Croydon to Zimbabwe and back

The Republic of Heaven

It feels odd to be back in Croydon. I’ve just spent a couple of weeks with others from the church in this area, visiting the Anglican churches in Central Zimbabwe. It’s a link we’ve had for a long time, supporting each other in many different ways. While we were there we dedicated a hospital the church is building (at present the whole area has none at all), and attended an anniversary celebration. If any of you find church services a bit long, in Zimbabwe they can be into five hours on special occasions like that.

What’s really amazing to me is what the people in Zimbawe achieve in a country whose economy is at rock bottom. Unemployment is 80% (that is not a misprint). The currency collapsed years ago so everyone uses US dollars, and it seems to me, they have to pay US prices. But they haven’t given up…

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A couple of big surprises.

The Art of Uncertainty

Apparently it’s only been five weeks since I became a member of the Community of St Anselm but I’m sure my calendar must be wrong. Five weeks, and I can barely remember what I used to do on Monday evenings instead of strolling into Lambeth Palace. Five weeks, and I feel entirely naked without my wooden cross hanging on my chest.

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In many ways, it is all still very new – I haven’t got into a good making-lunch-the-night-before rhythm yet, so I’m still spending far too much on convenience food, for instance – but already Community life has thrown up some big surprises.

You might remember that before I begun this adventure, the thing I was most worried about was living by a rule of life. Getting it wrong. Messing up. Being restricted. Losing my freedom. But if I were to pick a word to summarise this first few weeks…

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