The first ever international Episcopal peer learning initiative, which ended recently has been hailed a great success. Bishops from 24 Anglican dioceses and 11 countries gathered in Maputo, Mozambique, for 10 days of leadership orientation aimed at supporting bishops’ induction and professional development across the Anglican Communion – the first of a series of new regional events.
“I give thanks to God for a successful time together. This was a time of sharing, learning from one another, growing in faith, love and calling. I am excited that my brothers and sisters will return to their respective dioceses armed and equipped with new knowledge to build on what they already know, and in turn be a blessing to the congregations that they serve," said Bishop Anthony Poggo.
After visiting local churches, the bishops spent time in retreat with one another talking about their roles and responsibilities and studying Isaiah 6. “The orientation has been an eye-opener and a learning experience,” said Bishop Osiward Mapika of the Diocese of Masvingo, Central Africa. He continued: “The topic that spoke to me in a new way was ‘safe church’. Our visits to local churches and the great closing ceremony at the stadium were highlights. The music was so beautiful and the service so vibrant! This course has left an indelible mark on my life as a new Bishop.”
The Bishop of the Diocese of Maciene, in Igreja Anglicana de Mocambique e Angola (IAMA), Agostinho Buque, said: “this has been an extraordinary experience and very good for us, because we didn’t fully know what the Anglican Communion was, but through this course we have come to know about our great big Anglican family! We are learning how to interact with each other, respecting difference but continuing united in this Community – this is extraordinary!”
The bi-lingual peer initiative brought together English and Portugese-speaking bishops from Angola, Brazil, Eswatini, Gambia, Liberia, Mozambique Namibia, South Africa, South Sudan and Zimbabwe. Contributions from the Bishop of Portugal, Jorge Pina Cabral of the Lusitanian Church; and the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally of the Church of England who described spending time with the Bishops and their spouses as an honour.