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In from the cold Life in the Church of Cuba during its exile from TEC

Fighting gender-based violence How one Anglican changed a nation’s law

Doing the Lambeth Walk Meet the man planning the 2020 Lambeth Conference anglican world issue 148 APRIL 2018


e d i to r i a l

Keeping our eyes on the prize THIS IS A season of reflection and self-sacrifice: a time to pause and prayerfully reconsider. I began Lent on a silent retreat with my colleagues at the Anglican Communion Office. It was a valuable day together as we examined Matthew chapter 6 and thought about where our “treasure” is. During Lent, we looked forward. We were on a journey than ended at Easter, that moment in history where the ultimate act of sacrifice was made for us all by the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes in our Christian life, our journey of faith is smooth and quick. But often we are on a hard road, where every step forward is a struggle and every victory en route is hard-fought. It is then that we need to keep our eyes fixed on the prize. In this issue of Anglican World, we read several stories from around the world of brothers and sisters in Christ pressing on in very challenging circumstances. The social care ministry of Elizabeth Bustillos Cepeda in north-eastern Mexico is one example. Her parish is caught in the murderous crossfire of wars between drug gangs – sometimes quite literally. She is also working with migrants from Latin America. Elizabeth is sowing seeds of hope that an end to the violence is possible. We also read of Robyn Boosey, a young woman who worked to “The work of reconciliation and building help change the law in the United Kingdom. The odds against her were bridges of understanding can be daunting but she has continued to press on. And we have the second part of our series looking at the Church painstakingly slow.” in the Province of South East Asia. It is encouraging to read how the Church there is growing. The work is hard but it is inspired by the vision to see missionary deaneries in six countries become selfsustaining dioceses that are able to plant churches and sustain themselves. An exciting development has been the creation of the Anglican Inter Faith Commission, which met for the first time in Cairo in February. This work is something particularly close to my heart. You can read more about it on our website bit.ly/AC-AIFN. The work of reconciliation and building bridges of understanding can be painstakingly slow. We have the extraordinary story of a church in Spain using circus skills to teach how young Christians and Muslims can learn to live together. And in this edition, we are introduced to Phil George. It may be early 2018, but Phil’s eyes are firmly focused on 2020 because it is his job to deliver the next Lambeth Conference that summer. It is a mammoth and complex task but Phil is optimistic that the outcome will be positive for the Communion and beyond. I hope you enjoy this edition of Anglican World.

Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon Secretary General of the Anglican Communion



anglican world issue 148 APRIL 2018



world Inside this issue ISSUE 148 APRIL 2018

Produced by The Anglican Communion Office St Andrew’s House 16 Tavistock Crescent London W11 1AP United Kingdom Registered Charity 7311767 Tel +44 20 7313 3900 Fax +44 20 7313 3999 E-mail aco@anglicancommunion.org Web www.anglicancommunion.org Serving the Instruments of Communion: The Archbishop of Canterbury The Lambeth Conference The Anglican Consultative Council The Primates’ Meeting and Anglicans and Episcopalians in 39 provinces and more than 165 countries President The Archbishop of Canterbury Secretary General The Most Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon Editor Gavin Drake Executive Editor Adrian Butcher Editorial Assistant Amelia Brown Any comments, questions or contributions should be sent to the editor: news@anglicancommunion.org Subscriptions: E-mail aw.subscriptions@ anglicancommunion.org UK £2.50 / US$4 / €3.50 for one issue. UK £10 / US$16 / €14 for four issues. See our website for how to subscribe to further copies of the magazine – visit http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ resources/shop.aspx Design and Layout Marcus Thomas e-mail info@marcusthomas.co.nz Printed by CPO, Garcia Estate, Canterbury Road, Worthing, W. Sussex BN13 1BW All original material may be reproduced by Member Churches without further permission of the Anglican Consultative Council. Acknowledgement and a copy of the publications are requested. Permission to reproduce copyrighted work should be sought from the owner. ANGLICAN WORLD IS PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION OFFICE


Archbishop Josiah on challenging circumstances 2




The latest from around the Anglican world 4

In from the cold Life in the Church of Cuba during its exile from TEC


Introducing the work of the Anglican Indigenous Network 6 Fighting gender-based violence How one Anglican changed a nation’s law


Doing the Lambeth Walk Meet the man planning the 2020 Lambeth Conference

Ministry in the crossfire of Mexico’s drug gangs 8

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Cover photo Members of St Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, make a pilgrimage to the Church of Cuba (see page 22).


The Anglican Church of the Central America Region and the Church of Ireland 10



Church growth in South East Asia could see six new countrywide dioceses 12 ¢ FEATURE

It may be two years away, but the 2020 Lambeth Conference is already taking shape 14 ¢ FEATURE

Committed to change, how one Anglican woman changed her country’s law on gender-based violence 17 ¢ FEATURE

Circus skills are helping the Church of Spain reach Arabicspeaking migrants 20


Delegates at the Anglican Indigenous Network 2017 meeting share the Eucharist with Archbishop Fred Hiltz at Church House, Toronto, Canada (see page 6).


How has the Chuch in Cuba fared during its enforced exile from the US-based Episcopal Church 22 ¢ THE LAST WORD

Introducing the Anglican Communion’s Director for Theological Education 24 anglican world issue 148 APRIL 2018


communion news

hong kong

ANGLICAN CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL TO MEET IN HONG KONG IT has been confirmed that the next meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council – ACC17 – will take place in Hong Kong in April 2019. The ACC is one of the Anglican Communion’s four “Instruments of Communion”, and the only one that includes laity amongst its number. Through its triennial meetings, the ACC and its standing committee sets the agenda for the international work of the Anglican Communion and the Anglican Communion Office, and helps to co-ordinate intra-Communion joint action and programmes across a range of issues.

ACC-16 took place in Lusaka, Zambia, in April 2016

ACC-17 will be shorter than recent gatherings, with the meeting due to start on Sunday 28 April 2019 and conclude on Sunday 5 May. The ACC was first convened in 1971 in Limuru, Kenya. Since then it has met

in Ireland, Trinidad, Canada, England, Nigeria, Singapore, Wales, South Africa, Panama, Scotland, Hong Kong, Jamaica, New Zealand and Zambia.

r wa n d a

LAURENT MBANDA TO BE ARCHBISHOP OF RWANDA THE Bishop of Shyira, Laurent Mbanda, has been elected as Primate and Archbishop of L’Eglise Episcopal au Rwanda – the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, to succeed Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje. “I thank the Lord for the opportunity to serve, I thank my fellow bishops . . . for giving me the gift to serve them. I say it is a gift because when people choose you as a person to chair them, to lead them, it is a gift;

because if they don’t want you, you can’t help them.” Bishop Laurent, who will take on his new role in June, is a former director of the US-based international mission and development agency Compassion. He has lived, studied and worked in Burundi, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the US, and Rwanda.

