Our stories

From St Illogan parish to Mvumi, Tanzania

Reading our Bibles can have unexpected consequences! One Wednesday in May 2007, the home group my late wife Jan and I were members of, was studying Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi. We read these words:

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4 v 11b – 13).

As we discussed, we quickly concluded that, although we live in plenty, our society does not permit us to be content with that, demanding that we seek bigger, better and newer stuff, with all the latest gadgets! As for being content in need, how is that even possible? At that point in our lives, recently retired from working in education in the UK, Jan and I had just agreed to spend three months in a church boarding school in Tanzania, to run in-service training for its teachers. And so, after a time of prayer, Jan and I were commissioned by the home group to establish a link with a church in Mvumi, with the aim of discovering more about being content while in need.

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From Bradoc in Cornwall to Braddock, USA

Creating a strong, warm, and mutually encouraging international relationship between the Church of the Transfiguration, Braddock Heights, Maryland, and St Mary’s, Bradoc, Cornwall.

In November of last year, the congregation at Bradoc Church in the Diocese of Truro, became aware of Bishop Philip’s vision which includes five principles. One of these is the desire for warm, mutually encouraging international relationships. At their PCC meeting in January, they agreed to adopt the principles as part of their existing successful mission statement to grow the church and discover God’s Kingdom.

Although the Bradoc team are addressing the other four principles, they had no meaningful international relationships, so had to start from scratch. Robert Pearce, Churchwarden at Bradoc, said: “We adopted the thought that with the mass emigration from Cornwall in the 18th and 19th centuries, someone may have taken the name Braddock to the new world and that there may be a town or episcopal church of that name somewhere.

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From our Diocese to Mzimvubu

The link between the Diocese of Truro and the Diocese of Mzimvubu (previously known as Umzimvubu) dates back to about the year 2000, when an initial visit was made by the then Bishop of St Germans and others. Mzimvubu is situated in South Africa, in the old Transkei region, to the south west of Durban. It is a rural, hilly region with a long history of considerable poverty.  The majority of the population speak Xhosa, though many people also speak English and/or Afrikaans.

Early visits highlighted the widespread level of poverty among the largely black population, and the high incidence of HIV/AIDS has resulted in many orphans, either cared for by grandparents or left to fend for themselves.  As a result, several projects were identified by the Diocese of Truro, and monetary assistance provided to them.  In particular, the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) project has been running for many years, and a number churchgoers from around Cornwall still subscribe regular amounts to help provide meals for these children, distribute food parcels to families or make essential school uniforms available.

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