International links


“God has called us into a relationship, not only with himself, but also with one another, that our lives may be enriched as we learn and share in a partnership to bring about his mission in the world.”
(The Anglican Communion)

Canterbury Diocese has partnership links with Dioceses in Bodo, Arras and the Lutheran church in Markgraflerland, and has been in a Companion Link with Madagascar for over 30 years.

Madagascar

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world - two and a half times the size of Great Britain. The first Anglican missionary arrived in Madagascar in 1864, sent by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and in 1874 the Diocese of Madagascar was founded. The number of Anglicans in Madagascar began to grow rapidly as of 1991 (Anglican Decade of Evangelism) and is now estimated to be close to 500,000. 

There are now six dioceses within Madagascar:

  • Diocese of Antananarivo
    Bishop: The Rt Revd Samola Joana Ranarivelo
  • Diocese of Toamasina
    Bishop: The Rt Revd Jean Solo
  • Diocese of Mahajanga
    Bishop: The Rt Revd Hall Speers
  • Diocese of Antsiranana
  • Diocese of Fianarantsoa
    Bishop: The Tr Revd Gilbert Rakotondravelo
  • Diocese of Toliara
    Bishop: The Rt Revd Todd McGregor/ Asst Bishop Rt Revd Samitiana Jhonson Razafindralambo

Link Diocesan Bishop for Mauritius: The Rt Revd Joseph Stenio Andre
Link Diocesan Archbishop of the Indian Ocean: The Most Rt Revd James Wong Yin Song

Our Companionship Link

The purpose of the Link is to extend the concept of the Partners in Mission strengthen and encourage each other exchange gifts and resources gain new insights and understandings commit ourselves afresh to the task of mission it involves a commitment to:

  • Sharing
  • Prayer
  • Encouragement
  • Communication
  • Financial support

You  can support tour Companionship Link by:

  • Forming a Parish Link with one of the Malagasy clergy and their parishes - contact the Communities & Partnerships Team (01227 459401) to find out more
  • Praying regularly for the people of Madagascar and the Companionship Link:

O Holy Spirit of the Living God
you call us into the fellowship
of your Church and to rejoice
in our unity in Christ.
Fill us and all people everywhere
with your love and great power.
Bless our fellow Christians
here and in Madagascar.
Send us out in your power
to build up your worldwide Church
to break down barriers
and to serve you faithfully,
now, and for ever.
Amen.

German Partnership: Markgräflerland and Zossen Flaming

The Diocese of Canterbury has a partnership with two regional churches in Germany – Zossen-Flaming near Berlin and Markgräflerland near Basel in South West Germany. These churches belong to the Evangelical Churches in Germany (EKD), a fellowship of 20 regional Lutheran, Reformed and United churches. Each regional church is governed by a synod and can be likened to our own dioceses.

Every year the partnership meets at one of the three locations. In 2018 Church officers and workers from Germany met up with representatives from the Diocesan staff and parishes to discuss a range of subjects. The programme started with a visit to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Many didn’t realise that the UK will be staying a member of this organisation and the Court of Human Rights after Brexit. The EU flag is actually the flag of the Council of Europe.

There was a visit to a community centre in Strasbourg that runs a one stop shop for aid to migrants and refugees. Around 80% of those seeking help were from Eastern European countries. This centre ran a foodbank and helped migrants by baking and mending clothes with volunteers thereby teaching them skills, conversational German and giving them social contacts.

The group attended an Ecumenical day at which the Diocese had some promotional material available and talked about the partnership with the German churches. We attended a joint service on Sunday morning, and a Synod meeting on Monday at which several members of the Canterbury party spoke on how the church is engaged with helping refugees in the UK and France. Bishop Trevor spoke at all events.

All agreed that partnerships, such as this one, continue to grow in importance as the UK leaves the EU.

There are plans to meet in 2022 as meetings have been suspended due to Covid restrictions.

Anyone interested in joining the Canterbury partnership team should contact Rev Dr Jonathan Arnold in Communities & Partnerships.