The Dioceses

The Diocese of Central Zimbabwe

The Anglican Diocese of Central Zimbabwe covers roughly 30,000 square miles – about the size of Scotland.  Its base is the town of Gweru in the Midlands province, midway between Harare and Bulawayo.  The diocese has around 35 parishes. Some of these are parishes in urban areas that once served a British ex-pat community.  Others serve  huge high-density suburbs of low-cost housing and one or two serve mining or industrial communities. The remainder are poor rural parishes usually reached by lengthy travel on dirt roads, sometimes with up to a dozen widespread out-stations.  

The demands on clergy are high. Rural parishes are often first postings for young priests and conditions are basic. This is especially hard for wives with small children.  Other more senior clergy often take on more than one role. Some have a day job while still managing a church with up 600 or more members. Many others also have other roles in the diocese such as youth chaplain, training responsibilities, treasurer, archdeacon, building project manager etc. 

The diocese also runs four primary schools, a high school, a farm, a horticultural project and a clinic.Churches in Zimbabwe are full. Their worship is vibrant and there are many young people.

Bishops Ishmael Mukuwanda and Jonathan Clark

Bishop Ishmael Mukuwanda was previously a non-stipendiary minister working as a mining engineer. He took a huge salary cut to become Bishop in 1999. He has worked hard to make the diocese self-sufficient, and that remains his long-term goal.

Bishop Jonathan Clark was consecrated at Southwark Cathedral on Thursday 21 March 2012 and took up his duties as Bishop of Croydon in May 2012.

The Episcopal Area of Croydon

The Croydon Episcopal Area of the Diocese of Southwark extends from areas of significant ethnic and social diversity in the north of Croydon and Sutton, through the rapidly evolving landscape of suburbia and into the countryside, country towns and urban overspill of Surrey. It includes some of the most prosperous places in the country and places of real poverty and hardship. Neither of these are always where one might expect to find them: the food bank in Redhill meets an urgent need, while parts of Upper Norwood are becoming rapidly more prosperous.

The demographics and church life of the Area are changing quickly, in particular across the suburban swathe which covers most of Sutton, the southern half of Croydon and Surrey (broadly) down to the M25. There, churches which were used to a fairly comfortable life are beginning to realise that they are in a missionary situation. Congregations are ageing and falling as the last generation of ‘Christendom Christians’ is no longer being replaced with younger people joining the church. Churches which had flourished on stability and continuity are now needing to re-examine their identity and mission and reach out to a generation who will not automatically come through the doors. The incomers to this area are not quite as prosperous as they used to be – the rich now stay in inner London – and are far more ethnically and religiously diverse.

In the north of the Area, churches have already got used to a post-Christendom style of mission and ministry, and some are flourishing. South of the M25 (in broad terms) Christendom is alive and apparently well: people do still come to church as a natural part of their life in society, and there is usually an open door for churches in local organisations.

In the Episcopal Area, there are two Archdeaconries, eight deaneries, 101 parishes, 124 churches, 96 stipendiary clergy (not including the Bishop and Archdeacons), 53 non-stipendiary (or self- supporting) ministers, 63 licensed Readers (and a further 31 Readers with permission to officiate) and 77 Southwark Pastoral Auxiliaries. The total electoral roll (2015) is 22,981. There are 21 primary schools (including infant and junior schools) and four secondary schools, plus three private schools with a Church of England Foundation and a number of other private schools besides. There are six hospitals. In the last two decades the Area has changed demographically, racially and culturally making parts of it more typical of South London as a whole. Many Anglican churches in the north of the Area are now mainly Black and Minority Ethnic in congregational make-up and leadership. Churches in the centre of the Area are only now experiencing an increased diversity of ethnicity in their congregations and of faiths in their local communities, while some communities in the south of the Area are still largely homogeneous.

By way of comparison !!