Archbishop-elect Laurent Mbanda new zealand

DON TAMIHERE IS NEW ARCHBISHOP FOR MAORI THE Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ANZP) has chosen Bishop Don Tamihere as its senior bishop for the Maori tikanga – or cultural stream – of the Church. The ANZP Church is unique in the Anglican Communion in having three primates of equal status, one for its three tikangas: Polynesia, Pakeha (people of European descent) and Maori. He succeeds Archbishop Brown Turei, who died in January 2017 at the age of 92,



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just two months ahead of his planned retirement. At the age of 45, he will be the youngest primate in the Anglican Communion when he is installed at the end of April. “I’ve honestly felt . . . that people are just waiting for that opportunity to move into a new future,” he said. “There’s lots of excitement about the possibilities, lots of renewed energy. It’s a new season, and we need to step into it – and for me the key is: we move together.”

Archbishop Don Tamihere

Get daily updates at anglicannews.org

west indies

ARCHBISHOP JOHN HOLDER STEPS DOWN AS WEST INDIES PRIMATE THE Church in the Province of the West Indies will elect a new Primate in November after the retirement in February of Archbishop John Holder, who has served the province since being ordained a deacon in 1974. He became a priest in 1976 and was consecrated Bishop of Barbados in 2000. He was elected Archbishop of the province in 2009. At a large celebration to mark his retirement, he commented on the unique opportunities provided to him as a primate of the Anglican Communion. “I was humbled by this experience of being aware that I could make a difference to the

Archbishop John Holder

spiritual development of someone in Sudan, or in Jerusalem, or in South Africa or in Fiji,” he said. “I treasure the wisdom and the experience

which I had access to [guide] my ministry as bishop and Archbishop. There are many times when sound advice was offered and accepted.”

south sudan

JUSTIN BADI ARAMA IS NEW ARCHBISHOP OF SOUTH SUDAN THE Bishop of Maridi, Justin Badi Arama, was due to be installed as the new Archbishop of South Sudan as Anglican World went to press. He was chosen in a very tight election to succeed Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, who has retired at the age of 67 after almost 10 years leading what was at first the Episcopal Province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, before becoming the Church of South Sudan and Sudan, and now the Church of South Sudan. Archbishop Justin Badi

Archbishop Justin described his election as “a good sign of unity in

the Church, and a lesson for the government of South Sudan.” In an interview with ACNS, he described the on-going civil war in the country as “a challenge for the church and for somebody coming into a leadership position at this time,” adding: “But we feel that maybe this is what God has called us ready for such a time; with experience and God’s guidance we will make all the effort to have a united people and change the hearts of people that they might embrace peace and work for real reconciliation and unity – not just political reconciliation.”


SECRETARY GENERAL INSTALLED AS ASSISTANT BISHOP IN SOUTHWARK THE Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has been installed as an honorary assistant bishop in the Church of England’s Diocese of Southwark. The installation service took place during a meeting of the diocesan synod in March. Dr Idowu-Fearon described the appointment as “a privilege”, saying: “I am very grateful to the diocese and particularly to Bishop Christopher for this honour. My role as Secretary General of the Anglican Communion takes me all over the world but I will maintain a close interest in the diocese and its ministry.

The Bishop of Southwark, Christopher Chessun, with Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon

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network briefing

2017 AIN delegates share the Eucharist with Archbishop Fred Hiltz at Church House, Toronto, Canada. EDWARD HANOHANO / DIOCESE OF HAWAII

Network Briefing: Anglican Indigenous Network AT THE GENERAL Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Vancouver, Canada, in 1983, discussions began on the establishment of an Anglican Indigenous Network (AIN). In 1991 at the General Convention of the US-based Episcopal Church in Phoenix, Arizona, the idea of establishing the AIN was taken further by a meeting convened by the then Anglican Observer to the

“the full partnership of indigenous peoples is essential” 6


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United Nations, Archbishop Sir Paul Reeves. The meeting brought together indigenous Anglicans and their representatives to moot the idea of an indigenous network to coincide with the United Nation’s International Year of the World’s Indigenous People, which was agreed to by American Indians and Alaska Natives, Canadian Natives, Native Hawaiians and Maori. In 1994 at an AIN meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, Aboriginal Anglicans from Australia were added to the network. At the first official meeting of the AIN in 1992 in Kahalu’u, Hawaii, the Anglican Indigenous Network was adopted as the official title of

the network along with this mission statement: “We are indigenous minority peoples living in our own lands. We are committed to the Anglican tradition while affirming our traditional spirituality. We have discovered that we have many things in common: a common spirituality, common concerns, common gifts, and common hopes. We believe that God is leading the Church to a turning point in its history and that the full partnership of indigenous peoples is essential. Therefore we pledge to work together to exercise our leadership in contributing our vision and gifts to transform the life of the Christian community.” Since this first meeting in 1992,

Delegates at the 2017 AIN meeting at Six Nations Reserve on the Grand River Territory in Oshweken, Ontario, Canada. EDWARD HANOHANO / DIOCESE OF HAWAII.

the AIN has met regularly in each of the representative countries. The last meeting, in 2017, was hosted by the Canadian National Indigenous Bishop, the Rt Revd Mark MacDonald, at the Six Nations Reserve on the Grand River Territory, Oshweken, Ontario. AIN’s current chair is the Rt Revd Te Kitohi Pikaahu (Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ANZP)), with steering group members: Mr Charles Hemana and the Revd Dr Paul Reynolds (ANZP); the Rt Revd Mark MacDonald and the Revd Canon Virginia Doctor (Canada); the Revd Dr Bradley Hauff, Ms P Kalani Holokai, and Mr Edward Bruce K Hanohano (TEC); Dr Rose Elu and the

The “Aunties”: (L-R) Aunty Rose Elu (Torres Straight Islands, Australia) & Aunty May Holokai (Hawaii) enjoying a meal together at the 2017 AIN meeting. PAUL REYNOLDS / ANZP

Five indigenous bishops attending 2017 AIN meeting: (L-R) AIN Chair Te Kitohi Pikaahu, Richard Wallace, Lydia Mamakwa, Adam Halkett and Mark MacDonald. EDWARD HANOHANO / DIOCESE OF HAWAII

Revd Daryl McCullough (Australia). Specific recommendations from the 2017 meeting included a resolution to call upon the Provinces of the Anglican Communion to adopt and implement in the life of the Communion, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The AIN is also currently looking at its network membership, where a proposal was put forward to open up the AIN to indigenous peoples who are minorities in their own lands, within the Anglican Communion.

