Prayers for Sudan
If you receive or pick-up the weekly pew sheet you will have seen that we now feature a Prayer for Sudan every week – requests for prayer coming directly from our brothers and sisters in the churches of Sudan and South Sudan. This is because since 1972 the Diocese of Salisbury has been linked with the Episcopal Church of Sudan, and since 2011 with the Episcopal Church of South Sudan as well.
Every diocese in the Church of England has a link with another diocese in the Anglican Communion.
And ours with the Province of Sudan is one of the oldest, set up in 1972 by the then Bishop of Salisbury, George Reindorp, and his colleagues in Sudan. Following the independence of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011 (after near constant civil war since 1956), and the subsequent inauguration of the 39th Province of the Anglican Communion by Archbishop Justin Welby on 30th July 2017, the Diocese of Salisbury went on to link with both Provinces - of Sudan and South Sudan. They are two independent bodies, each now containing a number of dioceses in their own right, but we are linked with both via the diocesan Salisbury-Sudan Link.
This is not an aid agency however. The Salisbury-Sudan Link is based on mutuality and the belief that two churches separated by distance and culture can care for one another in sharing resources, experience and practical help. Central to the Link is the building up of relationships through visits between all three countries, and prayer for one another, hence the prayer requests.
But there are practical ways in which the Salisbury part of the link has also been supporting the Episcopal Churches in Sudan and South Sudan, and they include:
Educational - by supporting the theological colleges, education in church schools and youth work.
Medical - by providing basic health care through medicines and equipment to church clinics, and helping to fund the training of nurses.
Advocacy - by working with Governments, non-governmental organisations, the churches and international partners to lobby for sustained peace and security in Sudan (North) and South Sudan; for an end to the conflict, and for the resources to rapidly respond to security and humanitarian crises; and to encourage the provision of better education and health for all.
Communications – by informing anyone interested on matters about Sudan and the Link, through prayer vigils at Salisbury Cathedral, the annual Sudan Study day, through the website, Facebook and Twitter, through a quarterly bulletin, and by providing speakers and display material, and facilitating visits from our Sudanese church brothers and sisters.
Much more information can be gleaned from the diocesan website at:
With the assistance and encouragement of the Salisbury-Sudan Link committee, every deanery in the Diocese of Salisbury is also linked with a particular diocese in Sudan/South Sudan, to help focus individual churches’ engagement. And our Deanery of Calne has historically been linked to the Diocese of Khartoum, in the northern Sudan. But the link has become fairly quiet over the last few years, which is why at our next meeting of the Deanery representatives (or Deanery Synod), here in the Croft in Royal Wootton Bassett on Thursday 7th February at 7.30pm, we will be hearing from a member of the Salisbury-Sudan Link committee about how we might re-fresh our link.
As I have written above, two churches separated by distance and culture can care for one another. It is good too to learn more about the world-wide Anglican Communion to which we belong. So why not come along if you want to find out more, or follow the link above.