Since the late 1970s Bath and Wells Diocese has been linked with the five Anglican Dioceses in Zambia. As a result of exchange visits and parish links, personal contact has been established and the chain of prayer and fellowship strengthened. We are Companions in Mission which involves a willingness to trust, be honest and share. This means:
Praying for each other
Learning from each other
Challenging each other
Meeting each other
In 2005 a Link was formed between the Parish of Mwenda and our Team Churches. St John the Baptist, Mwenda is a huge parish in Luapula Diocese, the newest diocese in Zambia, in the remote north east of the country.
St Johns, Mwenda. Sadly the roof was damaged last year.Although one Parish, there are five congregations, namely St John at Mwenda, St Joseph at Bunda Chunsa (about 40 minutes drive from St Johns), St Peter at Koama Makasa (also about 40 minutes away), St Barnabas at Mung Anga,(20 minutes drive) and St Paul at Mupeta (a one hour drive in the opposite direction from the other churches). These are scattered across an area larger than Somerset with only one priest to serve them. Ministry is provided under the most difficult circumstances - roads that are soil tracks, little or no transport and a climate that means some areas are totally inaccessible for months in the rainy season.
Father Kelvin holding the stoles that were presented at St Joseph's, Bunda Chunsa
The Team Link was greatly strengthened when a group of four people from the Team visited Mwenda in early 2007. After the visit in 2007 Mrs June Best wrote: The experience gained from a visit is priceless. It is a privilege to witness God at work in this parish where providing the basic necessities for life is a real challenge; Sadly, Fr Joseph, the parish priest of Mwenda, died shortly after the visit. Subsequently the parish was without a priest until August 2009 when Fr Kelvin Lubeya was appointed. Fr Kelvin, a young priest, straight from college had moved from the Copper Belt with his wife, and young son.