A key outcome from the meeting was to invite the Primates from each of the indigenous Provinces to meet with the AIN, and discuss ways to join together in the ongoing journey of reconciliation and faith within the Anglican Communion. An invitation will also be extended to the Primates of our indigenous Provinces to attend the next AIN meeting in Hawaii in March 2019. If you would like to contact the AIN, or find out more about us, please contact the Rev Dr Paul Reynolds by email: paulfa.reynolds@gmail.com.

2017 AIN delegates attending a service at St Luke’s Anglican Church on Six Nations Reserve on the Grand River Territory in Oshweken, Ontario, Canada. EDWARD HANOHANO / DIOCESE OF HAWAII anglican world issue 148 APRIL 2018


f e at u r e

Basta de violencia DANIEL BECERRIL / REUTERS

A police agent at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Reynosa, in the northern border state of Tamaulipas, Mexico in April 2018

For years, the region of Tamaulipas and the city of Rio Bravos in north-eastern Mexico has been in the crossfire of the drug cartels and Mexican army. In the middle of the violence, a ministry has risen up to address the social concerns growing every day for the people of Tamaulipas and growing numbers of migrants. Amelia Brown reports on the work of the Revd Elizabeth Bustillos Cepeda of the Anglican Church of Mexico, and her Church of San Esteban Protomartyr.

The efforts of the Mexican government to apprehend the cartels have only spread them out across the region



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THE CHURCH OF San Esteban was founded in 1984, but only existed in individuals’ homes. It wasn’t until 2010, when Elizabeth took on the parish, that it had a space of its own. At first, her focus was on solely the needs of the parish. “I worked in the parish ministry like any member of the clergy, but the needs of the area compelled me to focus on a ministry of social justice.” Elizabeth reflected. According to Elizabeth, more than 60 million people have died or disappeared in Mexico in the ensuing violence of the so-called War on Drugs. The efforts of the Mexican government to apprehend the cartels have only spread them out across the region, and disrupting existing alliances has only allowed more factions to form. The three main drug gangs, the Cártel de Sinaloa, Cártel del Golfo, and los Zetas, now with fewer rivals, are active in Tamaulipas. Taking them down will not be quick or easy, especially given the high demand for the drugs in the United States, Elizabeth points out.

The violence between the cartels and the authorities, rival cartels, and even violence within the single gangs, affect all areas of life in Tamaulipas. A commander in the Cártel del Golfo faction, los Metros, enlists university students as hitmen, for their easy access to public spaces. He also gives 10-year-old children weapons and radios, recruiting them as lookouts and soldiers. Many of these children, if not killed by the cartel, end up killed by the army in conflict. In October 2017, school was cancelled for more than two weeks, as no one could leave their homes for fear being caught in the crossfire. In that same month, gunfire between rival factions Escorpiones de Matamoros and los Metros led to the death of a student who had attempted to record the incident on his phone. Another time, the army pursued an armed group of gang members who took refuge in the school around the time that children were going home. An eight-year-old boy died in the crossfire yards from his mother. He



had been hit by 10 bullets. At another point, while she was attempting to alert the army about a drug deal, a soldier warned Elizabeth that if she reported it, there was always a possibility that the lieutenant was in collusion with the cartel, making her and her family targets. Not even the churches are completely free from extortion at the hands of the cartels. Elizabeth shares that while the churches are not a main focus of the cartels, several churches in her community have been given substantial amounts of money from the gangs. Even she, as a minority parish, has been approached, though she turned down their money. The situation is bleaker still, due to the lack of media attention on their situation: the cartels threaten members of the media if they report accurate facts of fatalities. While some people turn to God as a source of strength in these times, according to Elizabeth, the faith of the people in general is weak, and in some cases, they blame the lack of peace on God. As for Elizabeth, she remains unwavering. “The people have a real need for the Word of God and I believe that the necessary measures are being implemented here at San Esteban. We are working hard to sow the seeds of the Gospel and I believe in the future we will reap the fruits.” Elizabeth focuses on providing her congregation a space where

We are working hard to sow the seeds of the Gospel and I believe in the future we will reap the fruits people can be safe, and where they can feel the presence of God. That can mean space for spiritual retreat, discipleship programmes, or youth courses. She hopes to start ecumenical meetings in Río Bravo this year and together fight for the social justice in their region. It is not only the locals of Tamaulipas who find themselves caught in the middle of violence. Migrants from Mexico and other parts of Latin America also find their way to Tamaulipas, on the way – they hope – to the United States. The cartels take advantage of these individuals, and if they have family in the US, they exploit them as well if they can. At first, Elizabeth and the congregation of San Esteban provided food and comfort for three such migrants, but their numbers grew. Soon 60 or more migrants turned to the church and San Esteban could no longer provide for them without aid of their own. Some churches from the

Diocese of West Texas and the USbased Episcopal Church provided support for drinkable water, electric cables, kitchen and dining room and more. The ministry saw from 60 to 300 migrants each week, and Elizabeth hopes to build a shelter to better care for migrants in the future. She also ministers to their physical and mental needs. With the help of a local doctor, she provides minor medical attention for migrants. She also attempts to educate them on the ways of the cartels and offers to help them organise the correct papers. These migrants, however, all want to keep seeking out the “sueño americano” – the American dream – and to continue across the border. Most importantly, though, she listens. “They are people who have suffered much abuse and mistrust, they need to unburden themselves. I give them pastoral counselling, and listen to them, and cheer them up.” Her final hope for the region is that they can overcome the violence around them. “Faced with the growing wave of insecurity and violence in the city of Río Bravos and the surrounding area, I must say to my people: stop this violence!”

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p rov i n c e p ro f i l e s

The Anglican Church of Central America

• The Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America is the Anglican Province in Central Ameria • Of an estimated population of 35 million, more than 30,000 are Anglicans in Central America. • In 1957, the Anglican presence in Central America combined the

churches in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica into the Missionary District of the US-based Episcopal Church under David Richards as its first Bishop. Prior to this, Anglicanism only existed as chaplaincies to English immigrants and their descendents. • Supported by the Lambeth Conference in 1958 and 1968, serious efforts were made in Central America to change from the system of chaplaincy (foreigner in a foreign land) to that of an indigenous, national, autochthonous church. The

missionary dioceses of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica were formed within the district. • In 1997 IARCA became an autonomous province in the Anglican Communion and consists of five dioceses: Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. • The population of Central America consists mainly of four groups: mestizos, a mixture of Spanish and native peoples, is the largest group; small pockets of indigenous populations; Africans; and people of unmixed European descent sometimes referred to as Creoles. • Across the five dioceses there is a diversity of political structures and stability, but all five have large populations that live in poverty.




