Having experienced falling snow for the first time in their lives, two visiting Sudanese bishops have now returned to Sudan, where temperatures are in the high 30’s celsius, accompanied by a visiting group from the diocese, the first such group to travel from West Yorkshire & the Dales.
As part of the partnership with Sudan, Bishop Hassan James and Bishop Abdu Al-Nur Kodi have spent a week visiting the Bradford and Ripon areas. They first met with the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Joanne Dodds (pic right with Dean of Bradford, Jerry Lepine), before a week visiting churches, taking part in services at both Bradford and Ripon Cathedrals, including the welcome service in Bradford for the new Archdeacon, Ven Andy Jolley, and meeting people and groups across the region.
Bishop Hassan (pictured left), the assistant Bishop of Kadugli, who worked with cows and sheep as a young man, met with farmers John and William Dawson of Bleak Bank - a dairy and sheep farm (pictured below right with Revd Canon Ian Greenhalgh) - and Sheila Mason and her son James at Keasden Head. There they raise prize-winning British Blue cattle and have opened a small visitor centre. Sheila and her mum Hazel served up home-grown beef stew for lunch before Bishop Hassan left for Burton Mothers' Union and Ingleton's Lent Group.
A group from the diocese have now flown back to Khartoum with the two bishops, to experience life in the country at first hand. With an Islamic government and civil war in the south, it is a difficult time for the Christian church, as both bishops movingly expressed during their visit.
The group of three, Bishop Toby Howarth, the Bishop of Bradford, John Poole, and curate Revd Ben Randall will meet up with four other visitors from Leicester and Salisbury dioceses – the first time a group have been ableto travel to the country since the link began.
The Kadugli Appeal, launched by Bishop Nick in 2011, is helping to provide money for those in desperate need. So far it has raised around £200,000, including Gift Aid.
For more about the link visit http://www.westyorkshiredales.anglican.org/sudan