Fete Raises £8k for Clinics in World's Newest Country

by Gerry Lynch last modified 02 Jul, 2013 03:00 PM

A fete at Salisbury Cathedral has raised more than £8,300 for health clinics in South Sudan, the world’s newest independent country – and one of its poorest.

Fete Raises £8k for Clinics in World's Newest Country

Bishop Anthony Poggo of Kajo-Keji gets his eye in at a cathedral table tennis match against the Bishop of Sherborne.

Salisbury played host to a bevy of bishops and people from the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) during June, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the link between the Diocese of Salisbury and the ECS. The ECS is the sister church of the Church of England in two African nations, Sudan and South Sudan. The summer fete was one of the focal points of the celebrations, giving the Sudanese visitors a chance to experience a staple of English summer life.

Chris Dragonetti, a Salisbury resident and worshipper at the Cathedral, who helped organise the event, said:

“This fete was a classic of the type, except on a scale fit for a cathedral. As well as the usual bookstalls and bric-a-brac, the fete came complete with the Amesbury Town Band and two unusual means of transport – a vintage Bentley and even a pair of camels! Perhaps most popular of all were the cake stalls run by two Salisbury parishes, Harnham and St Francis.

“Also typical of the English summer was the unsettled weather. It had been planned to hold the fete in the garden of South Canonry, the Bishop of Salisbury’s home, but a typically mixed forecast meant moving proceedings indoors to the west end of the Cathedral.”

Overall, the Fete raised in excess of £8,300 for the Diocesan Sudan Medical Fund which supports health care clinics in South Sudan with medical supplies and staff training. South Sudan became independent in 2011 after more than half a century of civil war, which killed 2 million people and drove a further 4 million from their homes.

Although it has significant oil reserves, and potentially enormous export markets, it will take many years to repair the damage and build up South Sudan’s physical and social infrastructure. Access to health services is particularly limited, and South Sudanese women are more likely to die in childbirth or shortly after than those in any other country on the planet.

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