Matabeleland is a region on the western side of Zimbabwe. It stretches from the border with South Africa in the south, to the Victoria Falls and the border with Zambia in the north. Matabeleland is 400 miles across with an area of 50,000 square miles. A large section of its western edge borders Botswana. It is over half the size of the UK. 2.5 million people live in the region, 1 million of whom live in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city. Zimbabwe, once known as the “bread basket of Africa”, is now the fastest declining economy in the world. The Government propaganda that “everything will be alright” is countered by signs of poverty and financial hardship everywhere. The lack of freedom of speech, stories of starvation, and many, many people who just want the current political nightmare to end are all reasons for us to link together.
In the summer of 1994 a link was established between the Diocese of Matabeleland and the Kingston Episcopal Area of the Diocese of Southwark. Similar links were made in the 1990s between Croydon Area and Central Zimbabwe and Woolwich Area and Manicaland.
The main purpose of the Link are to:
- encourage each other
- pray for each other
- support each other
The link has grown stronger through regular prayer, sharing gifts and resources and visits in both directions by bishops, diocesan advisers, clergy, adults and young people from parishes. As well as the growth of many personal friendships, one of the chief benefits to us has been the enlargement of our understanding of what it is to be the church.
The link is organised through committees at each end and close involvement by the bishops.
You can find out more information by contacting the link officer for Kingston: The Revd. Richard Sewell,Team Rector of Barnes,25 Glebe Road,Barnes,SW13 0DZ