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Rev Arsène Mafurebe in Sligo

Shortly after his arrival, Rev Arsène Mafurebe spent some time in Sligo with Ven Patrick Bamber.

Here are his thoughts on that experience.


Tourism ministry in Drumcliffe St Columba’s Church.

It is an amazing thing to see when mission and culture meet. I can’t but appreciate how the Church of Ireland has identified both at St Brigid’s and Drumcliffe St Columba’s. Church and history are an important asset for evangelism there. On average more than 100,000 people – young and old –  visit this site annually…almost 200,000 people before Covid. Having a graveyard at the church is weird in my context, but the grave of W.B Yeats, a famous Irish Writer and laureate of Nobel Prize of Literature in 1923, is the main reason St Columba receive so many tourists. 

Youth Ministry in Sligo/ Recentre Community Church

5pm Sunday service: With the numbers of regular church service attendance dropping, Recentre Community Church is a brilliant initiative in the Church of Ireland/Sligo to provide a more community-oriented space to pray, worship and fellowship. It gives a possibility for those who do not feel comfortable with traditional Church to be part of something.

Friday after school program: Recentre Community has come up with this idea to reach out to young people with a relational approach, providing a safe space to build healthy relationships through games and storytelling. I have visited a number of mission outreach programme which have adopted this approach: Logic at Moira/Belfast with Matthew and Jack; TNT in Manor Hamilton, County Leitrim with Matthew Boardwell and Youth for Christ in Sligo with the Methodist Church.

Children ministry in Masterson National School

Children from the senior and junior classes at Masterson N.S are ministered to in an entertaining and creative way, by Hannah O’Neil from Recentre Community Church/Church Army. The use of technology facilities helps a lot both in engagement and Gospel delivery.

Ecumenical Prayer/Spring of Life: A walking prayer organised by ministers from the C of I; Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists. As they share the city God called them to minister into, they bear together the burden of praying for the city. We split into small groups of three and walked in the city praying for God’s mercy on Sligo and its people. Absolutely incredible for unity and collaboration in ministry.

Hospital chaplaincy: Very different to home in Burundi…Chaplains have an office in every hospital and are members of the staff. Patients are asked to state their faith when they are admitted in hospital. Chaplains from Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Methodist and Presbyterian churches are provided with daily lists of patients who are members of their churches. They visit patients willing to welcome them, talk with them, share with them the word of God and pray for them. There is a growing number of people who prefer not to disclose their faith.

Confirmation Rehearsal: The greatest fear from the Rector at Calry Parish is that he might not be able to see these young people again after their confirmation. These teenagers are therefore discipled towards the journey of their confirmation by the rector himself and youth workers Claudio and Bamber.

Pastoral visits: There are many church members who are very old, above their eighties. Many of them are committed Christians though their age does not allow them to attend Church regularly. Pastoral visiting is an important part of ministry; many live by themselves and would be okay to welcome a minister for pastoral visit.

Confirmation Service at Calry Church with Bishop Ferran: I took part in the confirmation service and had an address within the service where I talked of my ministry in Burundi, highlighting that the Church in Burundi is younger than Calry Church by 200 years. I stressed that it is a growing and dynamic church and brought greetings from Burundi and CMSI. I later shared lunch with Ven. Patrick’s family and Bishop Ferran Glenfield.

Tourism: I visited the Atlantic – my first time to see an Ocean –  and the Sligo Abbey…you can tell how this very old monastery of Catholic Dominicans which dates back in the 13th Century is so different from the other two already visited sites (St Brigid’ and St Columba) existing primarily as a site for tourism.



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