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Bishop John visits Peru

Published: 2nd December 2022

Phil Bradford, Bishop John and Bishop Jorge in Peruvian hatsBishop John has recently returned from a visit to our partner diocese of Peru, visiting some of the projects which have been supported by previous Lent appeals. Here he reflects on the experience: 

"Visiting our long-standing link with the Anglican Diocese of Peru is always an affecting experience.

Peru is a country of huge contrasts. A magnificent Pacific coastline is bordered by the driest desert in the world. That gives way to snow peaked Andes mountains and from there it is not that far to the Amazon basin and the rain forest. We visited churches in Lima, which is on the coast, and then travelled high up into the Andes to Juliaca, which is just under 15,000 feet above sea level. The air is very thin there.Shanty town in Arequipa

There are also stark contrasts among the people of Peru. There is wealth in Lima but the majority of the several million inhabitants live in shanty towns. Elsewhere, the people are predominantly very poor. It is among them that the Anglican church mostly ministers.

community kitchenIt was moving to visit and be offered hospitality in the poorest areas of Arequipa, at a food kitchen which we support financially. Money goes a long way there and donations from churches in our diocese during Lent 2020 enabled it to continue during the pandemic. It is one of quite a few projects among the poor which the Diocese of Peru organises.  

I return full of gratitude for all I and the others in the group received whilst there and for all the good things we enjoy here. I am acutely aware of our cost-of-living crisis, but the poverty there is of a different order of magnitude: no running water or electricity, no work, no social security, no health care; enough food barely to survive. It’s a very humbling.Bishop John & Bishop Jorge with Peruvian dancers

I am pleased that the people in our churches are able to help a little and we shall be raising more money this coming Lent, but the need is enormous. A big part of my heart remains in Peru as I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ there."

Page last updated: Friday 2nd December 2022 11:39 AM

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