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The Bishop of Chester brings two projects to the attention of the wider Diocese in the hope that a source of core funding might be identified…

As is well-known, the Diocese has two partnership relationships with dioceses in the Anglican Communion: with the Province of Melanesia (the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu), and the Dioceses of Aru and Boga in the Congo. Both links have been rich sources of mutual blessings, in many ways.

Two potential projects have arisen - one in each partner Diocese. Both operate in areas of high deprivation (80% of houses in Melanesia have no electricity or running water, and the Congo is ravaged by poverty, strife and civil war). Both projects will help meet local needs, and both will help to generate longer-term financial stability.

You can read about the projects below. Each has been professionally assessed and each scheme would cost around £1 million, although some limited partnership funding is likely to be available for the Congo project.

We would like to be able to assist our overseas partners. The Diocese of Chester does not maintain excess reserves, because it is our policy to leave as much resource as possible for use as local parishes decide. If we are to help our partner dioceses with these projects, we will need to launch a major appeal, but experience tells me that such appeals are likely to fail unless substantial core funding is established in advance.

For this reason, I am drawing these needs to the wider attention of the Diocese in the hope that a source of core funding might be identified. Should a major donor emerge for either or both projects, we would be happy to discuss how this might be acknowledged locally at the schemes themselves.

I realise that folk have many other commitments, and not least laudable charitable commitments, but I felt it would be right to make these needs of our partners in the wider Church known.

I very much hope that we can find a way to fund both projects. If you can assist with core funding them please contact my office on 01244 350864.

+Peter

 

Project 1 - Expanding Chester House in Melanesia
In Melanesia, the project is to double the size of ‘Chester House’, the guest house which we have previously established for the church in the centre of the capital of the Solomons, Honiara. As well as adding 16 good bedrooms, the scheme would also provide a modern meeting room for the church, which is currently lacking. The surplus income from lettings at Chester House is used to support the work of the Melanesian Brotherhood. Chester House is well run (and verified personally by me last year), and currently contributes around £18,000 per annum to the wider missionary work of the Brotherhood, throughout the Solomons and neighbouring countries.

 

Project 2 Hydro-electric plant in the Congo
In Aru, where people survive on subsistence farming, the diocese would like to develop a hydroelectric scheme. This would both provide the electricity which is needed to help the local communities develop socially and economically, and also provide an income which would support the wider mission of the church. If this comes to fruition it could lead to an economic boom.