St Peter’s Woolley has had a link with St Luke’s Tarime in the Mara region of north Tanzania since 1988. The link initially was just part of a diocesan link created at the Lambeth Conference in 1988 between the diocese of Wakefield and diocese of Mara. It was a vicar from Woolley, Rev Canon Stuart Pearson, who made contacts in Tarime while fact-finding for a school at Issenye that started it all. Over the years since then, there have been visitors from Woolley to Tarime, and in turn Woolley has sponsored visitors from Tarime to Yorkshire. The Diocese of Mara in 2010 divided into three dioceses- Mara, Rorya and Tarime. The Diocese of Wakefield itself celebrated 125 years of existence in 2013 before it was merged with two other dioceses in 2014 to become the Diocese of Leeds. During this period our parish link became more significant as St Luke’s in Tarime became a mother church and cathedral.
Apart from visits, prayers are said each week for linked parishes in Tanzania and we hold various events to generate funds. We work ‘shoulder to shoulder’ (or ‘bega kwa bega’ in Swahili) with the Tarime parishioners matching the money they raise locally for their different projects.
Service at Easter 2022 in St Lukes Tarime
Church land for Songambele
Our link parish of St Luke in Tarime, Tanzania, has a thriving church-plant in the nearby village of Songambele, but they worship out in the open as they have no church building. For a while the Tarime church council has been looking to buy a piece of land and build a church there for its church-plant congregation, and here in Woolley we have been fund-raising to help them. Recently the Vicar of Tarime, Canon Yohana Yakobo, informed us that a piece of land had come available, costing £3750. The church in Tarime has raised exactly half, and they wondered if we in Woolley might now send the funds we have already raised. The motto of our link is bega-kwa-bega, shoulder-to-shoulder. So, in the spirit of bega-kwa-bega our church council has sent the full £1875 they need to secure the land, and will continue to raise funds.