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p rov i n c e p ro f i l e s

Provincial Profile – Ireland PHOTO: SEÁN O’BRIEN

Palm Sunday parade for the Fiddown Union of Parishes, Co. Waterford

• The Church of Ireland has approximately 375,400 members – 249,000 in Northern Ireland and 126,400 in the Republic of Ireland. It has a 1,600 year history of Christian worship, dating back to St Patrick. • St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. Major cathedrals are also located in Dublin (Christ Church), Armagh (St Patrick’s), Belfast (St Anne’s) and Cork (St Fin Barre’s).

biblical foundation. The Church was disestablished in 1871 and maintained its unity following the partition of Ireland in the 1920s. It continues to serve its membership and wider society across the island’s two political jurisdictions. • The Church of Ireland values prayer as its witness to the Christian faith in both rural and urban settings across the island.

• The Church comprises 456 parishes and 12 dioceses, which are grouped within two provinces – Armagh and Dublin – each led by an Archbishop. The Archbishop of Armagh is the Primate of All Ireland and the most senior ranking bishop. Four dioceses cross the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. PHOTO: ST PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL

• The Celtic Church emerged in Ireland following the mission of St Patrick in the 5th century. It is still recognised as the source of the modern Church of Ireland. • The Reformation in the 16th century stressed the importance of the individual’s relationship with God and refocused the Church on its

Above: The National Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Patrick, Dublin


Right: Morning worship at St John’s Parish Church, Ballyclare

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Growing the Church in South East Asia: Provincial Overview A packed church at Bandung, Indonesia, for a Christmas Eve Midnight Eucharist in 2017

In the second of a two-part series, Gavin Drake explores the growth of the Church in the Province of South East Asia THE SHAPE OF the worldwide Anglican Communion, and its 39 autonomous Churches, owes much to the existence and scope of the former British Empire. Nowhere is that more evident than in the Church of the Province of South East Asia; where the dioceses of Singapore, West Malaysia and the two Borneo-based dioceses of Sabah and Kuching serve former colonies; while the missionary deaneries of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam serve areas that escaped British colonial rule – apart from Indonesia’s four years as a colony that ended with the British-Dutch land-swap. The Anglican Church in the empire grew as a result of missionary activity; while the



anglican world issue 148 APRIL 2018

The province’s vision is to convert each missionary deanery into dioceses, with their own local bishops and leadership churches elsewhere were established as chapels to serve British diplomats and businesses. In 1996, when the Church of England ceded the four dioceses to the new Province of South East Asia, they also handed responsibility for the churches and chapels in the other six countries to be part of the Diocese of Singapore. With its history, the new province could have chosen to concentrate on its areas of strength: Malaysia and Singapore. Instead, it treated the chapels and churches in their weakest areas – the other six countries – as


priority areas for mission. Each country was designated as a missionary deanery and – although administratively under the care of Singapore – responsibility for their development was spread amongst the four dioceses. The province’s vision is to convert each missionary deanery into dioceses, with their own local bishops and leadership, once they are big enough to be selfsustainable; while at the same time continuing to plant churches and grow their own dioceses. The Archbishop of South-East Asia, the Bishop of West Malaysia, Moon Hing, described the province as a “gospel-based church, with orthodox, evangelical, missionminded leadership”, whose members understand “with excitement” their responsibility to share the Gospel with those who don’t know it. In an interview for Anglican World, he likened it to a beggar who finds bread and then tells


This entrance door is all that remains of this house in Khunjung, Nepal, after the November 2015 earthquake CREDIT: NAVESH CHITRAKAR / REUTERS


other beggars where to find it. “That concept has been in our DNA for long years – especially in the leadership,” he said. “We follow the old missionary model,” Archbishop Moon Hing said. “In those early days when SPG and CMS came, they brought three things to us and we are now repeating those three things: they brought education and started schools; they brought hospitals and had medical campaigns and clinics; and they bought social care and started up homes to help the people. “This is the three-pronged missional strategy that helped to build our dioceses and the province. We want to do the same in all these countries. We now have a school in Indonesia. We have two schools in Vietnam, we have built one school in Cambodia and Thailand and Nepal is the next one.” One way that the Church is putting this into action is through relief and development work – something that developed following the 2004 Boxing Day Indian Ocean Tsunami and was evident following the 2015 Nepal earthquake. And this is resulting in biblical-style miraculous encounters with God. Last year, the leaders of three separate earthquake-damaged villages in the Dhading district of Nepal had the same dream: God was telling them to go to another village. They walked for three or four days and all arrived in the village at the same time as a relief team from the

province, who were delivering food parcels. The leaders were given some of the food and told them to return the following month, when they would be back with more food. “They came and said ‘we want to follow your god, whatever your god is,’” Archbishop Moon Hing said. “They don’t even know what we believe! We began to teach them and they got baptised. Now we have a new problem: we need bishops to confirm them – we have already confirmed 700. “Whatever bishop goes there needs to be ready to walk: helicopters can fly you to one village, but for the rest you need to walk.” In this district, one lay pastor was killed and 33 of the 34 Anglican churches collapsed as a result of the earthquake. Many roads are still inaccessible and the province charters helicopters to take food and medical supplies in. In the two decades that the Anglican Church in Nepal has been operating as a missionary deanery, it has grown to 48 churches serving some 9,000 worshippers and more than 2,500 confirmed members. They are ministered to by 76 full time pastors and two clergy. New leaders are being prepared for ordination. Similar growth has been experienced in the other missionary deaneries. “Indonesia is another fast-growing area,” Archbishop Moon Hing said. The government

Archbishop Moon Hing

wants to recognise the Church as a national institution; but it needs first to be present in at least 18 out of 34 provinces. “Now, we have 13” provinces, he said, “we are working very fast. From one end of Indonesia to the other end . . . we are now having churches all over the place doing confirmation, baptism, marriage and all this. . . One thing that the province is keen to avoid is the cultural indoctrination of the local people. One of the lasting criticisms of Victorian missionaries was that they exported English culture in addition to the gospel. “We don’t want to repeat the same mistakes that missionaries made before,” Archbishop Moon Hing said. “So what we did was first to bring our people as missionaries to start work, and then immediately, very quickly, we raised local people to train them and ordain them. “We have already told ourselves that we will not appoint any nonlocal bishops. We would rather wait for the time when they will rise up and take leadership themselves. “Now, after 10 or 20 years, we are pulling back. Our missionaries are only advisors. Now they have local people [leading the churches].”

