Melanesian in visit to Church House Nov 2012


undefinedThe thirteen brothers and sisters have shown enormous commitment to their 2013 mission by establishing the community that they themselves will be travelling in. The thirteen have been living in community since early November, spending two weeks at a time at different locations.

Most have them have never travelled outside Melanesia so there will inevitably be many major issues for them to face.

At a meeting in London, members of our diocesan link group met up with one of the brothers to discuss some of the ideas and material that are being prepared now.

Their talks and bible studies will include: climate change and the environment; society and individualism; and what it means to truly be peacemakers. Between 1 and 4 May 2013 the diocese is planning a retreat at Foxhill, Frodsham. The cost will be £15 for a day or £50 for 48 hrs. To register your interest please phone John Freeman on 01606 852872 or email  Please note that spaces will be limited.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Melanesian Brotherhood, Alphonse Garimae, visited Church House, Aldford, recently along with Barbara Molyneux, treasurer of the Chester Companions of the brotherhood. They are PICTURED with Stephen Regan, diocesan Director of Communications.

Alphonse is in our diocese until 28 November. He is staying in Eastham parish, Wirral, as is his wife Beglen, who is gaining professional experience in Wirral schools during her visit. Beglen is a primary school teacher in Guadalcanal, Melanesia. She is on a brief teacher exchange link visit at Millfields Primary School, Eastham.

Eastham parish raised funds for Alphonse and Beglan to make the journey. While here the couple are discussing the Melanesian ‘Simply Living’ mission visit to our diocese planned for next spring.

The Garimaes attended a remembrance service at St Mary’s Church, Eastham. Alphonse lost his father recently, and Beglen, her nephew, a teacher from Selwyn College in the Solomon Islands, so they found the service very moving.

Alphonse also went to Diocesan Synod, and to a coffee morning at St James with St Bede Church, in Claughton, Birkenhead, which raised £193 for the Melanesian Brotherhood, and diocesan synod among other events.

For Alphonse, the visit is his first time away from the Soloman Islands. Beglen has left the islands once before, to visit Australia.

Alphonse said: “While I’ve been here I’ve been very impressed to see the enormous support that exists for the Anglican Church of Melanesia within the Diocese of Chester.”  He was also pleased to see so many sheep in the Cheshire countryside. The animals get mentioned a lot in the Bible, of course, but there are no sheep in the Soloman Islands.

During the three-week visit next spring the Melanesians will also be at Chester Cathedral and the diocesan youth event, Blesstival, at Quinta in Shropshire.

Main services during the ‘Simply Living’ Mission 2013 …

Mon 22 Apr – 5.30pm, welcome service at the University of Chester Chapel.

Wed 24 Apr – 7pm, memorial service for the Seven Martyrs of Melanesia, Chester Cathedral.

Sun 12 May – 3.30pm, celebration and farewell service, Chester Cathedral.