Strength in Partnership

by Gerry Lynch last modified 20 Apr, 2015 07:30 PM

Event at Wilton celebrates strength of Deanery Partnerships with South Sudanese and Sudanese Dioceses.

Strength in Partnership

Canon Ian Woodward, Vicar of the Close and an experienced veteran of Sudan matters, addresses delegates.

Delegates from around the Diocese and beyond gathered in Wilton on Saturday 19 April to discuss and celebrate the continued health and strength of the links between Deaneries here and Dioceses in South Sudan and Sudan.

Two presentations focused on the links between Chalke Deanery and the Diocese of Cuiebet, and Devizes Deanery and the Diocese of Kajo-Keji. Local delegates were also delighted to meet John Poole, who made the long journey down from Yorkshire to discuss the link between Bradford and the Diocese of Khartoum, which has faced unique pressures since the partition of Sudan in 2011.

Bishop Samuel Peni of the Diocese of Nzara is visiting their link Deanery of Wimborne and friends around the Diocese and also attended the meeting. He took Saturday afternoon off and watched Bournemouth AFC's latest match in their serious challenge for Premiership Status with Chris Tebbutt, Vicar of Canford Magna and Rural Dean of Wimborne.

Kate Brankin, who manages the online and social media presence of the link, and also works for SoMA, a ministry with a particularly strong presence in South Sudan. She is now a regular visitor to the world's newest independent nation. She said of the day, "We were inspired and encouraged to see Deanery partnerships in action. Despite challenges in communication, especially in the more rural areas with limited resources, they continue to function well."

The Revd Ron Hart, an active member of the Sudans Partnership, said, "We enjoyed wonderful presentations which showed how deeply people had been influenced by South Sudanese and Sudanese Christianity. We need to think more about how we in this country can learn from our brothers and sisters in the Sudans, not just what we feel we can do for them."

Julia Taylor, a parishioner in Edington Priory, attended the event, and said, "It has been an eye opener. I haven't had much to do with the Partnership. Through the presentations, I learned and enormous amount about my local Deanery link, between Devizes and Kajo-Keji, but also about the Sudans Partnership and Sudan Medical Fund more generally."

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