Partnership Between Cueibet Diocese and Chalke Deanery (Wiltshire)
Introduction to the Partnership
Salisbury-Sudan Link. The Diocese of Salisbury formed a partnership with the Anglican Church in Sudan in 1972/73 since when close personal and organisational ties have developed between the two parties. Educational and medical aid has been provided to the Sudan by Salisbury Diocese.
The last four decades have seen worsening strife and eventually over 25 years of civil war between the northern and southern parts of the country; the North (pre-dominantly Arab and Muslim) and the South (pre-dominantly African and Christian), following a referendum in the South, broke apart and in 2011 the new state of The Republic of South Sudan was established.
The Republic of South Sudan is one of the World’s poorest states; the depth of its poverty, homelessness and the deprivation of its refugee camps offer a shocking picture of deprivation and need.
The church in the Republic of Sudan (the North), known as the Province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS), is in retreat whilst in the Republic of South Sudan, since 2014 known as the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS), it is growing significantly. The two Provinces share the same Archbishop and each consist of a number of dioceses, one of which in South Sudan is the Diocese of Cueibet (pronounced ‘Shebet’). Cueibet has not witnessed any of the recent violence but has had to absorb many internally displaced people (IDP). Whilst not lawless, the Diocese, located in the Lakes State of South Sudan, is not free from the criminality of cattle raiding.
Salisbury Diocese and its Deaneries. The Diocese of Salisbury consists of 19 Deaneries each of which consists of several Benefices which in turn contain several parishes. Since 2004, Deaneries have been encouraged to establish partnerships with dioceses in ECS and ECSS.
In Wiltshire, from the south of the City of Salisbury and stretching westwards towards Shaftesbury and north lies the Chalke Deanery. In 2012, the Deanery decided to establish a partnership with the Diocese of Ceuibet. Since then, the Deanery has sent two parties to visit Cueibet (in 2013 and 2014), and its Bishop (Bishop Elijah) has visited the Chalke Deanery three times. In 2013, he had a hip replacement operation in Salisbury District Hospital part funded by the Deanery.
Chalke Deanery is reviewing its current programme of projects delivered in support of Cueibet Diocese and how best to structure it for the next five years and beyond. It is looking for new partners within and beyond its geographical boundaries, in this country and abroad, to help achieve its much needed humanitarian objectives.
Click here to read an expanded version of this introduction.
The following projects sponsored by the Chalke Deanery have been completed or are still in progress:
- Support of an agricultural adviser (funded to end of 2016) to train 30 families in growing fruit trees
- Provision of 150 fruit trees and basic tools etc.
- Provision of a motor cycle for the adviser.
- Training of an IT worker to establish an IT function in Diocesan office (funded to the end of training).
- During the November 2014 visit:
- Gift of and training in use of seven sewing machines.
- Gift of some basic materials for each sewing machine.
- Gift of over 60 pairs of spectacles.
- Gift of a large number of bras.
- Gift of chasubles, stoles, communion trays.
- Delivery of a conference to senior pastors on discipleship.
Projects for 2015
This section outlines our plans for 2015 following discussions with Bishop Elijah and how you can help. In addition to our continuing support for the work of Daniel, the agricultural advisor and our commitment to running the annual conference for clergy and women leaders (some of the clergy are women), we plan to support three new initiatives:
- A radio station, run for Cueibet and Rumbek dioceses
- Mothers’ Union training programme
- Sponsorship of three pastors for a three year theological course
Radio Station (£1,200) Much of our practical support for Cueibet is dependent on fundraising. However, we are also developing links with other charities and negotiating alternative means of support. Radio South Sudan is funded by churches in the USA and is working to provide radio stations to support local churches in spreading the Gospel, addressing issues of conflict resolution, mediation, forgiveness, and reconciliation, as well as broadcasting information on health, education and local government services. So far, two stations have been established in the dioceses of Kajo Keji and Yei. Working with our American contact, it has been agreed to put a new station in Rumbek which will cover the two dioceses of Cueibet and Rumbek. The Americans will cover the £13,000 cost of the station. We have agreed to donate £1,200 for the government licences for the station to operate. This has involved Bishop Elijah negotiating his way through three government departments this month – bureaucracy can be the same all the world over!
