Diocese Of Kinkiizi Retired Clergy Association
The Diocese of Kinkiizi Retired Clergy Association was formed in a meeting of retired clergy and clergy widows on 29th March 2016 in St Peters Cathedral, Nyakatare. The Diocese of Kinkiizi is in the Church of the Province of Uganda – part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The Diocese is a deeply rural area of South-west Uganda bordering Rwanda to the south and DRC to the west in a beautiful part of God’s world. Parishes are 95% rural with only two towns of any size in an area 50 miles north to south and 30 miles east to west. In such a situation parish pastors often struggle but they can draw strength from being able to meet with colleagues and friends from time to time; whereas for retired clergy and clergy widows there is no such opportunity because they have no means of transport and they easily become lonely and isolated – and they can feel forgotten by the church and diocese they have served all their lives.
After retiring around the same time as each other – Bishop Emeritus John Ntegyereize and Canon Marvin Bamforth – met to talk about their experiences in November 2013 and discovered that these had close similarities! Both new from their different but close connections to Kinkiizi Diocese that the clergy who are retired locally may also feel lonely, isolated, and no longer of service to the church. They agreed that something needed to be done about this situation. Canon Marvin gave details to Bp John about the Retired Clergy Association working in the Church of England. This chimed with what Bishop John was feeling was needed in Kinkiizi and so they met again and produced an outline of their respective ideas and shared this vision with the Diocesan Bishop and asked him if he would back the idea of forming a RCA for Kinkiizi Diocese. Bishop Dan was very happy to do so and formally launched this new support group at the inaugural meeting on Easter Tuesday. Canon Marvin was appointed as Patron with a brief to seek funding from England so that 2 or 3 meetings can be held each year (members attending need help with the cost of transport and with the provision of lunch) and to enable a small group of volunteer welfare officers to keep in touch pastorally with those clergy and widows who are sick or physically unable to attend meetings to help them to know that they are not forgotten.
This new group was formed in an atmosphere of great thankfulness and joy in Easter week with the hope that retired clergy and widows will see that they may be ageing but they can still play a role in the mission and ministry of God’s Church; and that they are not forgotten. Please pray for Bishop John (appointed Chairman), Canon Stephen Beegumisa (appointed Secretary), Rev Saul Katariko (appointed Treasurer), and Rev Gashon Tumuheirwe (appointed Welfare Officer – with his several assistants in the Archdeaconries); and for the association to play a role in caring for those who have served (and often are still serving) the Risen Lord in always challenging circumstances!