The Heytesbury Maridi Link
For the last 46 years Salisbury Diocese has had a link with the Church in Sudan – at first just one country, now two countries, Sudan and South Sudan, and therefore two Anglican Church provinces - the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) and of South Sudan (ECSS).
Within those provinces, almost every Deanery of our diocese now has a link with a specific diocese there. Our Deanery of Heytesbury has been linked for over 10 years with the diocese of Maridi in Western Equatoria region of South Sudan. You may see it in the bottom left-hand corner of the map:
Since then, at the request of the Bishop, the Deanery has been supporting students at the Diocese’s training centre, the Chaima Christian Institute.
We provide sponsorships for students learning English (which gives them a route into employment), and we have also supplied laptops for their computer centre, furniture and library supplies. The link is managed by a Deanery support Group, pictured here with Bishop Moses on his visit here last year:
We had hoped to welcome him again this year, before the Lambeth Conference, and will be inviting him again before the re-arranged Conference in 2021
Several of the Support Group have visited Maridi and made friends there; + Moses and his predecessor as Bishop, +Justin Badi (now Archbishop of the whole Province) have both visited and stayed in the Deanery and met many friends. + Moses is a frequent correspondent, and his emails are circulated to the Deanery clergy and Deanery Synod members, and often reproduced in parish newsletters.
To support the Bishop and the Chaima Christian Institute, the Deanery Group hold two or three fundraising events each year, which are publicised through the churches. An Hour of Prayer for Sudan and South Sudan (with focus on Maridi) is held on the first Monday of every month in Christ Church Warminster, at 11.00 a.m. – all welcome. And a weekly email prayer is circulated to all who have requested it, as well as clergy and synod members.
Although prayer is the first and most valued form of support, there are also great needs for financial support, especially just now, with the Covid-19 pandemic on top of extreme poverty. So now, in addition to our regular support for Chaima, we have set up a JustGiving page to raise money for the most needy, to be given out at Bishop’s discretion. You may donate via this link: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/maridi. If you would like to meet Bishop Moses when he comes, God willing, next year, do let any of the Ministry Team know. The main contact is Jane Shaw (phone number on Team page).