This week the Diocese marks eight years of its link with the Diocese of the Highveld in South Africa. The Diocese sits on the Highveld plateau and stretches from the townships of Johannesburg out to Swaziland.
The Diocese has many social responsibility programmes and activities including soup kitchens; training and supporting child advocates, who provide a means for orphaned children to get such basics as a birth certificate; adult education; the care of the elderly; and HIV/Aids counselling. They also help people to help themselves, for instance, through the agricultural seeds programme so that they can grow their own vegetables or through help to set up their own businesses.
There will be prayers for the link in church on Sunday 20th November and at a service at Newport Cathedral on 29th November.
We at St Mary’s Priory are linked with the Diocesan Cathedral, St Dunstan’s in Benoni. The Dean of St Dunstan’s preached here at St Mary’s last September during his visit to South Wales for Fr Jeremy’s Installation as Dean.
On January 27th there will be a concert in the Priory Centre in aid of a Clinic in Benoni. The concert will be given by the Abbey String Quartet – an established professional ensemble made up of graduates from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. They play a very varied repertoire of all kinds of music, and their concerts are great fun.
The Clinic is run by Carol Beetge, the widow of the Former Bishop of the Highveld and a qualified health professional. It is a general clinic providing healthcare for several thousand people each month. Due to malnutrition, illnesses such as TB are very common. A great deal of work is also aimed at mothers and babies, with a special programme for mothers who are HIV positive. Very often the clinic gives out food and goods provided by St Dunstan’s Cathedral congregation, as well as providing healthcare.
The idea for the concert came about after Carol Beetge spoke to the parishioners of our Sister Church St Peter’s, Llanwenarth.
Our new Vicar, Fr Mark Soady, and the Bishop visited the Highveld last January.
whose Son Jesus Christ, has transformed us with the hope of new life,
prosper the work of your Church in the Dioceses of the Highveld and Monmouth.
Through the inspiration of your Holy Spirit.
may we grow together in the love of Jesus.
Bless our bishops, David and Dominic,
to be messengers of the Good News,
and through the lives of us all
may your kingdom come,
through Jesus Christ,
who with you and the Holy Spirit
lives and reigns as Lord of all,
world without end.