a visit was arranged to develop the sharing and prayers we have begun and Simon Robinson and I set out in October 2013. I have written three pieces and these will be published over the next few months.Zambia I 'Welcome to Africa, the REAL Africa'. We were travelling from Kitwe to Solwezi after Father Kashimoto and Morgan, his parish secretary had picked us up from the airport and while driving along the main road I requested a stop so I could take a photo in one of the clusters of huts. We went down into a village and this is what the lady said when she found out why I was there. She called to a neighbour who put two stools out for us to sit on in the shade and brought us drinking water. We experienced such open hospitality wherever we went—a feeling of safety and trust which I had not met in other African countries. As we travelled we stopped for provisions set out on tiny stalls by the road—tomatoes, green leaves, two strings of fresh bream, charcoal and bushmeat.(probably impala but might have been goat). This was cooked by Father Kashimoto's nieces in the priest's bungalow next to St. Albans church, the church we have set up a link with. It is in a wide boulevard amongst government offices, the library and a smart hotel. Further along the road are lots of shops with market stalls before them all bustling till late in the evening. Solwezi has grown from 4000 inhabitants to 70000 in about ten years as the copper mine has prospered. The mine has built houses for its workers and the community has a full demographic range. On Sunday we were able to meet with the very lively congregation. There were about 100 people representing every age group. The service was a family communion much as ours with the language moving between English and Bemba. All children learn English in their well-organised school system so no allowances were made! The main difference is in the music with choirs from the youth, the Sunday School and the Mothers' Union. Lots of dancing and noise! One of the most impressive things was the organised structure of the church. Bronson was the church warden, Edith the church secretary and Sharon the treasurer. All these were professionals in their thirties, clued up and involved. Simon celebrated communion and preached and afterwards we both spoke about our link. There were five separate collections as different areas of church work were supported such as youth work and projects. One project the MU has is to improve the equipment at a shelter at the hospital where relatives from the rural areas stay while keeping patients company. After the service there was a cooked lunch served in the church from heated trays. I want to give you a flavour of our trip so next month I will tell you about the daughter church at Mwinilunga and the following month about the Rwandan church in a refugee camp cared for by St. Albans church. Zambia II Imagine a priest having to visit his daughter church 165 miles away! This is the situation for Father Kashimoto in our link parish in Zambia. Things have improved as his curate Father Douglas has recently been ordained priest. ( Simon and he are at the same stage) . On our recent visit Simon and I accompanied Father K on the public bus to spend an overnight there.. The bus was modern but very crowded and although it took 6 hours it was on tarmac all the way. All fuel has to be carried as the is no petrol station west of Solwezi. The road goes along the northern border of Zambia until you reach the point where Zambia. Angola and Congo meet! There is only one turn the whole way. We arrived at the church in the dark and went straight into the church service of welcome and teaching. The youth accompanied the singing with a band of six homemade instruments - percussion, guitar and double bass! All the conversation was translated into local language as it is a much more rural community than in Solwezi. They worship in a third of a building. The rest is used as a schoolroom and a priests house. An ancient termite mound with trees growing out of the top was the shelter for the women who prepared a delicious supper for us. Then we were driven to our lodgings for the night. We couldn't see much but were deafened by the chorus of frogs. In the morning we could see we were looking down on a large river, the Lunga, and this made the lawns lovely and green and the bush lush on the other side. We went back to the church to visit their pre-school. It is for 40 vulnerable children. These are from very poor families or are AIDS orphans. The two teachers are paid for by the diocese.They have have very few resources. Outside we could see the ground the Church owns and the place where they have started to build a much bigger church as they are spilling out of the present building. Finally we met with members of the congregation and were given gifts- carved things, baskets, pineapples and a live chicken in a carrier bag with a slit in the side for its head to come out. Our return trip was made more exciting because the local chiefs had commandeered the coach to go to an Eco-conference. As a result all of us in the bus queue hitched a lift in a truck returning empty from the border. The details of this epic journey remain to be told. We both felt invigorated by the opportunity we had to visit to visit such a remote but devout Anglican congregation.Zambia III This is my third article about the visit Simon and I made to our link parish in Zambia. I will begin with a stop we had on the road west of Solwezi at Kyansununa where they have planted