Since 2006 our Benefice (St Francis and St Mary’s) has been linked with St Andrew’s Mission Church, Gweru in Zimbabwe. Gweru is one of the Zimbabwe’s largest cities with a population of about 140,000 and is in the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe, which is linked with the Croydon Episcopal Area. St Andrew’s is a mission parish with a thriving congregation of 300 or more people who are in the process of building their own church. This has been a major undertaking, particularly in view of the economic difficulties in Zimbabwe in recent years but the building is now nearing completion.
In June 2010 we had the great pleasure of meeting the Rector of St Andrew’s, the Revd. Ignatios Makumbe, when he visited the Croydon area. Ignatios was celebrant at the main Communion service at St Francis’ and during the service he told us more about the church and congregation at St Andrew’s, his work, and life in Zimbabwe at present. He also led us in singing a couple of songs from Zimbabwe. After the service there was chance to talk informally with him over a buffet lunch. It was wonderful to have this opportunity to hear more about life and worship at St Andrew’s which helps to make our link with the parish stronger and more personal.
Zimbabwe Appeal Fund
As part of our link with Zimbabwe we are involved in raising money for the Diocesan Appeal Fund. We regularly sell second-hand books and small gift items and have occasional cake sales. We also hold special social events such as the Ritz Tea Party and Barn Dance this year.
A prayer for the People of Zimbabwe
We pray for the suffering people of Zimbabwe, forced to live amid deterioration, disease and despair.
We raise our voices on their behalf.
As truth-tellers we want to proclaim 'This is not good', It is not how God desires our world to be.
Loving Father, look after the people of that sad but beautiful land, Care for the little ones, Comfort the dying ones,
And into this hour of darkness may the light of your new dawn begin to shine.