30th May 2018
Dear Colleagues
Zambia 40 Bath and Wells Celebrations – everyone welcome!
Our visit to Zambia from 19th April to 3rd May this year was everything we prayed it would be and more; hugely uplifting and joyous, yet also humbling as hearts and homes were opened up to us and we saw how people there are living and telling the story of Jesus everyday.
We encountered God in every story we heard and every prayer we shared.  The energy of the people we met was infectious and the jubilant welcome we received at every stop on our journey was something to behold.  In the words of Sandra Freeborn from Shepton Mallet, one of the 30 parish representatives we travelled with, “the rhythm of Zambia will beat in our hearts forever.”
This experience was part of celebrations to mark 40 years of our companion link with the five Anglican dioceses of Zambia.  Clergy and Church members turned out in force to welcome all the Team and were keen to engage with us, as we explored together what it is to tell the story of Jesus in the modern world.
In July we host the ‘return fixture’ as we welcome a group of Zambian guests here to Somerset.  Through our hospitality and welcome, we want to demonstrate our love for our Zambian brothers and sisters and how important the link is to us here in Bath and Wells.
A highlight of the visit will be a service at Wells Cathedral on Saturday 14th July at 2:30pm, followed by an ‘after-party’ at the Bishop’s Palace.  There will be a festive feel with colourful worship, music from groups including the Royal Artillery Band, family games and other entertainment. Please bring a picnic, a blanket and lots of friends!
We warmly invite you to be part of this “not to be missed” event and hope you can help extend the invitation far and wide across the diocese by sharing and displaying the attached poster in several places.  Parking is available at Palace Fields (via Silver Street) and it would make a memorable parish day-out. Please visit this link www.bishopspalace.org.uk for further details of events in the morning.
As well as celebrating what has gone before, our hope is to refresh and re-energise our special partnership with the Zambian dioceses and ensure it continues to flourish long into the future.  So we do hope you can join us.  Please register your intention to attend and ask others to do so, by visiting the Diocesan website www.bathandwells.org.uk/zambia-celebration.  An idea of numbers attending by Monday 2nd July would really help our planning.
Yours in Christ
Bishop Peter and Bishop Ruth