a church . This is just out of town and their rural congregation meets every Sunday in a school. On we drove for about 50 miles to a large stone notice announcing the Maheba Refugee Camp. Here we turned off onto a dirt track road with a metal barrier and a checkpoint marking the entry to the camp. Once permission was gained we drove 15 miles through tidy villages , fields of crops, clinics and blue and white schools , all within the camp -a microcosm, a state within a state , because the people there are not free to leave or trade with those outside. The camp has refugees from Congo, Burundi,Angola and Rwanda. We came to a simple little Anglican church crammed with people and decorated with streamers and glitter hanging from the ceiling. St. Albans Sowezi supports this church. We had a dignified service with singing and dancing and testimonies. We left the bags of cottons and needles we had brought with us and Father Kashimoto blessed them. We entered a tiny mud hut where we had a delicious lunch of produce entirely produced within the camp. Afterwards they told us their story. They had fled from the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and escaped barefoot through Congo and Angola facing fighting and disease for 4 years. The remnant and their descendants have been in the camp for 16 years. In June 2013 the UN withdrew their refugee status so now they wait in limbo hoping to be able to immigrateinto Zambia but as yet uncertain of their fate. What a moving history! Travelling with us as she lives nearby was Mrs Charity Tembo . She is the priest's warden at St. Albans and acts as a mentor and friend for Father Kashimoto. She took us to her home within the Barrick Copper Mine complex. Her husband is in the senior management of this Canadian enterprise and he trained as an anaesthetist in Gloucester, UK. She is a serious farmer with her own Eco-friendly farm that she visits for ten days every month. We had to go through strict security to enter the township as their products are so valuable. They mine copper but also cobalt, nickel, gold and uranium. Not far away an Australian company is ready to open the largest copper mine in the world this year. Mrs Tembo is wisely negotiating for a piece of land in the local settlement, Lumwana, ready to church plant when the town mushrooms as Solwezi did when its mine developed This day made us reflect on the way the Zambians have used their resources. Their society still has a majority of profoundly poor people but in contrast to neighbouring Congo, they are peaceful and have invested in infrastructure to create a country that is stable and progressive.Jill Wright
Zambia Link – Archbishop Chama’s visit to FreshfordWe have been very fortunate to receive a visit in May by the Very Rev. Albert Chama who is Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Zambia and Archbishop of Central Africa. Members of our International Link Committee took the Archbishop to lunch at the Galleries where we were treated like VIPs and had a lovely meal together.Archbishop Albert also visited our school.Education is something that he said he values highly and is most interested in. He was questioned in assembly with some great questions such as 'what is the church in Africa doing to help the poor?' by some of the children. He then had a full tour of every classroom and met our very own David Woods, school governor. He was particularly interested in school governance and how schools are held to account.Theof a copper miner who spent his working life below ground, the Archbishop was one of a family of nine.After schooling, hesociology, economics and history whilst at the same time working during the day to maintain a wife and family.During these many years he was aware of a persistentto the priesthood and went on to study theology, having to stop his studiesof personalconstraints andwife's illness and subsequent death.Since then he has married again and has progressed to become Archbishop of Central Africa which includes the countries of Zimbabwe,, Malawi and Zambia.Archbishop Chama is also Chair of the Anglican Alliance's board of trustees which works tothe Anglican response to the global challenges of poverty and injustice in our fast-changing world.It responds to people in need and works to transform unjust structures, witnessing to the love of God and is now established as a charitable company with a global board.It's aim is to bring together churches and agencies and strengthen development, relief and advocacythe Anglican Communion and it has a solid programmebuilding, a voice in international advocacy and a record of support for church communities hit by disasters.To this end he has had personal discussions with President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe with a view to improving the conditions of life for Anglican congregations in that country.year he was involved in conversations with the bishops of the Anglican Church in Canada, US and various African countries and came to visit Freshford on his way to a conference in Coventry concentrating on the healing of differences in the Anglican Communion. At theological college he met Father Chama Kashimoto who is nowPriest in Solwezi, Chibwika andwhich comprisesParish linked with Freshford, Limpley Stoke and Hinton Charterhouse.He has been very encouraging of our link, providing personal hospitality to Rev. Simon Robinson andWright when they visited Zambia and helping with plans for a return visit fromKashimoto and two or threethis coming autumn.
