People in two dioceses on opposite sides of the globe are today (25/5) engaging in their first joint annual prayer day. The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, and the Bishop of Northern Argentina, the Rt Revd Nick Drayson have sent reciprocal filmed messages of greeting.
In his, Bishop James says: “We will be praying with you and for you and this ties in well with a project which we will be involved in called Thy Kingdom Come which is aimed at mission in this part of the world.”
Bishop Nick tells viewers: “We thank the Lord for this partnership we’ve been sharing as dioceses over many years and I take the opportunity to greet you on behalf of all the brothers and sisters here.”
The prayer day builds on work that has been ongoing for more than twenty years to build stronger ties between the two dioceses. Since 1995 there have been a number of visits to and from Northern Argentina. There's also been prayerful and financial support for a number of projects including a soup kitchen and medical services, refurbishment of a property as a home for Bishop Nick and ways to restore Christian faith within Amerindian families.
The annual prayer day also comes as an eight strong delegation of pastors and young people from Argentina spend nearly a week in Cumbria, exploring mission opportunities and ideas. They are being led by Archdeacon Hugo Vergara, who said: “This link helps each diocese develop an evangelistic way of working. Together we can look at how to reach more and more people.......In our diocese this link has helped us with the planting of two new churches in Salta and Tucuman. The purpose of this latest visit is to help improve links between young people in each diocese so that they are able to share new gifts with each other.”
The trip includes visits to Carlisle Cathedral, the diocesan youth centre at St John’s in the Vale as well as a tour of Rose Castle. It has been organised by Dave Holt, the convenor for the Diocese of Carlisle’s Northern Argentina link committee, who also helped develop the annual prayer day. He said: “I think it’s so important that we have the opportunity to meet people from other cultures who worship God and Jesus in different ways. The prayer day will be very important for the link too as we look for a focus where people in each diocese know that they are being prayed for both as individuals and for their projects such as God for All and the creation of mission communities here.”