Through the Wardrobe

Kenya_2015b Posted by Kenya META 2015 on Wed, 08 Apr 2015 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Through the Wardrobe, into the land of…


CMSI has, at the very core of its being, a commitment to partnership. Over the years, individuals, parishes and dioceses have joined in partnership across the globe in a mutual journey of learning, support and love. Recently, this tradition in mission has been extended to form a unique four-way partnership between Kenya and the island of Ireland.

The Parish of St. Mark’s Dundela, Belfast has had a fruitful partnership with the Urban Development Programme (UDP) of Nairobi Cathedral. The Parish of Bray, in turn, has had a long association with the Diocese of Kajiado. Both parishes had tenuous plans for trips to our respective partners this year, but we have also both been exploring a further bond between us – namely, Clive Staples Lewis (Jack).

Jack Lewis grew up in St. Mark’s Dundela, where his maternal grandfather, Rev. Thomas Hamilton, was the parish’s first rector. The Lewis family have a number of memorials within the beautiful church building,most notably the stained glass window pictured above. In recent years, they have run a number of Narnia events.

In Bray, the parish first stumbled into Narnia through a throwaway comment from someone about the state of the porch entrance. “It’s like an old wardrobe in here!” From that, the parish has twice transformed the church into the Land of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2009) and The Voyage of the Dawntreader’ (2013). Both parishes even used the majestic Aslan, pictured above.

True partnership thrives on relationship, so during a series of planning meetings it was agreed that the rectors of both parishes should exchange pulpits and the team members visit each other’s parishes and homes. On Saturday, 17th January 2015 the Bray team travelled to Belfast to undergo shared training and I preached on the Sunday morning. On Sunday 12th April, the St. Mark’s team will travel to Bray, where Adrian Dorian will preach.

Future reports on this four-way partnership will go into detail on the planned trips themselves but for now let us leave you with an appropriate quote from C.S. Lewis himself that sums up the journey we are beginning together – From ‘The Four Loves’:

What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.

Rev Baden Stanley – Christ Church, Bray

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