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Phil George

The man on a mission to make the Lambeth Conference happen Adrian Butcher meets Phil George, Chief Executive Officer of the Lambeth Conference Company to learn more about the man charged with making it all happen in 2020. ONE OF THE first times I saw Phil George he was on his knees in his office. In one hand, he held a screwdriver, in the other a set of instructions. On the floor in front of him lay sections of a new office chair that he was building. This encounter was more illuminating than the brief

“It is a privilege to be here and to serve the Archbishop and to be part of what will be one of the most significant Lambeth conferences ever held.” 14


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introduction we’d had in his first week. Here was a man not afraid to roll up his sleeves to get a job done, rather than wait for someone else to do it for him. It was a good quality chair too – Phil had seen to that. But he had driven a hard bargain with the suppliers and got it for a discounted rate. An eye for excellence and prudence is just what you would expect from a man who has spent most of his working life in the corporate world. And something Phil George will need in abundance as he organises the first Lambeth Conference since 2008. Phil was born in Manchester but raised in Chorleywood, northwest of London. He came to faith there as a 13-year-old in a dynamic Anglican church. He left school to join Barclays Bank and stayed for 26 years before moving to work for New Wine, a UK

evangelical church movement. “I rather glided into banking,” he remembers. “Dad was a banker, Granddad was a banker, and so was my best friend. At 17, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. But it was a great career. Later, I was involved in human resources project work which involved a lot of international travel. It was fascinating.” So why leave? Phil recalls how his close friend, Mark Melluish, (who is also now his vicar) came to stay at the family home in 2003 and asked if he was interested in doing something new at New Wine. “I’d had a prophetic word prior to that, that God had a new and exciting thing for me but I didn’t know what it was. When Mark asked me and my wife, Sue, our hearts leapt. We knew this was it.” Phil left Barclays and, over the next 14 years, held a number of positions at New Wine including


Scenes from the last Lambeth Conference in 2008


Head of Operations and Executive Director. New Wine had begun in the 1980s as a result of Bishop David Pytches’ ministry and his relationship with US pastor, John Wimber. In 1989 the first summer conference was launched as a nondenominational Christian gathering for a week in a campsite. When Phil joined, it comprised around 400 churches, most of them Anglican. That now tops 2,000. “People have described New Wine as a renewal movement which became a network of churches supporting each other and helping people to grow. . . There is a shared belief in core values, including the renewing of life through the power of the Holy Spirit and the ushering in of God’s kingdom in every aspect,” he explains. Ask Phil about his days at New Wine and the word he uses the most is “exciting”. In his time there, the movement’s work mushroomed. The summer conference in south-west England has become a “must” for many churches around the UK. Phil recalls that one parish priest brought his church for many years in a row, camping out – often in the dampest of English summers. Phil

didn’t get to know the priest then. But they are getting acquainted now: the priest was Justin Welby. Phil recalls a stream of extraordinary events at New Wine: from excellent Bible teaching to people regaining their sight; self-harming teenagers seeing their scars disappear; people coming to faith all the time. “Signs and wonder were there every year,” he says. “It was amazing.” Against such an inspirational backdrop, why move again at the age of 57? One clue is that he loves change. What some see as intimidating, Phil George finds motivating. “Last year I did a ‘Daniel Fast’ – keeping to a simple diet for 21 days. I felt I wanted to sense from God if I should stay.” Within a fortnight, he was approached by a head hunter – his name had come up as a possible contender as Chief Executive Officer for the Lambeth Conference Company. Phil’s response was immediate. He deleted the email. He then went on holiday. On his return, the recruitment company were in touch again. This time things were different. Phil felt interested. He began some

Slowly this huge excitement and anticipation began to build as I thought about the possibilities of taking on the job

research, speaking to friends and contacts. “Slowly this huge excitement and anticipation began to build as I thought about the possibilities of taking on the job. So I pursued it, had the interview, met Archbishop Justin and had the call asking me if I would like the job. “In a short time I travelled from not knowing much about the conference to thinking what a privilege it is for me to take on this role for three years. It is a privilege to be here and to serve the Archbishop and to be part of what will be one of the most significant Lambeth conferences ever held.” Plans for the conference are beginning to crystallise. The opening in July 2020 may seem a long way off, but Phil is

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The Archbishop of Canterbury traditionally invites all the bishops from the Anglican Communion to the Lambeth Conference

acutely aware that time is tight. Conventional wisdom says the conference CEO needs five years to make it happen. Phil has three. The focus now is on learning from the past as much as planning for the future. A thinktank – the Conference Design Group – began meeting last year to work on devising a programme relevant for a global church in the 21st century. It reports to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will have the final say on the programme. Over the spring, Phil has been recruiting a conference manager and a conference administrator. They will work alongside him at his base in the Anglican Communion Office in west London.

The complexity of this event is unique. To gather senior church leaders from around the globe brings unique challenges and requires careful and detailed planning. 16


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“I have spent the first three months trying to understand the scope of the job, what happened last time and preparing a budget. We hope to have some figures by the summer, when the Archbishop’s invitation is due to be sent out. “The complexity of this event is unique. To gather senior church leaders from around the globe brings unique challenges and requires careful and detailed planning.” There will be differences in 2020. Every active bishop from around the Communion will be invited. But there won’t be a spouse’s conference running in parallel. Instead the intention is to run a joint conference. “We see that bishops and their spouses often have a joint ministry so we want to equip them both, rather than separate off the spouses,” Phil explains. As I interview him, Phil is preparing to attend a regional primates’ meeting Fiji at the end of February. He will attend two more this year – in Kenya and Canada – and two in 2019. Each is an opportunity to talk to primates about the conference and get their feedback on what is being planned.

