Zimbabwe Link

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.

2018 Update

It’s been some time since we heard from our link parish of St Andrew’s.  The reason for this is that their parish priest, Revd Ignatius Makumbe, has recently become the new Bishop of Central Zimbabwe, replacing Bishop Ismael Mukuwanda, who has retired. Ignatius has been replaced at St Andrew’s by Revd Ronald Chikuyo.  We have emailed him to introduce ourselves, but have yet to receive a reply.  No doubt his new responsibilities are keeping him well occupied!


However, we have heard from Ignatius, in his role as Bishop, who recently emailed Bishop Jonathan, Bishop of Croydon, to update him on the current situation in Zimbabwe.  Ignatius wrote:


In Zimbabwe we are seeing queues at fuel service stations and prices on some commodities have doubled and some disappearing from the shelves. We keep trusting God. I am well and the Diocese. We are facing challenges of cholera and typhoid in our cities. Large gatherings are discouraged and for our diocesan celebrations we have dropped the number of invited people from 1200 to less than 300, and we are not providing food for the celebrations. Celebration without food and drinks is not African. Sad to get to this departure from tradition.


Clearly the situation in Zimbabwe is not good, despite the departure of Robert Mugabe, and Bishop Jonathan has asked us to keep Zimbabwe in our prayers.