Oxford diocese is linked with Mothers’ Union in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Victoria Nyanza in Tanzania, Ahoada and Warri in Nigeria and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The information below can be downloaded as a pdf here. (All information taken from http://www.muoxford.org.uk)
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
The Diocese of Kinshasa is a vast Diocese in the North-west of the Democratic Republic of Congo that spans from the edge of the Equatorial rainforest to the coast at Matadi.
The Diocese also includes the whole of the Republic of Congo. The Archdeaconry of Brazzaville was started in 1997, it covers the whole of the Republic of Congo and is organised in 4 Parishes with many sub-parishes with more than 1000 believers, 450 of which are women. The women participate in the activities of the Church but lack adequate training to exercise their role in the Church. The hope is to train women in evangelism and development in order to support the Church in Brazzaville when they become a Diocese of their own. Despite the number of women in the Church, only 72 women are enrolled into Mothers’ Union. The plan is to invest in training more women as members of Mothers’ Union.
The whole of the Diocese of Kinshasa is a missionary Diocese; it was founded in December 2003. The Anglican Church began in the East of Congo as missionaries came from Uganda to evangelise the border region, however, in the west of the Congo, its presence is very limited. They are now trying to actively grow the Anglican Church in the region. Despite, its relatively small numbers, there is much to celebrate, the Mothers’ Union Community Development Coordinator Rosalie Etsa became the first ordained woman in the Diocese, which is the cause of much celebration.
Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Kinshasa runs a literacy-based self-reliance programme called “Awaken”. Awaken is run in all the Dioceses of the Province of Congo. Awaken uses the Bible Studies found in the Church and Community Mobilisation Process to enable people to become literate, as well as empowered to understand their own context and understand God’s plan for their lives.
Victoria Nyanza, Tanzania
Mothers’ Union in Tanzania has one of the largest memberships in the world with over 815,000 members.
The Diocese of Victoria Nyanza is located in northern Tanzania, along the shores of Lake Victoria and has over 50 parishes in Mwanza and Geita regions. The Cathedral Church of the diocese is located in Mwanza. Mwanza is a port city with a population of over 700,000, making it Tanzania’s second largest city, following the capital Dar es Salaam.
The Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union in Victoria Nyanza is Mrs Mary Kwangu. Mothers’ Union members in Victoria Nyanza are very committed to the work of the Mothers’ Union and are involved in a number of activities including sewing and craft projects, poultry projects, running kindergartens and nursery schools, agricultural projects and evangelism.
Mothers’ Union also have an active prison outreach and regularly take gifts of food and other items to give to prisoners, also spending time with them listening and praying with them.
The Diocese of Ahoada is in the Rivers State of Nigeria. It was created in 2004. There are 120 members of the Mothers’ Union in Ahoada.
The Diocesan President of Mothers’ Union is Mrs Edna C. Ekpeye. She has been a member of the Mothers’ Union for ten years. Mrs Ekpeye’s vision for Mothers’ Union in the diocese is to establish a central skills acquisition programme where the less privileged will be taken care of, and at the end be self-reliant.
The Diocese is growing both spiritually and otherwise, despite the abject poverty in some communities. Mothers’ Union members help the most vulnerable in the community with gifts of cash and also gifts in kind.
Mothers’ Union members in Nigeria are working to support the young and those in need in their communities, particularly focussing on providing educational opportunities for children and being role models. The diocese has a very active Children’s Ministry and Mothers’ Union in Ahoada work very closely with both the Anglican Youth Department and the Anglican Children’s Ministry Department.
The Mothers’ Union holds a conference every October where members gather together to share fellowship, ideas and plan together their activities for the coming year.
The Diocese of Warri is in the Delta State of Nigeria. It was created in 1980. Warri city is one of the major hubs of petroleum activities and businesses in southern Nigeria. It is a commercial capital city of Delta State, with a population of over 311,970 people according to the national population census figures for 2006. Warri is predominantly Christian. There are 2000 members of the Mothers’ Union in Warri diocese. Their vision is to have spirit-run members and to be financially strong. Members are active in a number of outreach activities including visiting the sick and the elderly. Branches meet regularly for fellowship and Bible Study, and to examine the aim and objectives of Mothers’ Union. Mothers’ Union in Warri request prayers from their fellow members around the world for spiritual, numerical and financial growth within the diocese.
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Port Moresby is the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea. It has a tropical wet and dry climate, with consistent high temperatures throughout the year. As a capital city it often struggles with security problems.
The Diocese of Port Moresby has 8 urban Parishes and 2 rural mission stations, and has 130 members in total; Mrs Louise Werner is the Diocesan President.
Port Moresby is a city Diocese and being the nation’s capital this comes with its own challenges. As one of the main missions is reaching out to families facing problems, this often involves travel from one end of the city to another. Most members use public transport for this, but this leaves them open to the high risk of pick pocketing and bag snatching.
Mothers’ Union continues ongoing activities and meetings of members and Mothers’ Union in the diocese has made many strategic alliances in the city. It has a partnership with Anglicare in Adult Literacy which looks to include young people who drop out of school and help them to enrol at Flexible Office Distance Education (FODE). There is also a partnership with Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) in capacity building for leaders in leadership, literacy, and life skills programme. Alongside this the Port Moresby Diocese has successfully imparted skills training across the diocese on sewing, baking, cooking and tie dying fabrics.