The Lambeth Conference of 1920 was a significant one. It brought together churches from across a world still reeling from the First World War to refocus and reunite the Communion for the 20th century. One hundred years on, Lambeth 2020 will meet under the title “God’s Church for God’s World”. Phil’s hope is that it will also have a positive global impact. “We haven’t just come out of a world war but there is difficulty all around the communion – and there are wars of different sorts: poverty; people trafficking; slavery. We will need to navigate our way through the issues we face at the moment so that the Anglican Communion is a viable, influential and impactful group of people around the globe for the 21st century. It’s going to be exciting.” lambethconference.org

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Posed by models SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

How faith inspired one woman to campaign against genderbased violence Amelia Brown examines a campaign led by an Anglican woman in England to force the British government to take steps to prevent violence against women. WOMEN IN THE Democratic Republic of Congo travelling alongside their own troops through war torn areas. A 19-yearold college girl in California walking home from a party. A 12-year-old girl in Pakistan given in marriage to a man 30-years her senior. While each life and context is vastly different, each of these women faces the real possibility of violence, threat of rape, forced marriages, so-called “honour”

killings, and domestic abuse. These issues, and more, plague women from one part of the world to another, from east to west. Violence against women may be so ingrained into society that the possibility of ending it is overwhelming. Many of us may wish to do something, but have no clue how to begin. Fuelled by passion and faith, one young woman brought gender justice to the attention of her own government. In 2011, the Council of Europe – an intergovernmental body working to uphold human rights, democracy, and the rule of law across its 47 member-

Violence against women may be so ingrained into society that the possibility of ending it is overwhelming states – drafted a Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence on Women and Domestic Violence. Known as the Istanbul Convention, it is one of the most comprehensive legal frameworks on gender-based violence, setting standards for how a government

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posed by model


ICChange supporters campaign for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention in the UK

should tackle violence against women in terms of prevention, prosecuting, and monitoring. By 2017, 45 countries had signed the convention; and 28 had gone on to ratify it. The UK was one of the nations that signed the convention. But it has yet to ratify it and so has never been under formal obligation to fulfil the convention’s requirements. Robyn Boosey, a member of St John’s, Hampton Wick, decided it was time to change that. She had come to faith at the age of 13. Since her time in university, she has viewed the gospel through a social action lens. Most recently, that meant organising, launching, and managing a social media and action campaign demanding the government to take steps towards ratifying the Istanbul Convention: ICChangeUK. As Robyn discovered, the UK held back ratification of the Istanbul Convention until it could pass appropriate legislation that would allow it to be compliant. In the years since the UK had signed the Convention, passing such legislation moved to the back of the agenda and became forgotten. ICChangeUK was set up to mobilise supporters to reach out to their Members of Parliament and bring these issues back to the top of the government’s agenda.



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The UK was one of the nations that signed the convention. But it has yet to ratify it.

Robyn’s story began in 2014 after an intensive week spent at Campaign Bootcamp, a residential advocacy and activism training programme. There she combined an initial passion for women’s issues and an inspiration to start an advocacy campaign. After learning about the Istanbul Convention and that the UK had yet to ratify it, Robyn decided to give her new skills a try. “At first the whole idea was quite naive. It was based around the idea that we’d start a change. org petition, like many campaigns do these days, that would go viral, the government would realise the error of their ways and they would say OK, and ratify it. We thought it would be quite a quick process.” Robyn recalled. Quickly, she and her co-leader realised that the process would take far more work. They would need allies both inside and outside the government, and target

their actions to supporters and MPs personally. Ultimately, their campaign needed to prove enough of an immediate and popular need to wade through the layers of bureaucracy that passing laws demands. Robyn and her team first approached Christian and secular women’s organisations for support. Even this first step took more work than expected. Organisations were slow to open up to the campaign, taking time to build up relationships. This entire process of relationship building and low-key social media awareness actions took about a year. In the second year, they began creating relationships within Parliament itself. It was during this year that Robyn and her team were able to push for Parliamentary Actions, or openings for members of Parliament to debate subjects. Little by little, they gained ground. They asked their online supporters to contact their MPs. At one point, they even asked supporters to send their MPs “motivational mixtapes.” These “mixtapes” could mean tweeting or sending playlists on a flash drive of songs encouraging MPs to take up the cause. Finally, after about a year, Robyn and her team had the opportunity to take advantage of



a Private Members’ Bill. This Private Members’ Bill is a unique process, through which a Member of Parliament may propose a Bill on whatever subject they chose, rather than the government driving the legislation. In general, this isn’t an easy or recommended process for change-makers. The odds of such a Bill gaining enough support to pass are low. With their partners’ support, Robyn and the campaign were able to convince MP Eilidh Whiteford to introduce a Bill about the Istanbul Convention. Together they began to encourage more MPs from multiple parties to take part in debate and readings of the Bill. That said, not all MPs were so encouraging. In fact, some opposed the Bill in no few words. One MP even tried to filibuster the bill. Yet, against all odds, the Bill went through various readings, and eventually to a vote. What went from being an idea dreamt up by a handful of young professional women in their living room became a major social media and public campaign for change. While the campaigning isn’t yet finished, Robyn reflected on the improbability of its success, and how she felt God’s hand at work throughout the process. As Robyn discovered, mobilising MPs and bringing about the Bill was neither an easy nor a quick task. Even once they’d raised enough support to bring around voting on an initial Bill, now known as the Istanbul Convention Bill, they faced an uphill battle. A vote required a minimum of 100 MPs to be present and the vote was taking place on a Friday evening close to Christmas. Robyn recalls that she dreamt that 130 would attend, but the likelihood of even 100 on such a date was extremely unlikely. And yet, when the vote came, over 135 MPs attended that first vote. Moreover, the vote passed. “It was like that verse, ‘I can do infinitely more than what you ask or imagine,’” Robyn explained. “God has repeatedly reminded me throughout the campaign that if I want to make the biggest impact possible then I have to

Robyn Boosey and ICChange co-director Becky Bunce deliver their petition to Parliament

start with Him. Don’t try to do it all in my own strength. And whenever He’d remind me of that, and I’d pray, we’d have quite a big breakthrough.” The Bill went on to became law – the Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Act 2017 – in Spring last year. It requires the government to report annually to Parliament on steps being taken to ratify the Convention. The government has announced that it will introduce a Domestic Violence Bill to bring into law obligations it would need to undertake before it is able to ratify the convention. While the purpose of the campaign was not exclusively Christian, Robyn’s faith fuelled her drive. “It comes from this place of justice and God is a God of justice. God cares deeply about all people and every human being has dignity in His eyes.” She also reflected on how sometimes people are confused by her work and how she bridges it with her faith. For Robyn there is no confusion. Working to end violence against women – whether that means domestic abuse, rape, FGM, forced marriages, or any of the other cases laid out in the Istanbul Convention – connects to the Gospel.


As Robyn discovered, mobilising MPs and bringing about the Bill was neither an easy nor a quick task. Even once they raised enough support . . . they faced an uphill battle

“We have to recognise that gender inequality is not the way that God planned the world – since the Fall, that’s when the power imbalance started to go wrong,” she said. “It’s part of His vision for setting things right in the world. And for some crazy reason He wants us to partner with Him in that.” Robyn offered suggestions to any Christians, particularly young adults, who want to see change in their world, wherever they are. Her best advice? Just start something, start small, and pray. As she found in her own experience, “He’s saying come on, you’ve got a role to play, you’ve got so much to give. You are needed.” icchange.co.uk.

