Celebrating 50 years of friendship and support
This year (2019) marks the 50th anniversary of the link between the Church of Uganda and the Diocese of Bristol.
Over those 50 years, it has undergone many evolutions. Initially founded on the personal friendship between Bishop Oliver Tomkins and Archbishop Erica Sabiti, the link was with the Province of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo. Over the years, as the Church of Uganda has grown, the link has adapted and now comprises friendships with 14 dioceses within Uganda that are managed through our different deaneries.
The link has been the cradle for deep and lasting friendships that have spanned many decades, and no one person can know exactly how many people have been shaped and encouraged by it. Mutual visits have encouraged the sharing of ideas, faith, worship and song.
We have walked together through persecution and pain - Canon John Bradley bound up the wounds of a Ugandan priest following a guerilla ambush of the room in which they were meeting. We have visited each other's homes in times of crisis and celebration. Visitors from Bristol travelled to Northern Uganda at the height of the LRA terror. Ugandan youth workers have worked alongside parishes in Bristol and the AYF choir has several times led missions across the diocese. In recent years we have shared in leadership conferences, enabled the training of clergy and lay members, and worked with partners like Tear Fund and A'Rocha to both deepen our connectedness to the global church and partner in local development.
It is this rich partnership that we will mark this year in the first full week of October (Saturday 5 to Saturday 12). Thirty visitors from Uganda are planning to join us for the celebrations. Invited guests from our link partners are coming to spend several weeks visiting their link deaneries for local deanery led programmes. The Anglican Youth Fellowship Choir will be touring the Diocese from Saturday 5 to Monday 14 October, performing in schools, churches and halls with their unique blend of traditional and contemporary gospel combined with compelling testimonies to the grace of God.
Join us for an evening of celebration, song, stories and prayer as we mark this milestone in our relationship. We are delighted to welcome Bishops and their wives, along with other guests from Uganda, as well as the Bishops of Bristol and Swindon.
Worship will be led by the Anglican Youth Fellowship Choir.
St Michael's Church, Stoke Gifford
Saturday 12 October at 7pm