Mark and Jenny have worked with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) since 2009 and are currently based in Queensland, Australia – with their two children, Abigail and Naomi.
MAF is a worldwide Christian organisation operating over 125 light aircraft, serving in over 30 countries. Amazingly every 3 minutes, an MAF plane is taking off or landing somewhere, making it the busiest airline in the world! Around 280 flights every day transport patients, relief teams, medical supplies and Christian workers in the world’s remotest regions and places of deepest human need. Places where flying is not a luxury but a lifeline.
Mark is an aircraft engineer and is part of a team that does the heavy maintenance on aircraft that fly for MAF in Arnhem Land, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Bangladesh. Jenny works in the hangar as a Communications Officer, writing updates and stories and taking photos of the work of MAF for both internal and external publications.
Our last Vicar, David Kitley, is the Bishop’s Adviser on overseas links. In our overseas links we aim to:
We are linked with four dioceses, in parish-to-parish relationships that are growing and active! To enable this to happen we have set up a sub-committee for each diocesan overseas link, which then report to the Diocesan Links Committee (DLC). The DLC is chaired by the Bishop of Tonbridge and meets four times a year.
Rochester Diocese has been linked with that of Harare for many years, starting with a friendship with two theological students; one of whom became Bishop of Harare (Peter Hatende) and the other, Bishop of Tonbridge – Philip Goodrich. The church in Zimbabwe has chased many challenges but continues to grow and to be very much in good heart. A growing number of parish churches in the Diocese of Rochester have parish links there, with mutual visits. We have been much enriched by this friendship, deepened by times of suffering and economic difficulty. They invite your prayers for their nation and future.
Bishop Given Gaula was appointed to Kondoa in 2013 and leads with great energy and inspiration! He came from a childhood of extreme poverty that has left him with a special concern and care for children and for women. Under his leadership many churches have been planted and parish-to-parish partnerships formed. Many church members visit their link parish in Tanzania and find their Christian faith enlivened!
The partnership with Mpwapwa began formally in 2004, following two visits there in 1997 and 2002. Bishop Simon Chiwanga helped the build their cathedral (pictured here). He is now retired but active in trying to reverse deforestation of the area. His replacement, the Right Reverend Jacob Chimeledya is also Archbishop of Tanzania and so very busy! As in the other partnerships, church are involved in visits there and funding various projects that include provision of safe drinking water and sponsoring the building of a boarding school for girls where they would be safe.
Two Rochester parishes are sponsoring the building of a girls’ secondary school outside Mpwapwa at present.
Here we are linked under the Poorvoo Agreement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Estonia, whose practices are in many ways similar to ours. This partnership is obviously different from those in Africa but nonetheless significant and important. We are reminded of their enthusiasm for their link with us after domination by the Soviets for so long. More Estonian parishes seek local church links with us. Their winters can be cold and beautiful in equal measure, their summers warm. Recommended!
*Last updated December 2016