St Asaph has had a link with the Diocese of South West Tanganyika for seven years. Following Bishop Simalenga’s sudden death in office in 2013, he has been succeeded by Bishop Matthew Mhagama (pictured right).
What is South West Tanganyika like?
It’s not as hot as you might imagine as most of the diocese is between 3,800 feet and 6,000 feet above sea level. Temperatures range from 15° to 25° for most of the year and there is plenty of rain. It’s much hotter on the shores of Lake Nyasa.
Much of the area is still heavily wooded but an expanding population is cutting down trees rather too quickly. There is only one tarmacked road in the whole diocese. Most people travel on foot or by bus.
Subsistence farming is the way of life for a substantial proportion of the population and diet is limited and monotonous. Churches are well attended and lively. Tanzanians cannot go for long without bursting into song.
What has happened so far?
A small party from St Asaph made a visit in 2010 led by Bishop Stephen Lowe. As a result of what they saw, St Asaph mounted a Diocesan appeal which raised money to donate 37 motor bikes to rural clergy and 40 bicycles to rural evangelists.
A reciprocal visit followed in 2011 Bishop John Simalenga and his wife Martha visited in 2012.
The Revd Mike and Roz Harrison and Drs. Adrian and Hilary Murray have made visits in 2013 and 2015 establishing links at local level and raising £13,000 for new fishing boats on Lake Nyasa.