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Reaching out to Arabic migrants in Spain The new Anglican Inter Faith Commission is seeking to establish a series of international inter faith networks to highlight how Anglicans are working with and amongst people of other faith. In this article, Spencer Reece and Duane Miller set out how the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain is working with Arabic – mainly Muslim – immigrants to the country. RICHMOND IS 17 years old. After travelling across Africa from his native Ghana, he arrived in Spain illegally, clandestinely and without any family. In a circus, he is holding up Jan, a nine-year-old

The Reus Circ Social is now looking to expand its hours of operation



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home-schooled boy whose parents, middle-class Catalans, sought an alternative and progressive education for their child. They are being watched by Ayoub, the circus barker, who was born in Catalonia to Moroccan parents. He is training to be a social worker. Some 40 children and teenagers share the three spaces of the circus school in the project Reus Circ Social. The circus is a ministry of the Church of the Nativity, a parish of the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain (RECOS), and is designed to help disenfranchised young people feel like they are a part of something. The Church of the Nativity’s Rector, the Revd Rafa Arfencon, created the circus five years ago as a metaphor to attract the young people. It operates as a school and arts centre, with both Christian and Muslim leaders, to encourage

young people from very different backgrounds to discover the sense of a healthy life, personal improvement and commitment. “When I’m happier, it’s when I see that the boys reach their own goals,” Ahmed El Ouahabi, the school’s director, said. “We are helping to educate free and responsible people, capable of living together respecting differences and supporting each other as a family. That’s the magic of the circus!” The Reus Circ Social is now looking to expand its hours of operation to be able to give space to more people eager to practice the arts of the circus in community. The impact generated among the so-called MENA (unaccompanied foreign minors) has put socially integrated young people in contact with these young entrepreneurs who have risked their lives in search of a better future in Europe. While



some volunteers are teaching them the language and basic social skills to function in Spanish society, this effort is not enough: occupational courses are also needed to stop these children from being people at social risk of poverty, violence, drugs and worse. “What we are getting through the circus is something wonderful,” Arfencon said. “The skills of the circus drive social skills, awakening awareness of injustice and encouraging lives to be transformed. “The troupes of tightrope walkers who build human towers exemplify well what our mission is. The strong must be at the bottom using their shoulders to help those less strong. “Sadly, the world is upside down. . . ” Arecon pauses then, looking over the young people that have gathered in the circus space, and says: “‘The circus’, as William Stringfellow said, ´is a true liturgy that represents hope, one of the few images of the eschatological kingdom that we have access to.’” RECOS is a national Anglican church, but is not large enough to be more than a single diocese. Within the Anglican Communion, it is an extra-provincial area, led by Bishop Carlos López Lozano, under the Metropolitical authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It has more than 50 parishes and missions, including its Cathedral of the Redeemer in Madrid – the oldest functioning Protestant church in Spain.. Twice a week, the cathedral hosts scores of people at the Anglican Solidarity Mission (ASM).

Under the leadership of the Revd Aloysi Busquets, a Cuban national, the ASM distributes grocery packs to hundreds of hungry families, including Muslims. The food includes items gathered from a food bank, as well as food close to its expiry date, donated by local stores. The groceries are handed out after evening prayer. And while attendance is not a requirement of receiving a food parcel, almost everybody does attend. The service includes prayers in Arabic, including one picked up from an Orthodox Church in Nazareth: “In the name of the one God – Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit – consubstantial and indivisible, glory be to Him now and always. Amen.” The cathedral has New Testaments in Moroccan Arabic and Farsi for anyone who would like one. The cathedral is not the only place where Anglicans are active in this area. The parish of St Barnabas in Torre Del Mar, on the Costa Del Sol, is involved in global missions in several innovative ways, both in the surrounding community and internationally. Locally, the congregation has found itself in one of the hotspots of the refugee highway – the number of refugees arriving in Spain tripled from 2016 to 2017, with over 21,000 landing on the country’s southern shore in 2017. Parish members are responding to this growing population of people in need through the provision of resources and several outreaches to the refugee community. This includes giving warm clothing to those held in detention centres, and providing language classes and food

The cathedral has New Testaments in Moroccan Arabic and Farsi for anyone who would like one at two local NGOs. As the parish meets these tangible needs, it has opportunity to demonstrate and communicate the love of Christ, enabling it to help plant the church among the growing number of unreached people arriving in Spain. The Revd Spencer Reece is National Secretary of the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain. The Revd Duane Miller is author of a number of books, including Two Stories of Everything: The Competing Metanarratives of Islam and Christianity (Credo House, 2018), which he describes as “the fruit of over a decade of ministry to and among Muslims, and also of trying to help Christians understand Islam.”

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Coming in from the cold A new future for Anglicans in Cuba Pennsylvania pilgrims standing by the clergy vesting sacristry which is all that remains of San Felipe Diacono in Limonar.

The Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba is a full member of the Anglican Communion but not part of a formally recognised province. It is one of six extra-provincial churches. Anglican churches here once formed a diocese of the US-based Episcopal Church, but following the Cuban Revolution and the US-blockade it was forced to become independent; albeit with the support of a Metropolitan Council encompassing the primates of the Anglican church of Canada, the Church in the Province of the West Indies, and the US-based Episcopal Church. In July, the Episcopal Church General Convention, meeting in Austin, Texas, will vote on a resolution to restore the diocese to the province. Ahead of that vote, the Revd Marek Zabriskie led a fact-finding pilgrimage to Cuba with members of his St Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. In this report, he sets out what he found.



