Visiting the Rural Parishes of the Diocese of Guinea

Farranghia Guinea

In early August Doug Ingram (our COO), Daniel Magagnin (Regional Relationship Manager) and Ella Marshall (Regional Relationship Officer) travelled to Guinea to visit the Anglican Church within the country.  The church is led by Jacques Boston, the Archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa and the Bishop of Guinea, who hosted Doug and the team during their visit.

The church is mainly focused in the capital, Conakry, although has a number of parishes along the coast in the Rio Pongo region of the country.  The Anglican Church is the oldest in Guinea, with missionaries arriving in the country as early as 1801, with the oldest surviving church being built in 1855 at Fallanghia.  The missionaries that established the church were from the Church Mission Society, who had a very difficult time of it, with 16 of the first 26 missionaries dying within a year of arriving in the country!  These missionaries were followed by others from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG), whose Anglo-Catholic tradition continues in the church to this day.

During the visit, the team was able to worship in the Toutsaints Cathedral in Conakry, and then spend time discussing past, current and future relationships between the church and the Relay Trust with the Archbishop and his team.  The church has a real desire to answer Jesus’ call to spread the Good News and make disciples.  Their particular focus is reinvigorating the rural parishes in Guinea and then setting the conditions for mission activities across Francophone North Africa.

Due to the airline leaving the team’s bags in Senegal, the visit to the church was extended, allowing the team to visit some of the rural parishes in the Rio Pongo.  It was a very enlightening experience, to understand the context of the rural church in West Africa, and the many challenges they face.  It was also astonishing for the team also to be taken to a former Portuguese slave departure point, which was linked to one of the parishes.

Please pray for the church in Guinea whose clergy and catechists are currently mid way through a practical ministry training course supported by the Relay Trust.  Please pray for the growth of the church both in numbers and understanding, as well as for the Good News of Jesus to pervade the country of Guinea and across West Africa.  Please also pray for Archbishop Jacques as he leads the IPWA and its development into a full Anglican Province in the coming years.