Parishioners from two far-flung corners of the globe are learning from each other over the next two weeks.
Church goers and clergy from the Wakefield and Huddersfield Episcopal Areas are spending time this September with their link parishes in the dioceses of Mara, Tarime and Rorya in north west Tanzania, Africa.
The group of seventeen is being led by the Revd Canon Stephen Spencer, our Tanzania Link Officer and Oriel Kelly, Mara Link Officer. The group includes many first timers to Tanzania including the Pontefract Archdeacon, the Ven Peter Townley, three representatives from Halifax Minster including the vicar of Halifax, the Revd Canon Hilary Barber, two visitors from Wrenthorpe parish including the vicar, the Revd Ruth Harris, six parishioners from Lupset, and one from Golcar, Huddersfield and Monk Bretton, Barnsley.
Each group will be visiting their own link parish in Tanzania over the first 12 days of September, to build up friendship, worship together and support each other in practical ways. There will also be visits to Issenye and Bunda Secondary Schools, Mara Primary School, Bunda Bible College, the Discipleship and Development programme and agricultural projects at the Mogabiri and Buhemba rural development centres.
Pictured here are young people from a singing group from Issenye Secondary School
The visitors will also enjoy a boat trip on Lake Victoria and a one- day safari in the Serengeti National Park before they return home on September 13
Tanzania Link Officer, the Revd Canon Stephen Spencer said: “It will the first time in Africa for many of the group and you can never be exactly sure what is going to happen on these visits – but that is part of the excitement.
“But based on previous experience, everyone will come back touched and inspired in some way,” he added.
The historic Wakefield Diocese has been linked with Mara, Rorya and Tarime in Tanzania for over 25 years and in that time has enjoyed many visits both here and over there. Parishes have raised almost £2m in that time and supported a wide range of projects and worked together with their colleagues in Africa to set up water projects, rural and agricultural enterprises, a goat library and a number of educational projects including a Bible College and schools. In May this year, a group of trained evangelists from Tanzania came over to the Wakefield and Huddersfield Episcopal Areas to help support us here in our work to spread the Gospel out on the streets and help us better understand mission on the ground.