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A heavenly visit

by Michael Ford last modified 09 Oct, 2019 03:05 PM

Did you know that Bradford-on Avon is known as 'Bradford-in-Heaven' in Sudan?

A heavenly visit

A view across the Town Bridge at Bradford on Avon

John Joy, Bradford Deanery Lay Chairman explains:

"Bradford-on-Avon Deanery has had a link with Kadugli Diocese in the Republic of Sudan for many years, but this was strengthened by a visit by the Rural Dean Andrew Evans in 2017 to join in the celebration for the creation of Sudan as a new Anglican province.

"Andrew was able to visit Kadugli at that time by joining the Archbishop of Canterbury’s arranged visit to the city. Due to a slight misunderstanding Kadugli referred to Bradford-on-Avon as “Bradford-in-Heaven”.

"Sadly that is still only an aspiration!"

But this month a team from the "heavenly" deanery will be going back to Kadugli to conduct a conference aimed at strengthening the local church there.

In recent years the deanery has paid for the construction of 2 maize grinding mills and the Peace Primary School in Kadugli. The connection continues to go from strength to strength, and recently Bishop Hassan invited a team from Bradford to conduct a Rooted in Jesus conference in Kadugli.

'Rooted in Jesus' is a discipleship course written for Africa but for some time the political situation in Sudan made it doubtful whether the conference could go ahead. Then, following the peace deal in July, church leaders in Kadugli advised that the conference could proceed.

The team of Andrew Evans, Revd Barry Blackford, Christopher Fielden, Deanery Lay Chair John Joy, Ben Jarvis and Peter Waterman (all from Deanery churches), had to rush to get visas, injections, air tickets and so on in time for departure for Khartoum via Cairo on 5th October, travelling by road down to Kadugli, where the conference will get under way.

John adds:

"In all this, we have been very conscious of God’s leading and of the prayer and financial support of the churches in the deanery. For a further report, watch this space!"

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