Christ Church team head off on key mission to central Africa

A team from Christ Church in Lisburn has left on a mission trip to Uganda.

The 14-strong team was commissioned during a service last Sunday and has set off for St Apollo School, Kasizi, Luwero.

The Chris Church group will run teaching and other activities at the school, which was built with funds raised by parishioners.

In 2009 the Lisburn parish started to explore the possibility of developing a partnership with a community in Africa, building on strong support for mission partnership over many years in the church.

The parish spoke to a number of mission agencies and linked up with Fields of Life whose heart is for education in Central Africa and who at present have built over 100 schools in that area.

St Apollo School was established in 2007, but only had the use of one small building and had to hold many classes under trees.

The parishioners of Christ Church raised £75,000. Through the partnership with Fields of life, two new blocks of classrooms were built at the St Apollo School in early 2012.

A team from Christ Church, along with friends from Lisburn Rotary, travelled to the school in February 2012 to complete work on those buildings, work with the children and support the local community and church.

The support for the school continued through provision of books and desks for pupils, a rain water project, purchasing land for growing crops and through child sponsorship by parishioners of Christ Church.

In 2014 Lisburn Rotary provided funding for the construction of a cook house.

The parish’s project for 2015 was to raise funds for the staff residence which would create a more settled environment for teachers and create greater stability for the school.

The rector of Christ Church, the Rev Paul Dundas, said: “We thank the Lord for his faithfulness and the generosity of parishioners and friends that the target of £24,000 has been exceeded.”

At present around 300 children receive an education at St Apollo School.

The team travelling to visit the school this month comprises the rector, along with parishioners Beth Harris, Beverley Ringland, Roberta Thompson, Anita Evans, Jane Marks, Emma Jane Marks, Audrey Knowles, Jayne Logan, Johnston Boyle, Raymond Geddis, Patrick Logan, Colin Mitchell and Gary Knowles. They return on March 2.

A varied programme has been planned and includes:

Practical work on the staff accommodation and other buildings and the site. RE classes based on the story of Peter. Health care programme & the I AM GIRL project. Sport and games. Preaching and lay reader seminars for the rector.

The team was commissioned by the Rev John Pickering, Lisa Harper and Richard Spratt.

The service was led by the rector, who preached on the theme of Call from Isaiah 6.  Worship was led by choir, the parish worship band and the Men’s choir singing In Christ Alone and I the Lord of sea & sky.’ The Mayor of Lisburn, Andrew Ewing, attended and spoke in the hall after a soup lunch.