Mere Anglicanism

Sierra Leone parish emerges from the ruins of civil war

Thirteen years after the close of the Sierra Leone civil the Diocese of Freetown has reconsecrated St Simon & St Jude parish church in Tombo

Thirteen years after the close of the Sierra Leone civil the Diocese of Freetown has reconsecrated St Simon & St Jude parish church in Tombo, a coastal community 40 miles east of the nation’s capital. The eleven year civil war left over 50,000 dead and devastated much of the West African nation. In 1997 Tombo was ransacked after disgruntled officers from the Sierra Leone Army (SLA) switched sides and joined the rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), capturing the capital and its environs.  After the war the destroyed church was demolished by the government when it rebuilt the center of Tombo. Compensation was offered but a dispute arose after the congregation purchased a new plot of land, halting construction. Once the dispute was settled a concrete foundation for the new church was laid — but the hyperinflation that followed the end of the war led to a second halt to the building. On 7 June 2015 the Bishop of Freetown, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Wilson finally dedicated the  completed structure. In his sermon, Bishop Wilson thanked his predecessor, the Rt. Rev. J O P Lynch, for holding the parish together during the war years and for helping raise the funds needed to finish the building. Bishop Wilson said the construction of a church for Tombo was only the start of the campaign to rebuild an Anglican presence in Sierra Leone. The diocese would build more churches “so that souls can be saved and come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.” However, he cautioned against taking too much pride in “beautiful” houses of worship. Christians must consecrate their life to God and “live more for Christ by building their lives on the word of God.”

 
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