Diocese strengthens link with Northern Argentina partners
The Diocese of Carlisle is playing host to the Bishop of Northern Argentina as official links continue to be strengthened between both dioceses.
The Rt Rev’d Nick Drayson and his wife Catherine Le Tissier are in Cumbria for a six-day visit, during which time they will meet members of the diocese’s Partnership for World Mission committee as well as members of its Northern Argentina Link Committee.
Bishop Nick said: “This visit helps to renew and strengthen the links between both dioceses. This is a two-way friendship which has involved various visits over the years and this is our chance to spend more time in Cumbria again.
“Because our two dioceses are so far apart geographically it is always important that we look to maintain face-to-face contact whenever possible. We know that people are always praying for us but visits such as this are particularly useful for developing the ministry of both dioceses.
“We have common concerns in mission, unity, working with families and discipleship. We can learn from each other in all of those areas.
“Very high on our agenda is the creation of missional communities and work on and around discipleship and so we are very keen to talk more with people from Carlisle Diocese about the work ongoing through God for All.”
The ecumenical God for All strategy and vision aims that by 2020 everyone in Cumbria has the opportunity to discover more about God and God’s purpose for their lives so that they will discover more of Jesus and the Good News and become followers of Jesus within a Christian community. As part of that, up to 35 mission communities are being created to enable churches and Christians to encourage and support the growth of disciples.
The visit of Bishop Nick and Mrs Le Tissier’s comes four months before a further Northern Argentinian delegation of pastors and young people arrives in Cumbria.
The Northern Argentinian diocese was also a beneficiary of the Bishop of Carlisle’s Harvest Appeal last year, working alongside the Church Mission Society (CMS) to support the Wichi people, one of the largest groups of indigenous people, who are struggling due to deforestation.
Bishop Nick, who was appointed suffragan bishop in 2009, has responsibility for a diocese comparable in size to France, and which, in terms of transportation networks, has only two major paved roads.
He and his wife live in the north west of Argentina, in a rural part of the diocese which holds around 90% of the diocese’s 150 churches. His links with the Northern Argentinian area date back to 1976 when he worked there in Bible translation.
Mrs Le Tissier has overseen the launch and co-ordination of AMARE, the Argentinian branch of the Mothers’ Union, majoring around discipleship in a family setting and which is set to expand to neighbouring South American countries.
Links between the two dioceses first began to form in 1995, with support including funding towards a soup kitchen and medical services in Northern Argentina.
The visit follows on from one made by Bishop Nick in 2014. The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev’d James Newcome, also visited Northern Argentina in 2013, during which time a ‘Faith in Partnership’ agreement was signed, further cementing ties.
Dave Holt, the convenor for the Diocese of Carlisle’s Northern Argentina link committee, visited in 2006.
He said: “I see so many parallels with what we’re both doing in terms of growing disciples and making God for All. It may be being done in a different way but we can learn so much from each other.
“We’re working on a programme for the May visit during which the Argentine team will look to visit church communities to see more of the work which is ongoing in our diocese.”
Notes to editors
The Diocese of Carlisle has through its Partnership for World Mission committee, three companion links with Stavanger in Norway, Zululand and Northern Argentina.
For further information contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.