The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norwich dean's message of hope to Zimbabwe

GrahamSmithZimbabweThe Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Graham Smith, has just returned from a 10-week trip to Zimbabwe where police wielding batons and armed with tear gas regularly break up Anglican church services.

With the church split between one bishop allied to the country’s president, Robert Mugabe, and one opposed to his rule, Anglicans have become a target for police, who have orders to arrest anyone who supports the new Bishop of Harare, the Rt Rev Chad Gandiya, who hosted the dean’s visit.


Banned from their cathedral, congregations have created make-shift churches under corrugated iron and thatched roofs with plastic chairs for pews and a folding table as an altar.


The dean said: “I went to remind the people they are not forgotten and that the worldwide family of Anglicans is deeply concerned and praying for them. That was always met with spontaneous applause. The emphasis was on holding the people together. I had to explain I had come to witness a church in exile."


The dean’s 10-week trip to Africa as a guest of the bishop followed a visit by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, last October to show support for the persecuted Anglicans.


Read more of this story on EveningNews24


Pictured above is the Rt Revd Chad Gandiya with Dean of Norwich Very Rev Graham Smith in Zimbabwe.


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