Bristol South Deanery are providing bibles for Confirmation candidates in Ugandan Confirmation Candidates hold their bibles in the air to show to the bishop.
Uganda. Canon Gwyn Owen describes the inspiration for this initiative and how you can get involved if you too feel inspired.
Last year I had the privilege of going with Bishop Mike to Uganda for the All Clergy Conference in Kampala. I then stayed for an extra five days and travelled to our link area of Mbale / North Mbale. I received great hospitality and was struck by the warmth and decency of the Christians in that part of the world. I was also struck between the apparent wealth in the cities and towns compared with the more rural areas. North Mbale is definitely a rural area; however Uganda has great wealth. So for me the issue quickly became less about money and more about relationship.
Uganda has the wealth, though it is very unevenly distributed, the same could be said of our Country. We have tried so many ways to make a difference. Ways too often centred around our comparative wealth and their lack. I was praying whilst there that God would give me a sign as to how we may truly deepen that relationship with our Ugandan Christian Brothers and Sisters in a kingdom shaped manner.
During the visit I attended a Confirmation, over 200 young people were confirmed in a day-long (yes, 7 hours) service. It was a wonderful experience, if a little hot at times. Each candidate had to hold a Bible as they were being confirmed and there was a great handing round of the scriptures. It transpires that there is a real lack of Bibles in our friends churches and households. It seemed like an answer to a prayer, this was something we could do.
Clearly Christian, clearly showing our commitment, clearly needed; something that would give our friends, congregations and pastors, fresh impetus and hope. Without, pray God, falling into worldly traps set for us or for them.
In South Bristol I have been asking if members of our churches would like to give 10 to buy a Bible in Uganda. This price includes having the Bible bound and zipped to keep it safer in sometimes trying conditions. I am also discussing with the Bishops secretary what percentage will be printed in English and what will need to be in local tongues.
We started our appeal on Bible Sunday and I made sure each church had a set of ten envelopes with a sticker inside to print their name on. In the two Sundays since then four churches have run out of stickers and have asked for extras and every day I receive a steady number of letters through the post containing a cheque and sticker with a name on it to be placed on the inside of the Bible, freely given. We will close just before Christmas.
If this is something you feel called to take part in please feel free to use the details below. Make sure you include your Christian name in the envelope so I can write a sticker for you. Please add your prayers to mine for this work. Thank you in advance for your generosity and care.