News Update – February 2021
Written by Alex Bjergbæk Klausen
Happy New Year!
We pray that the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world will soon come to an end, as more and more countries have started vaccination programmes. Though we are still facing severe restrictions, preventing us from travelling, we are hopeful that the situation will change during second half of 2021. Meanwhile, we will continue to deliver our courses through WhatsApp. In this first news-update of the year, we have two exciting news items to share with you:
Welcome to Charles Raven
Please join us as we welcome our new team member, Charles Raven. Charles will serve as international relations consultant and help build relations and open doors to you clients and partners across Africa. Currently, Charles is working on building relations with churches in Lusophone Africa (Portuguese-speaking Africa), in particular Mozambique and Angola.
Charles read Philosophy Politics and Economics at Oxford University and Theology at Durham University. After a few years in the banking industry, he was ordained into the Church of England, served as an incumbent in regular parish ministry, and pioneered the first church in what is now the Anglican Mission in England. He is an honorary Canon of All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi, and St. Anslem’s Cathedral, Sunyani, Ghana.
From 2012 to 2016, he lived in Kenya and served as Archbishop’s Officer for Anglican Communion Affairs in the Anglican Church of Kenya under Archbishop Eliud Wabukala. This period of living in Africa and travelling widely gave him first-hand experience of the developing world and he continued to travel widely on, returning to England as Membership Development Secretary for the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) with particular responsibility for the development of its nine global networks.
Since 2016, he has served as a trustee of Anglican International Development and is actively involved in developing its work, in which church strengthening is a key element. The primary focus is South Sudan, but it is expanding into other areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
Charles has written widely on Anglican Communion matters and is the author of a major study of the theology of Rowan Williams and his leadership of the Communion. He has also written numerous articles and is a regular columnist for a UK Christian newspaper.
In Sheffield, Charles assists at Christ Church Central, a growing inner-city congregation which is part of the Anglican Mission in England and heads up its overseas mission support team. He is a widower but blessed with seven grandchildren and enjoys walking in the nearby Peak District National Park. While in Kenya, he was Chairman of the Friends of Nairobi Railway Museum and retains a strong interest in railway history and preservation.
Charles is still serving with Gafcon and is working parttime with Relay Trust.
Building Relationship in Togo
We are also excited about a new relationship we are building with the Apostolic Church in Togo. In January, we began to conduct surveys among the 200+ pastors serving in the church to learn more about their qualifications and situations. The survey is conducted in close collaboration with the leadership in the church. The relationship will primarily center around a small Bible school in the central part of Togo. The Bible school is called CAFEM (Centre Apostolique de Formation “Envoie-Moi”) and is the main resource center for the church, where all future pastors receive their training. We hope to support the church in building up an effective learning infrastructure to equip pastors to serve well in their local communities. We have already introduced the church to some of our WhatsApp courses, so they can learn more about our approach to training, and we supported the Bible School with a better internet connection, so they can benefit from the online resources we are sharing. We look forward to this new journey with the church in Togo.