Visit to Mozambique and Angola June 2022

In June 2022, Charles Raven and I (Daniel Magagnin) visited Mozambique and Angola, which together form IAMA – the 42nd and youngest Province of the Anglican Communion. IAMA has a total of twelve dioceses, and in this first visit we were able to see eight of them.

Our itinerary started in the Diocese of Nampula, which covers the northernmost provinces of Cabo Delgado and Nampula. This is certainly one of the most afflicted regions in the country and well known for the deadly insurrection that commenced in 2017, a conflict that threatens national stability in every possible level. Despite its many adversities, the history of the Diocese of Nampula is one full of encouragement and inspiration – this diocese started under a mango tree, not many years ago. This practice, which is fairly common in Africa, reflects not only their resilience and determination, but also the rapid growth of the Gospel in many regions across the continent. We joined Bishop Manuel Ernesto and his team, visiting congregations in Murrupula, Chiure and Ocua, as well as a refugee camp for internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) near Pemba. 

We then proceeded to the Diocese of Niassa, where the first Anglican missionaries in Mozambique arrived at the end of the 19th century. We met Bishop Lucas Mchema with his team in Lichinga and travelled to Messumba, by Lake Nyasa, once a vibrant ‘mission station’ that thrived on all fronts, with its own cathedral, a large school, a teacher training college and a local hospital. Sadly, most of these historical buildings have been shattered by the civil war and are no longer in operation. Having said that, the impact of the missionary legacy in the region is still tangible to this day, and the church here has experienced substantial growth in recent years, resulting in Niassa multiplying into four dioceses when IAMA was formed. 


The next part of our visit was to the Diocese of Tete, where we met Bishop Sergio Bambo and the diocesan staff. We visited a congregation in Changara, a region particularly affected by major conflicts in the past, such as the War of Independence and the Civil War. Over one million Mozambicans were killed in the fightings or starved due to interrupted food supplies. An additional five million were displaced across the country. The Mozambican Civil War, particularly, destroyed much of the country’s critical rural infrastructure, including hospitals, rail lines, roads, and schools. Numerous human rights abuses were committed, including using child soldiers and salting a significant percentage of the countryside indiscriminately with land mines. We had the chance to hear some of these troubling stories and visited some of the many mass graves in the area. The resilience of these survivors is very moving. Their commitment to Jesus and determination to spread the Gospel is transforming the region, bringing new hope and creating real opportunities. We discussed several projects that The Relay Trust is looking to support and strategies to enable grassroots leaders to thrive in their calling.

We then travelled to Quelimane to meet Bishop Vicente Msosa and his team, from the Diocese of Zambezia. The Relay Trust is already sponsoring a variety of projects in the diocese, such as the construction of a training centre for catechists and evangelists, an office and the episcopal house in Mocuba. We had the opportunity to visit the sites where these are being built and also hear about the impact the projects will make to the life of the church and their ministry, which was very encouraging.


The last part of our itinerary was at the Diocese of Rio Pungue, which covers the central provinces of Sofala and Manica. We attended meetings in Beira and visited the Church of Sao Jorge, which was devastated by Cyclone Idai in 2019. From there we travelled to Chiro and then Chimoio, where we had the opportunity to meet with a large number of catechists and church leaders to discuss new strategies and training programmes, which will allow a more effective and sustainable growth for the church in the region.

At the end of our visit we headed to Maputo, where all bishops, their churches and visitors from across the globe filled a sports stadium to celebrate the new Province of IAMA. A vibrant service, with traditional music, dance and joy in abundance.


Charles Raven and I plan to return to the Mozambique in November in order to complete our itinerary and visit the four remaining dioceses, all located in the northern and central parts of the country.


We thank God for what He has done here so far, and for all that He is yet to do – and The Relay Trust is very committed and grateful to be a part of that. Please pray for the people of Mozambique and Angola and the continuing development of this new Anglican Province.