Parish to parish links are a key element of the Croydon / Central Zimbabwe Link relationships. Over the years links between parishes in Zimbabwe and parishes in England have come and gone, usually as people and priests come and go in parishes. In many of the parishes strong personal friendships and relationships are built.
Starting a Link
The requirements for starting a link with a parish or a project in the Central Diocese of Zimbabwe is a two-way process involving the both halves of the Link – in England and Zimbabwe. Both Bishop Ignatius and Bishop Jonathan are keen to encourage links and develop relationships between believers in both places.
If you and your parish would like to establish a link, please contact Revd Len Abrams or Rosemary Kempsell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Rosemary and Len are co-chairs of the Croydon half of the Link – we are currently looking for a committee member to take on this role.) You will be sent a letter (See an example here – [PDF document]) and will be requested to fill in a form to begin the process (Link to form). We take the starting of a new link very seriously so that the hopes and expectations of all parties remain realistic and can be supported. Both Bishops oversee the process.
After considerable experience, both Diocese require that all moneys sent between the parishes are sent through the Link Committee accounts and transfer processes. See the information on how to financially support the Links.
News from Parish Links
In addition to support through the Diocese, the Link administers and supports parish-to-parish links between parishes in Central Zimbabwe and in the Croydon Episcopal Area in England.
St Andrew’s Mkoba is one of the churches that received financial support from their link parish, St Francis West Wickham in the UK. The parish decided to use the money to buy church pews. They engaged a local carpenter who designed cheaper but beautiful and durable pews using local materials.
St Cuthbert’s Cathedral also receives money from its link parishes (St Peter & St Paul, Nutfield & St Mary, Bletchingly) to support orphans due to HIV and Aids. The parish adopted these orphans and pays school fees for them. The agreement is that St Cuthbert’s raise part of the money to match the link parish. This project has done wonders and we have seen real life changing experiences in the lives of the beneficiaries. Some of the money is used to buy food for these orphans.
St. Chad’s Shurugwi is linked with St Peter’s, Croydon. Link funds are being used to construct a rectory which is now at roof level. St Chad’s have used the grants received to buy roofing materials – timber and cement tiles. They have engaged a carpenter who is now working on putting up the roof
St. Martin’s Amaveni received a grant from their Link Parish. This was to support them in raising funds to buy a parish vehicle. I am happy to report that the collective effort made it possible for them to realize their dream. The Parish vehicle was bought and they are now focusing on other projects.