Diocese of Kigali in Rwanda
'When God brings people together we learn; we share. '
Bishop of Kigali, the Rt Revd Louis Muvunyi
On Sunday 19 October 2014 at a special service in Ely Cathedral, the Bishop of Ely and the Bishop of Kigali made their formal declaration of partnership.
Bishops Stephen and Louis spoke these words to celebrate the link:
"I, Stephen Conway, Bishop of
Ely and I, Louis Muvunyi, Bishop of Kigali, will lead our dioceses into a deeper sharing
of our common life.
"We thank God for the historical connections that we share. We pray that the Holy Spirit will bless these bonds and lead us also into forging new expressions of partnership in the gospel.
"We will pray for one another and support this link by encouraging parishes, the exchanges of people and information at all levels in our dioceses in order that we may follow Christ more closely in the world."
Learning and sharing are two key aspects of our link that make it distinctive but not mutually exclusive from supporting a mission or development agency.
The Diocese of Ely approved a formal link with the Diocese of Kigali in Rwanda at Diocesan Synod in March 2014 following the visit of a Team from Ely Diocese to the Diocese of Kigali in June 2013.
Why a Link?
Through our joint partnership, we will discover together more about how the presence of God transforms lives in every community, culture and context.
Through our growing together, we hope that both personally and as dioceses we will be transformed ourselves by the generosity of our life in Christ. It is to be a tangible expression of the worldwide Body of Christ. This will include people in the linked dioceses growing to know each other, learning from each other and encouraging each other in their worship, witness and mission, as well as sharing stories, listening to and engaging with and learning from Christian brothers and sisters from a different culture. It 's an opportunity to be challenged and to grow both individually and corporately. In these ways this link differs from 'simply' giving to a Mission or Development Organisation.
It will build upon the relationships that Ely and Kigali have had for some years including Ely's relationship with Kigali through the East African Revival of the 1920/30s through Joe Church (Ruanda Mission of the Church Mission Society) whose son, Robin lives in Little Shelford.
Bishop Louis grew up as a child with the Church family as his father came to faith through Joe Church. Ely Diocese also has the privilege in Cambridge of housing the archive of much of the East African revival, stored at the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide (3CW). The Ely Diocese Link Coordinator is Richard Kellow (Curate at Histon and Impington) who lived for several years with his family in Kigali and worked with the Anglican Church of Rwanda through the Church Mission Society.
What kind of link?
We hope to:
- Share in each other's spirituality, culture and life
- Share in the mission of God's Kingdom together
- Engage in common tasks and to support each other
- Have an insight into and help bear each other 's burdens
- Develop a world-wide understanding of the Kingdom of God.
- Becoming friends
- Praying for each other
- Learning from each other
- Exchanging information regularly
- Actively seeking and thinking about areas and strategies for ministry in each location/diocese/situation which is appropriate to the context.
- Developing a sustainable and broad-based partnership. This will include promoting links at different levels between each diocese: these may include parish to parish, school to school, project to project, business to business, church group to church group links for example
- To help one another read contemporary culture from a different perspective and consequently to assist in planning mission/evangelism strategies which are intrinsically relevant to our own contexts
- Helping each other to further engage with our specific context of Christian ministry which will involve both encouraging and inspiring one another and, at times, challenging one another.