President Edgar Lungu has thanked the Anglican Church for the role it has played over the last 40 years to alleviate poverty in Zambia.

According to a speech released by State House, ahead of the president’s attendance of the Eucharist Service of the Zambia Bath And Wells link at the Anglical Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Sunday, President Lungu said the church had played an instrumental role in bettering the lives of the Zambian people.

“Today, we are gathered here to commemorate 40 years of the Zambia-Bath and Wells diocese link, an important partnership between the church of England and the Anglican Church in Zambia.
I have been informed that the link between the Anglican church in Zambia and the Diocese of Bath and Wells in Somerset of the Church of England has been in existence since 1978. This link was started by then Bishop of Bath and Wells Diocese, the Right Reverend John Bickersteth and the first Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Central Zambia the Right Reverend Jack Cunningham. The Diocese of Bath and Wells has worked together with the Anglican Church in Zambia in the area of poverty reduction in our country and in numerous areas of both human and spiritual endeavours. It is worth noting that the Anglican Church is currently contributing to the development of social and economic sectors such as education and health. The church has education and health facilities in its mission stations of Chipili in Luapula, Fiwila in Mkushi, Mapanza in Choma, Msoro in Eastern Province and Mwinilunga in North Western Province,” President Lungu said.

“The Diocese of Bath and Wells has also been working to assist the Anglican church in Zambia to be self sustaining. As part of this initiative, Bath and Wells assisted the Anglican church in Zambia to build six flats in Kabulonga whose proceeds are being used for supporting the work of the church in Zambia. Every diocese in Zambia has link parishes in Bath and Wells meant to establish relationships between the people of Zambia and England. The Anglican church is also implementing the cross border malaria project, early childhood development and community empowerment programmes. I am glad to note that the exisiting cooperation between Bath and Wells and the Anglican Church in Zambia, a number of Zambian clergy were attached to work in Bath and Wells. This is aimed at equiping clergy for ministry and growth in the Anglican church in Zambia. I wish to commend this partnership between Bath and Wells and the Anglican Church in Zambia and the works being done. The PF government considers the church as a strategic partner in national development.”

President Lungu reiterated that the church was a strategic partner in providing social services for the Zambian people.

“In addition to providing spiritual support and nourishment of our people, you are also supplementing government efforts in providing social services to our people. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank the Bishop of Bath and Wells and the five Anglican bishops for sustaining your partnership for the last 40 years. My prayer is that you can build on the gains made in the last 40 years and consolidate this partnership even further for the benefit of the church and our people. I am confident that the Anglican faithfuls in Zambia will continue to cherish this partnership with bath and wells and carry on with evangelising so that many of our people can come to the saving knowledge of our saviour and Lord Jesus Christ.
To our visitors from England led by the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Right Reverend Peter Hancock, I would like to wish you a fruitful stay in Zambia and a wonderful fellowship with members of the Anglican church in Zambia as you celebrate 40 years of this important partnership,” said President Lungu.