A small group of lay and ordained ministers in this diocese help to nurture links between projects in Nigeria, Pakistan and Denmark.
Each Link Minister and/or link team advises and assists the Bishop in world mission matters, and their roles enable the diocese to offer guidance, support and encouragement in the following areas:
- The nurture of relationships with diocesan links in each country.
- Advice on the development of other mission links and partnerships.
- Advice for individuals on mission opportunities and mission vocation.
- Preaching and contributing to Mission Sundays and other special events in parish churches.
- Seminars and workshops on mission themes.
Learn more about the links in each country below.
The Diocese of Guildford’s link with the Church of Nigeria is the longest standing companion link in the Anglican Communion (since 1963).
Today, Nigeria is one of the largest new centres of Christianity; the Anglican Church of Nigeria alone has over 20 million members. It is a vibrant and fast-growing church increasing by over 70 dioceses within the past two decades. Over this time, we have exchanged mission visits and clergy for training and parish placements. We now have Nigerian clergy serving in some of our parishes.
Keith Malcouronne is the Lay Chairman of Runnymede Deanery and chairs the diocesan Nigeria Link Committee. Read Runnymede Deanery News about its link with Kebbi Diocese.
Linking your parish with such a different part of God’s church worldwide can help us:
• Break down our insularity and parochialism and challenge preoccupation with our own concerns.
• Take a fresh look at the way we've always done things.
• See that the Holy Spirit is working in new and different ways all around the world.
• Challenge us to take a fresh look at our own priorities.
• Put a human face on the world-wide church.
• Remind us that we are to receive as well as to give.
Led by Bishop Andrew, mutual support and prayer are fundamental in this diocesan partnership. Churches in the Sialkot diocese have very limited income, and a lot of diocesan property is the subject of lengthy and time-consuming land disputes.
Many of those from Pakistani backgrounds in Woking and elsewhere in the Diocese of Guildford come from the region served by the Sialkot Diocese, so there is a natural connection already here.
• Pray for Pakistan, Bishop Alwin, Sialkot Diocese, the 29 clergy and development of this link.
• Find out more about Pakistan and Sialkot - Various Powerpoints are available
• Ask to join the WhatsApp Prayer Group or Link Steering Group
• Host an event or evening to find out more about Pakistan, Sialkot & the link (Members of the Link Steering Group, who have personal experience of Pakistan & Sialkot, are available to visit any Church, Deanery or Chapter, interested in learning more or initiating a link (via Zoom, or in person when possible).
• Develop your own link between deaneries, parishes or schools in both dioceses or between parishes in the UK and a community project in Sialkot. In particular the drugs rehabilitation work in Sialkot could benefit from friends in the UK.
For any or all of the above please contact Rev Jolyon Trickey in the first instance.
The link with Viborg Diocese in the Lutheran Church of Denmark has been growing for several years thanks primarily to the joint Porvoo agreement (1992). The link has always been characterised by cheerful friendliness, hospitality and welcome. There is a shared, though very different, experience of being Established Churches.
Since the start of this relationship there has been agreement that this should not just be about ecumenical friendship, but also about sharing and enabling each other in our respective contexts.
These are just some examples of the fruit of our Viborg link:
• Enabling Study visits to the Diocese of Guildford by groups from Viborg looking at changing patterns of rural ministry, youth work and connecting with the World Church.
• Our link ministers have attended and spoke at the World Church Conference in Viborg.
• Diocesan Youth Workers have visited Viborg to see youth ministry in action. As a direct result we have included some of their excellent confirmation resources in our guidance .
• A joint conference in partnership with Viborg and also with Every, France, on our differing experiences of and response to ‘Secularisation’.
We have had excellent link representatives. The Revd Peter Fischer-Nielsen is our enthusiastic contact in Viborg. The current link person on behalf of Bishop Andrew in Guildford is The Rev’d Martin Booth.
How can I get involved?
If you are interested in learning more about this vital work, perhaps to grow a link with your parish to gain new perspectives on your own ministry and Christian pilgrimage; to visit the wonderful and ancient city of Viborg and its superb cathedral; or simply grow prayerfully in fellowship with our Danish brothers and sisters - please contact Martin Booth.