Archbishop Albert ChansArchbishop of Central Africavisited the Parish briefly on 19 March and metwith some of the Parishioners
OCTOBER VISIT BY FOUR MEMBERS OF THE PARISH IN NORTHERN ZAMBIA LINKED WITH FRESHFORD, LIMPLEY STOKE AND HINTON CHARTERHOUSE THROUGH THE DIOCESE OF BATH AND WELLS.Our guests from Solwezi in Zambia, Rev. Fr. Chama Kashimoto the Parish Priest, Kherina Banda his Warden, Bronson Chiofu, Churchwarden and Sharon Matale, Treasurer, began their time with us, after recovering from a very long and gruelling journey, with a visit to Bath Abbey. They then visited and heard about the work of the Genesis Trust, a charity based in Bath and supported by all three churches. Dr Kathy Gibbs kindly took Sharon Mutale who is a nurse specialising in pre and post natal care, to see our surgeries in Freshford and Beckington and to the RUH. The following day a quick tour of Bath was followed by a lunch at the home of John and Elizabeth Kett White where they met their hosts for their stay in the parish. In the evening a popular Parish Harvest Supper was held in Limpley Stoke Village Hall. With a map of Zambia to fill in, a Zambia quiz and a new song taught to the assembled company by our guests, a presentation about the life and work of their parish and all this accompanied by excellent food, it was night to remember, full of laughter and fellowship. The following day there was Harvest Festival at St John’s Hinton Charterhouse, where Rev. Father Kashimoto assisted Rev. Simon Robinson during the service. Our Zambian brothers and sisters once again sang for the congregation in a way that could only lift one’s spirits and gave a flavour of the vibrancy of worship in their home church. St John’s was presented with a plate depicting the Zambian flag, for use in Communion services. Then, on a very cold autumn morning after the service, the visitors were taken to the Galleries to see the Apple Day in action, and were able to meet more members of the local community and to taste some of the apple juice on offer. All in all this was a very successful and uplifting first four days of the visit. There will more information on their activities in the December edition of the Parish News.
In the second half of their visit, our visitors from Zambia: the Rev. Fr. Chama Kashimoto, Bronson Chiofu, Kherina Banda and Sharon Matale were out and about in the community. They visited Freshford School for an assembly followed by a school tour. A light lunch at The Galleries was enjoyed with International Committee members who had been involved in the Link since its inception. In the afternoon the visitors were taken to Dorothy House and given a guided tour of the facilities with an opportunity to talk to staff and patients there. It was a very moving visit, with strong evidence of a positive atmosphere and such a lot of laughter. The impressions of Dorothy House Chapel, with its 180-degree views of the beautiful surrounding countryside, at the centre of the love, care, skill and spirituality which encompass the whole place, were stunning and poignant. The next day the group visited Wells in the rain, explored the Cathedral with lunch in the Cloisters, and were kindly met by Bishop Peter of Taunton - one of the highlights of their week. The final day began with the School’s Harvest Festival Service in St Peter’s Church, a joyful event, followed by an interactive session in the Old Bakery with committee members, sharing personal impressions and highlights with one another. There followed a Farewell Liturgy in St Peter’s led by Rev. Simon Robinson, which offered a last opportunity to enjoy Sharon’s gorgeous singing and ended with prayers for the journey. Lunch in the Old Bakery for those closely involved was followed by handing over gifts for the church in Zambia and somewhat emotional farewells. A huge thank you is extended to David Woods, Mary Wang and Tony White who opened their homes and gave hospitality to our guests. Thanks are also due to Hugh and Jill Wright, Lesley and Mac MacKenzie, John and Elizabeth Kett White, Penny and Randolph Murray, Mary and John Worgan and Malcolm and Elizabeth Chatwin for hosting meals and to Kathy Tucker for spearheading the catering for the Parish Supper.The visit has been a bit like discovering an unexpected branch of one’s family, meeting them for the first time, being greeted with extraordinary warmth and finding a fascinating mixture of similarities and differences interwoven with the golden chord of love binding us all together.