Visiting a typical Church of England Sunday service, you’ll frequently take part in intercessional prayers for Christian communities around the world.
Every year a number of churches in deaneries across Hereford support young African students to train as priests as part of our linked partnership with Tanzania. As we celebrate our local ordinations, we delight in the news that four men in Africa have also felt that special call to serve God in dioceses across Tanzania.
“In working together as churches, we can have a greater impact on society. Our links with overseas dioceses are a means by which people here and in Tanzania can grow to know each other, learn from each other and encourage each other in their worship, witness and mission.” Explains Michael, lead for the diocese link with Tanzania. “The partnership provides another way for us to express thanks for God’s unending generosity, with many churches choosing to show this by giving time to visit, sharing gifts and regularly giving financially as part of mission links.” He adds.
“Part of our relationship with our four link dioceses in Tanzania is maintained through the Train-a-Priest Fund. The Fund pays the fees of three students from each of the four link dioceses at St Mark's Theological College, Dar es Salaam.”
Parishes and deaneries in Ludlow, Kington, Weobley, and Hereford have helped train four young priests in the past year.
Support for students can lead to valuable and enriching personal contacts. For example, when Llan Retreat House supported Simon Singano from the Diocese of Tanga, Andrew and Jill Talbot-Ponsonby went out to Tanga for his ordination at Korogwe Cathedral, where Andrew preached at his ordination.
By supporting a student in this way, it is possible to create a valued relationship with someone in a very different cultural and Christian situation and help our link dioceses provide ministry in a rapidly growing church.
Another student, Francis Bwindiki, is supported by Wye Brooks Benefice. He has written to the benefice regularly, sharing updates about his education at Ngomeni Primary School and Hegongo Holy Cross Secondary School. He explains how God's call to serve as a priest came through his love of singing in the church choir. In a recent update, he expressed gratitude for sponsoring him: “Thank you for providing for my school fees and other expenses, enabling me to study hard without any disturbance.”
The scheme costs about £800 a year to sponsor a student at St Mark's. Sponsors are still welcome to support a student, even if they are only able to offer a portion of the fees.
If you’re interested in exploring our partnership or can provide generosity through time or money, please do visit our website page, which includes further details.