Mothers’ Union Training (£2,200) Many traditional skills were lost during the civil war when families were displaced or depleted. Skills such as dressmaking and tailoring have to be learned over again. We began the process by providing seven machines and now the Mothers’ Union plans to run a training programme for local women. Teaching to a standard which will produce garments that can be sold to provide an income requires an expertise not readily available in Cueibet. The cost of employing a trainer from Juba for 21 days and accommodating and feeding 12 women is approximately £2,200.
Sponsorship of Three Theological Students (£12,500) American Professor Andrew Natsios has served as the US Special Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Sudan and Special Envoy to Sudan. In his book ‘Sudan, South Sudan & Darfur – What everyone needs to know’, he writes:
‘The three most functional indigenous institutions are the Christian churches, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Of these, the most powerful by far are the churches. The values the churches inculcate and the extent to which they use their influence to pursue the public good, will determine the South’s future. The role of the churches should not be compared to that of the Christian churches in the current day West, where churches – however influential – make up only one of many institutions that guide the building of a modern civil society. In South Sudan, Christian churches are the central private institution, exercising a powerful influence in the development of the emerging social order’.
All the clergy in Cueibet Diocese, including Bishop Elijah are non-stipendiary or self-supporting and the level of education, especially theological education varies considerably. As part of our approach of Educating, Training and Enabling, we aim to support the diocese by sponsoring the education of clergy identified by Bishop Elijah as future leaders. Three young pastors Daniel Makol Majak, John Madom Agaany and Michael Makajah Manyieel have been selected to begin a three year course at Kajo Keji Christian College in August 2015.
The full cost of three years’ course fees, food and accommodation and termly travel from Cueibet to Kajo Keji is approximately £12,500. We have already received generous commitments from individual sponsors to enable us to confirm their attendance on the course. We are now seeking £4,000 to complete the funding for the three years.
Other Projects Being Considered We are also exploring the cost of providing an oil press for lulu fruit – the basis of shea butter - through a South Sudanese women’s co-operative with the aim of identifying charities to fund it. The possibility of finding sponsors to fund six children to be educated in Kenya is also being explored.
New Projects for 2016
There are two new projects for 2016: a Women’s Empowerment Programme (WEP), and building school classrooms.
WEP: WEP is a continuation of the project started after the last visit, but on a higher level. It will provide a six month intensive course in Juba for four women from Cueibet, training them in Tailoring & Design, Business Management, and basic Health, Food and Nutrition at an approximate cost of £3,900. After the course, the women will be able to start up small businesses and train others in similar skills using new machines provided by the Diocese. The emphasis is on self- sufficiency, contributing to the growth of the new nation.
Primary School Classrooms: Cueibet’s primary school has four classes with over 200 pupils and it is hoped to cover the full primary range of eight classes in the next two years. Teaching takes place in the shade of four large trees with the seating being carried out of the cathedral by the children at the beginning of the week. During the rainy season, classes are held in the cathedral and another building. £2,500 has been raised as a separate project to build the classrooms before the rains return in May.
Deanery Visits to to Cueibet
There have been two recent visits to Cueibet by representative from the Chalke Deanery - in 2014 and 2015
- 2014 Visit: This visit took place November 2014, and overall it was a great success. Click here to read full details of the visit.
- 2015 Visit: Three representatives from the Deanery made a two week visit to Cueibet in November 2015. To read the report on the visit, click here.
The Partnership Team publishes periodic newsletters highlighting the progress that has been made in the various projects. Click on each link below to read past newsletters.
How Can I Help?
The total financial commitment to our Deanery Partnership with Cueibet over three years is £9,760 which gives us a target of some £800 still to raise. The Planning Group will monitor the progress of the projects and report back to the Deanery Synod. As the partnership develops, there may be other projects to support, but we will not begin these until funding is assured.
You can help with your prayers, by publicising the Chalke-Cueibet Partnership in your churches and communities, and by donating.
For more details, or to arrange a presentation, contact The Rev'd Mark Hayter, telephone 01722 785176, or click here to send an email to Rev'd Mark.
For details about how to donate, contact Gerry Purdue, Deanery Treasurer, telephone 01747 830419, or click here to send an email to Gerry.