The final two weeks of the Bishop’s Lent Call for 2018 are about the projects and initiatives that we are supporting in our Link Dioceses in Zimbabwe.
The political situation in Zimbabwe has undergone major changes in the last year and the country now has a new President – Emmerson Mnangagwa, who announced in January that the country would have “free, credible, fair and indisputable” elections by the middle of 2018.
This will be a difficult time for the people of Zimbabwe, no matter what the outcome is. Change often brings uncertainty and, even though Zimbabwe is a country where there has been sustained uncertainty for a long period of time, there will still be new situations to for the people to adapt to.
The bishops in our Link Dioceses: Bishop Ishmael in Central Zimbabwe, Bishop Erick in Manicaland, Bishop Godfrey in Masvingo and Bishop Cleophas in Matabeleland have asked that the people of the Diocese of Southwark pray for the peace of Zimbabwe and the safety of its people. Bishop Chad Gandiya, the Bishop of Harare (which is twinned with Rochester Diocese), suggested in a letter he wrote in November 2017 that people should use a revised version of the prayer for Africa:
God bless Zimbabwe
Guide her leaders
Guard her people
And give her peace. Amen!
This Lent we are focusing on schools in our Link Dioceses, which will help young people to grow and progress to be part of what we hope will be a bright future for Zimbabwe by giving them the best education possible . Throughout the country, Church schools are a very important part of the Church’s work.
Over the next two weeks we hope to have short films from all of the Bishops of our Link Dioceses and we start today with a message from Bishop Ishmael Mukuwanda, the Bishop of Central Zimbabwe, who is due to retire shortly: