The Diocese of Bristol has had a link with the Anglican Church of Uganda for many years. St Michael’s Church is part of Kingswood and South Gloucestershire Deanery which is linked to three Dioceses – Ruwenzori, Ankole and West Ankole – in the west and south west of Uganda.
The Link is a partnership between the Churches, sharing Christian friendship through mutual prayer, support and understanding of one another. It is not a fund raising organisation – the emphasis is very much on friendship rather than charity.
In practical terms, relationships are developed through visits. Contributions from churches, including St Michael’s, are used to help fund these visits and in our Deanery we also provide financial support to students for theological training.
This has been a very welcome initiative as the Church of Uganda struggles to support candidates and future leaders in their training.
In addition, individuals from Bristol churches visiting Uganda have been inspired to get involved in personal support for projects and initiatives in Uganda – such as running a Christian training and empowerment course for clergy wives, helping in the planning and development of a medical centre and supporting Christian conferences for young people.
The 50th Anniversary of the Bristol-Uganda link was celebrated in October 2019.
Visit of St Michael’s Youth team
In summer 2017, a team of eight young people and four adults from St Michael’s spent two weeks in west Uganda, visiting the Diocese of Ruwenzori as part of the partnership between the Diocese of Bristol and the Church of Uganda. Through visits to churches, schools and time spent at the Diocese headquarters, they built friendships and shared fellowship with our friends in Uganda. Highlights included team members having the opportunity to preach to Ugandan congregations, playing football with school children, good friendships and conversations with our Ugandan drivers Eddie and Charles, and a visit to an HIV/AIDS orphanage where we were inspired by how fun and friendly the children were. The team also had an amazing time on safari at the end of the trip.