The CMSI Zambia team, consisting of Archbishop Richard Clarke, Jenny Smyth and Rev Adrian Dorrian arrived safely in Zambia on Tuesday afternoon, 20th February. Adrian provides a brief update from Kitwe.
The journey from Dublin airport to Kitwe proved a long, but not unpleasant one for the team – the three travellers arrived safe and well, along with our luggage. As well as personal items for the journey, we brought with us various items to be used by Keith and Lyn Scott in their home and in St John’s Anglican Seminary, including a donation of NRSV Bibles from The Book Well and some other items difficult to source in Zambia.
The Scotts have spent just over a year as CMSI Mission Partners back in Kitwe, in the Diocese of Northern Zambia. They teach at St John’s Anglican Seminary, where Keith is Academic Dean. They'll be hosting us during our stay, as will Archbishop Albert Chama, Bishop of Northern Zambia and Primate of Central Africa.
Once settled in, we spent our first evening discussing in detail the programme for the trip. After some orientation, we'll spend time experiencing life in the diocese and in the seminary. On Sunday, Archbishop Richard will preach and share with Archbishop Albert in a service of Confirmation, while I'll be visiting and preaching at a parish church in the diocese.
Next week, Archbishop Richard and myself will deliver some classes in the seminary - the archbishop will lecture on Anglicanism an I will be teaching Liturgy. Jenny will use the trip to foster the continued good relations between CMSI and its Global Partners, as well as providing direct support to the Scotts.
Speaking after our first evening in Zambia, Archbishop Richard reflected on the common ground we share with the Church here:
Although it is apparent that there are many differences in culture between Ireland and Zambia, our conversations on the first evening have borne out the truth that comes as no great surprise; our two churches, while separated by some miles face many of the same challenges around good stewardship, resourcing of clergy and the training of leaders.
Northern Zambia is a diocese where clergy have pastoral responsibility for several churches across vast areas – something immediately recognisable to many of the parishes in rural Ireland. Although we seek to address these challenges in very different contexts, I look forward to learning from our shared experiences and practise over the next days.