helping our churches be at home in the world church
The World Church context
Around the world, more than 2 billion people are followers of Jesus Christ. We rejoice in “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” but we also acknowledge that God gives different gifts and insights to different people. By listening to each other and learning from each other, we can learn more about the Christ we follow. We can “live faith” more fully, by “living faith worldwide.”
In the Diocese of Oxford, we share in God’s mission with partners from a huge range of countries. We have three link dioceses, five dioceses with which we are linked through the Mothers’ Union Wave of Prayer, and a large number of connections between parishes in the our diocese and parishes and mission partners around the world.
Our link dioceses
We have three dioceses with which we have an official diocesan link:
Kimberley and Kuruman in South Africa,
the Lutheran Diocese of Växjö in Sweden, and
the Diocese of Nandyal in the ecumenical Church of South India.
Our journey with friends from these three dioceses involves us in jointly working on diocesan programmes, thinking together about mission and evangelism, and working together to make a difference to people in need.
Our Mothers’ Union Wave of Prayer links
We have five dioceses with which we have a link through the Mothers’ Union Wave of Prayer:
Ahoada and Warri in Nigeria,
Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, and
Victoria Nyanza in Tanzania.
We pray for these dioceses regularly, and once a year, we celebrate three days of prayer with them in the Wave of Prayer.
Our Parish links
But we’re not just linked with dioceses. Parishes in our area have their own connections with the worldwide church — some through mission partners, some through the traditional mission agencies, some through links with other churches, and some through work with people who have come from other parts of the world to share in our journey here.
We are also fortunate to have within our diocese representatives of a number of Christian mission agencies, including CMS, the Congo Church Association, Embrace the Middle East, Interserve, Latin Link, MANNA, Mission to Seafarers and USPG. Their expertise and connections can help us to find out more about mission in theory and practice, and to connect with people engaging in mission in the UK and around the world. We also work closely with Christian development agencies such as Christian Aid and Tearfund.
This website — Living Faith Worldwide — is designed to help people find out about all these world church connections. It gives information about the connections and how to get involved. It gives some further reflections on why world church connections in general are vital for the life of the local church. And it shows how the ways that others are “living faith” worldwide can offer resources for our diocesan vision.
The website has been organised by a group called the Oxford Diocesan Council of Partners in World Mission. We’re a council of Diocesan Synod, and as the Revd Tim Naish put it, we aim to “be alive to our variegated world, in all its glory and shame … The links we have and the programmes we are engaged in are designed to help keep us all in the Diocese in touch with God’s work in all God’s world. We know and rejoice that many across the Diocese do this in their own ways, often independently of us; we love to seek closer co-operation in the service of the Kingdom” and are here to support the work of all who care about this vital area of our Christian life.
If you’d like to get in touch with us, go to the PWM and Link Contacts page for contact details.