Work and Worship in Zimbabwe - an introduction to rural life in Central Zimbabwe
Tenda Mwari (Thank God) sung by the Youth Choir of St Cuthbert’s, Gweru
St Patrick’s High School includes interviews with pupils about their hopes for the future
St Luke’s Kwekwe: extract from an open air service at Kwekwe Hospital
The Anglican Diocese of Central Zimbabwe covers roughly 30,000 square miles – about
the size of Scotland. Its base is the town of Gweru in the Midlands province, midway
between Harare and Bulawayo. The diocese has around 35 parishes. Some of these are
parishes in urban areas that once served a British ex-pat community (virtually no
white people now remain). Others serve huge high-density suburbs of low-cost housing
and one or two serve mining or industrial communities. The remainder are poor rural
parishes usually reached by lengthy travel on dirt roads, sometimes with up to a
dozen widespread out-stations.
The demands on clergy are high. Rural parishes are often first postings for young
priests and conditions are basic. This is especially hard for wives with small children.
Other more senior clergy often take on more than one role. Some have a day job while
still managing a church with up 600 or more members. Many others also have other
roles in the diocese such as youth chaplain, training responsibilities, treasurer,
archdeacon, building project manager etc.
The diocese also runs four primary schools, a high school, a farm, a horticultural
project and a clinic.
About the Diocese
Churches in Zimbabwe are full. Their worship is vibrant and there are many young
Bishop Ishmael Mukuwanda is a man of great integrity, who was previously a non-stipendiary
minister working as a mining engineer. He took a huge salary cut to become Bishop
in 1999. He has worked hard before the recent crisis to make the diocese self-sufficient,
and that remains his long-term goal.