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The first Protestant churches in Cuba were built by Episcopalians; but today many congregations meet in members’ homes because their church was destroyed by a hurricane WHEN CASTRO TOOK over Cuba in 1959 and pursued a communist ideology, it became impossible for the US-based Episcopal Church to stay connected with the 2,000 members of the Episcopal Church of Cuba. The state declared atheism its philosophy, and detention camps

were established for those who openly practiced religion. An entire generation was lost from the Church. But many Christians quietly struggled to maintain and practice their faith. Today, the Episcopal Diocese of Cuba has 6,000 members served by 23 clergy in 46 congregations, and three seminarians. It has six cars and a handful of motorcycles; clergy travel by bus, on foot or by hitchhiking to serve multiple churches. The Diocese has an operating budget of only $90,000 USD (approximately £64,000 GBP). Clergy receive a salary of just over $1,000 dollars a year, thanks to donations from the Friends of the Episcopal Church of Cuba. Until this year, they earned a mere $55 per month. The first Protestant churches in Cuba were built by Episcopalians; but today many congregations meet in members’ homes, because




their church was destroyed by a hurricane and during the “Atheist Period” the government refused to allow them to rebuild. Since the death of Fidel Castro, the government is beginning to issue some licenses to rebuild. “It’s very challenging,” Father Gilberto Hunco, Rector of La Iglesia de San Pablo in Cienfuegos, said. “I’m constantly searching for funds to repair my car so that I can serve my other churches.” His car is a 32-year-old Russian import. “Over the last 15-20 years, the relationship between the church and the state has got better. You can now be a Christian and a member of the Communist Party,” Hunco said. “I have members of my church who are members of the Communist Party – some openly and some covertly. The State has come to realise that the Church has values that are helpful to society.” San Pablo was founded in 1937 when Americans working in the sugar industry asked for clergy and a church to be built. “The work of the women in the church in Cuba is very good,” he said. “The Association of Episcopal Women kept the churches open during the 1970s and 1980s. Without them, we would have no churches today.” In 1903, Emilio Planas, a former slave who became the first indigenous priest of the Episcopal Church of Cuba, founded the church of San Felipe Diacono to serve other former slaves. It is the third oldest Episcopal church in Cuba but was all-but destroyed by a hurricane in 1987. Ever since, the parishioners have worshipped

Father Gilberto Hunco fills a bottle of purified water

The Bishop of Cuba, Griselda Delgado del Carpio, with the Revd Marek Zabriskie and 100 Spanish language Books of Common Prayer which was donated to the Episcopal Church of Cuba by the Pennsylvania pilgrims.

in the tiny clergy vesting sacristy, which was the only portion of the church to survive the hurricane. Today, the congregation is composed of 36 members, 34 of whom are black women who are descendants of slaves. These brave women worshipped faithfully during the Atheist Period despite prohibitions and great adversity. “These are very faithful, loving women who care a great deal for this church,” said the church’s Rector, the Revd Marianela de la Paz. She is working with the Revd Dr Clara Luz Ajo Lazaro, Vice-Rector of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Matanzas, to raise $148,000 to rebuild their church and create a parish hall and a rectory in the town of Limonar, a town of 10,333 inhabitants in one of Cuba’s former sugar-producing regions. The sugar industry has struggled for years and is only now starting to make a comeback. Water in Cuba is hard. It has bad effects on the health and destroys the teeth of Cubans. In Mantanzas, la Iglesia Fieles a Jesus, the oldest Episcopal church in Cuba, provides fresh water to benefit 1,800 members of the city. “People associate our cathedral as a source of healing and health for the entire community,” said the Revd Tulia Sanchez Ortiga, their rector. Our pilgrimage team took a driving tour of Havana in vintage 1950s American cars, which are treasured in Cuba. New cars are non-existent so Cubans drive

vintage American cars or little Russian cars; or ride on carts pulled by horses or oxen. Havana is lost in a time warp and is of full of stunning architecture and crumbling facades. Since the Cuban Revolution and the American Blockade, the 12 million people of Cuba have been cut off from much of the world. Like Noah’s ark, they are surrounded by water and feel isolated. The Castro regime has been brutal over the years, silencing and killing opponents and exporting revolution while failing to improve Cuba economically. Yet the Cubans have an excellent, free health-care system available to every citizen, unlike in the US. They have nearly eradicated illiteracy and have greatly improved their educational system. Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church of Canada has said that his province will continue to have a relationship with the Church in Cuba even if it is restored to its former home in the Episcopal Church. “There’s a kind of a mix of emotion – there’s a great sense of anticipation about being reintegrated into TEC, and they can see some of the advantages of that,” Hiltz told the Anglican Journal after visiting Cuba for their Synod in February. “At the same time many members of the Cuban church are a little anxious about this relationship with the Anglican Church of Canada because, as they will say themselves, the Anglican Church of Canada accompanied them for so long.”

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the last word

The fostering of friendship across the Anglican Communion can lay foundations for future unity and mission. This is what I am keen to encourage.

Dr Stephen Spencer

The Revd Dr Stephen Spencer A few months into his new role, the Director for Theological Education in the Anglican Communion, the Revd Dr Stephen Spencer, outlines the purpose of the new position.

I COME TO the role of Director for Theological Education with a strong conviction that companionship links between theological colleges and courses in the global North and global South could hugely enrich the Anglican Communion. This is based on my two previous roles – of being the link officer for the Diocese of Leeds’ link with three dioceses in north-west Tanzania, and of being Vice Principal of St Hild College at Mirfield, training people for ordained ministry. These roles have shown me that there are great resources and inspiration which can be shared in both directions, for the benefit of all. As I settle into the new role I am keen to be a kind of matchmaker to

facilitate this. I have already helped to set up one such link between St Hild College and Bunda Bible College in Tanzania.This has shown that when one group students and staff establish a connection with another group on the other side of the world, who they get to know and pray for and with whom they share their hopes and challenges, their whole outlook on church life and mission and discipleship starts to be transformed. Also the fostering of friendship across the Anglican Communion can lay foundations for future unity and mission. This is what I am keen to encourage. Another important part of the role will be exploring options for having modules and programmes available online, as a resource particularly for colleges in parts of the world with limited resources. The internet presents great opportunities which should be exploited to the full.

While theological students in the South often have limited access to books and specialist teaching expertise they often have lots of energy and enthusiasm for mission in general and evangelism in particular. Ordinands and students in the North usually have good access to teaching resources but sometimes have restricted awareness of what God is doing and can do in the world. I want to facilitate mutual sharing of these resources and inspiration. In the South the challenges are often to do with funding training and finding support for families who stay at home while students go off to college. Language is also a big challenge in a sector in which English is usually dominant and in which students often have limited understanding. Arranging translation of materials will be another aspect of the role. In the North a challenge for students is often finding enough time and space for personal formation to take place in the middle of lives of multiple commitments and expectations, where it is so easy to lose sight of “the one thing necessary to salvation”. An encounter with the harsh challenges and fantastic joys of church life in the global South can turn priorities upside down. Suddenly issues that loomed large recede into the background and it becomes possible to discover once more the simple gospel message of God’s grace. I would love every course and college to have a link with another course or college on the other side of the world, to help the Anglican Communion as a whole gain greater global awareness and encourage mission at every level. The post is being funded by the St Augustine’s Foundation, a charity with origins at Canterbury Cathedral which works to enable the training for ministry in the Churches of the Anglican Communion. It is a huge privilege to have been asked to fill it.





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Anglican World issue 148  

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