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Friday, 12 April 2019

USPG: at the heart of the Anglican Communion's mission

Archbishop Mndolwa and Fr Duncan Dormor (Photo courtesy of USPG)
Deacon Frances and I represented the Diocese in Europe at the opening of the new headquarters of USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) in Trinity Street, London on 21 March. USPG is one of the oldest mission agencies of the Anglican communion, founded in 1701. Its predecessor, SPG, helped to found over half of the chaplaincies in this diocese. 

USPG supports the churches of the Anglican Communion in their mission to be communities of resistance and hope and in their witness to the healing power of Christ’s love. Thus it supports our work to address environmental degradation, turbulent global politics, gender injustice, and the forced displacement of people at record levels. USPG is a partner in the work of the diocese in its refugee and migrant ministry in Morocco, Greece and France. 

The opening of the HQ began with a mass and blessing of the chapel, presided over by Archbishop Maimbo Mndolwa of Tanzania. Readings and prayers were in English, Swahili, and Tagalog. It was a wonderful occasion enhanced by meeting some old friends, such as Archbishop Winston Halapua of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and the Revd Dr Michael Clarke, the Principal of Codrington College, Barbados. 

Dr Michael Clarke and Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon (Photo courtesy of USPG)
The ribbon was cut by Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. The  Revd Duncan Dormor, General Secretary of USPG, said “Today, USPG begins a new chapter in its 318 year history as we begin to put down roots in this, our new home. We hope this house of mission and place of prayer will become a place of dialogue and discussion, and of hospitality and welcome for our many friends and visitors from across the communion".

Archbishop Winston Halapua
A USPG prayer of thanksgiving:
Blessed be God in the joy of creation.
Blessed be God in the sending of Jesus.
Blessed be God in the work of the Spirit.
Blessed be God in martyr and saint.
Blessed be God in the spread of the gospel to every race and every land.
Blessed be God in the church of our day in its preaching and witness and its treasures of grace.
Blessed be God who has called us to mission who forgives and who heals and is strength in our weakness.AMEN.

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