Caption: The Archdeacon of Exeter, Christopher Futcher, and Sue Parks represented the Diocese of Exeter at the annual synod of our companion link diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. The Synod brings together clergy and lay participants from the chaplaincies which are spread across a huge geographical area of the Middle East.
Diocesan Companion Links
Having friends who share the same vision and face similar challenges but are working them out in different places can be an enriching experience.
Hearing news of one another’s highs and lows and journeying together in mutual prayer and encouragement is what lies at the heart of our Diocesan Companion Links.
The tripartite link between Exeter Diocese, Thika Diocese and Cyprus and the Gulf Dioceses was reaffirmed during Bishop Robert’s recent visit to Thika. The reaffirmation of the covenant was signed by Bishop Robert, Bishop Julius of Thika and Bishop Michael Cyprus of and the Gulf in October 2016. The vision for this link between the three dioceses is one of enlivening and enriching our mutual experience of faith.
As the Exeter Diocese we are on this journey with the following overseas dioceses:
Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf
The Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf embraces Cyprus, Iraq, Yemen and the Gulf States including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dabi and Oman.
It is an enormous Diocese which spans approximately 2,000 miles. In Cyprus there are several Chaplaincies which serve congregations of expatriate and many international Christians. Chaplaincies also provide a Mission to seafarers while Military Chaplains minister to service and UN personnel.
Every deanery in the Diocese of Exeter is encouraged to have a link to one of these Chaplaincies to share information and offer prayer support.
As a Diocese we encourage our parishes to purchase Palm Crosses from palms which have grown in the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. We also offer some financial support in the selection and training of ordinands for the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf.
To find out more about this link contact the The Venerable Christopher Futcher, Archdeacon of Exeter.
Diocese of Thika, Kenya
The Diocese of Thika is in central Kenya and the vision for this link is one of enlivening and enriching our mutual experience of Mission.
Thika is a young Diocese having been established in 1998 but has experienced explosive growth over that time. We hope that through our link with Thika we may learn some valuable lessons that will stimulate growth in the Exeter Diocese.
Parishes across the Diocese have links with parishes in Thika and through direct contact enjoy exchange of news and requests for prayer support. Some parishes have been inspired to support in practical ways through fundraising for specific projects and ministries in the Diocese of Thika. There has been a number of highly successful exchanges with visitors from Thika coming to Devon and vice versa.
Prayer for Kenya
Loving Father, we lift the people of Kenya to you, and especially our brothers and sisters in our companion diocese of Thika.
- We pray for peace and security with wise leadership for the nation.
- We pray for cooperation between the parties and full implementation of the new constitution.
- May the government work with justice and integrity and address the needs of the poor.
- We pray for rain in due season and that it will be sufficient for a good harvest.
- We pray for Bishop Julius and give thanks for the rapidly growing church in Thika.
- May your people have grace to continue working for justice and reconciliation and find more resources for reaching out and caring for the poor.
- We give thanks for the enthusiasm with which Tearfund’s Umoja programme has been received in the poorest areas of the diocese. May this continue to inspire church and community to work their way out of poverty using the resources they have.
May your kingdom grow and your will be done, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
To find out more please contact Christopher Futcher or Jane Inwood by emailing Thika Link.
Partnership in the Gospel: A report based on the vision of the Archbishop of Melanesia.
The Melanesian Mission is an Anglican mission agency that provides support to the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM) through prayer, people and giving. ACoM covers the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Vanuatu and works through parishes, church schools, the Mothers’ Union and the four Anglican Religious orders in the region – the Melanesian Brothers, the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia, the Community of the Sisters of the Church, and the Society of Saint Francis.
Exeter Diocese has a long association with the people of Melanesia, stretching back to their first bishop – John Coleridge Patteson, who came from Feniton and was curate at Alfington, in East Devon.
By building a relationship between the people of Melanesia and Britain, today the Melanesian Mission aims to be:
- a channel that fosters a sense of communion and Christian community between the UK and Melanesia
- a voice for Melanesians and ACoM at times when their own voice cannot be heard or needs extra support
The work of the Melanesian Mission is:
- to help people in the UK and in Melanesia to share and deepen Christian spirituality, relationships and prayer for the benefit of both regions
- to speak out on issues that affect Melanesia and its peoples
- to work with the ACoM to emphasise the values and benefits of Christian education work in Melanesia and the UK
- to support the work carried out by Diocesan, Church, Companion and School Partnerships.
There are a number of ways that Devon parishes, congregations and schools can link with Melanesia through prayer, people and giving. School partnerships have been successful in the Diocese, with a number of joint school projects, learning opportunities and teacher exchanges.
To find out more about this link contact, contact Executive Officer – Mrs Katie Drew, Melanesian Mission, 21 The Burlands, Feniton, Honiton, EX14 3UN, email, website www.mmuk.net, Twitter @MelanesianM, Tel: 01404 851656.
The following article by Alex Leger is an extract taken from the Summer 2017 edition of Melanesia News: Disappearing Islands
Roman Catholic Diocese of Bayeux-Lisieux, France
This link has enjoyed the opportunity to meet and explore matters of common concern.
This is achieved through a bi-annual pattern of:
- A preacher exchange during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
- A small conference style gathering (theological symposium)
It is particularly popular with those in the diocese with a love for and a working knowledge of French!
To find out more about this link contact the Revd Dr David Nixon