London suffragan leads prayers for victims of Cyclone Idai, days after returning from Mozambique visit

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The Bishop of Edmonton, Rt Rev Rob Wickham, is leading prayers and support for the victims of Cyclone Idai, which has devastated parts of Mozambique and killed hundreds of people since making landfall last week.

Bishop Rob, who is an Angola, London, Mozambique Association (ALMA) Bishop, leads relations with Dioceses in the region through the organisation. He was in Mozambique just last weekend as the cyclone first struck land, for Bishop Manuel Ernesto’s enthronement as the new Missionary Diocese of Nampula, in the North of the country.

Since returning to London, Bishop Rob has been in close contact with Bishops on the ground in Mozambique and is leading prayers and support efforts.

He said: “It is hard to imagine the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai.  On Thursday last week, I flew to Mozambique to celebrate with our Anglican brothers and sisters, and experienced the extraordinary excitement of inaugurating a new Diocese. At the same time Cyclone Idai was making landfall in Beira. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our family in Mozambique.  As family we must love and support each other in prayer and practical application through both feast and fragility, especially through the events of the past week.  ALMA will be giving regular updates as to the Church’s response to this devastation”.

ALMA is the Diocese of London’s Companion Link with the Anglican Church in Angola and Mozambique, and part of the network of Companion Link Dioceses throughout the Anglican Communion.

Bishop Rob expressed the need for nurturing the partnerships between Diocese, to create opportunities for conversation and co-ordinate an effective response to the cyclone.

“As we reflect on how we use the world’s natural resources, we must measure our own impact on climate change.  This is yet another wake up call for London and beyond to continue to review and change our everyday behaviours, and encourage others to do the same.  Our consumption of energy is linked to these events,” he said.

The Bishop of Lebombo, an area which covers Beira, where Cyclone Idai hit, has requested financial aid be given towards the church’s response to the crisis.

Immediate donations to Mozambique will be made via MANNA (Mozambique and Angola Anglican Association), as friends able to respond immediately to need. ALMA will be working on a diocesan appeal through link parishes to assist Bishops and brothers and sisters in Mozambique to rebuild their churches and communities at Pentecost.