St. Paul’s Church in Syongila, Kenya, is St. Lawrence’s Partner Church. Our partnership began when Canon David Mutisya, who was then vicar of St. Paul’s, returned to Kenya after training in Bristol during the early 1990’s. Canon David visited Biddulph on several occasions during college vacations.
St. Lawrence’s agreed to pray for the work of the Gospel at St. Paul’s and its daughter churches.
The link with St. Paul’s, which is near to Kitui Town in Kenya’s Eastern Province, was further strengthened when two members of St. Lawrence’s, Andrew Shufflebotham and Robert Jackson, visited Syongila during the summer of 1995 to open a new community foodstore
During August 2001, the congregation at St. Lawrence’s welcomed Canon Mutisya and two church elders for an extended visit to Biddulph.
Groups from St. Lawrence’s made further visits to Kenya in 2002 and in 2005. During the 2002 visit, they were present (and joined in the celebrations) when Rt. Rev’d Benjamin Nzimbi, who was then Bishop of Kitui, was made Archbishop of Kenya. He remained Archbishop until retirement in 2009. Some photographs of the 2005 visit are available here.
In October 2006, we were delighted that Canon Mutisya was once again able to visit Biddulph with Mrs. Rose Masila, a member of St. Paul’s congregation. They brought greetings and news from our brothers and sisters in Kenya.
In November 2007, Jessica Simba, a Careforce volunteer from St. Paul’s joined us in Biddulph for an 8 month placement.
A group of young people from St. Lawrence’s CYFA visited St. Paul’s during July 2008.
Rt. Rev. David Mutisya moved on to be a bishop in Nairobi’s All Saints Cathedral Diocese. He is working in the Diocesan Mission Area of Garissa.
Canon Joseph Simba is now the vicar of St. Paul’s. The church in the Syongila area continues to grow and St. Paul’s has four daughter churches, among them – All Saints, Tungu, St. Mary’s, Kyondoni and St. Simeon, Matinyani. Please remember to pray for Canon Simba, the Elders and PCC at St. Paul’s as the ministry develops there.
It was good to welcome Canon Simba and James Masila from St. Paul’s during November 2012. Some photographs taken during the visit may be found here: https://www.facebook.com/biddulphchurch/photos_stream
St. Paul’s has a vision to take the church to the more rural areas of the parish and is currently raising funds to build a number of small daughter churches to serve the local communities.
Plans are now underway to take a group from St. Lawrence’s to visit Syongila during the summer of 2017. If you think you may be interested in coming along, please contact us.
Please join our FACEBOOK GROUP to help foster the partnership between our 2 churches.