The Minchinhampton Masasi Group

We are an informal group of people who have fallen under the spell of Tanzania and its wonderful hospitable people, particularly our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Diocese of Masasi in the South East of the country. We meet to exchange news and to plan ways of supporting the work of the Bishop and his team. Minchinhampton PCC has given grants for many projects and parishioners are generous in supporting our fundraising efforts. We welcome others who would like to join us.

cathedral cross
Masasi Cathedral (100 years old) Masasi Hill with Millenium Cross in foreground
To access the 'Friends of Masasi and Newala" website please click here.

Annual Report - April 2017

2016 proved to be a little quieter both at home and away. Fundraising has intentionally been more subdued in order not to dissipate the overall thrust of seeking financial support from the parish for the Re-ordering of Holy Trinity. The Masasi Group hosted a successful cake and coffee morning addition to parish breakfast mornings, resulting in £421.60 being raised as our contribution to SWIM. The SWIM Campaign Appeal is spearheaded by The Friends of Masasi and Newala in order to provide water conservation projects in Masasi.

In Masasi we have sponsored one medical student at Mtwara. Baraka is on a three year course to become a medical attendant. Also on the health side we contributed £300 towards two eye operations and aftercare which cost £1,000 in total. A further £250 was spent on new text books for Rondo School. Finally Jo Smith has assisted in the funding for clergy wives in the establishment of an animal co-operative which embraces chickens and pigs and we are advised that they have a pregnant pig!

Although we have had a more modest year than in the past I must still express my thanks and appreciation to all members of the Masasi Group for the hard work and dedication which goes in to our support for our friends in Masasi. It should be remembered that our friends in Tanzania appreciate our support in the certain knowledge that we are always available to offer help and assistance when needed both in prayer and in substance.

Andrew Watton

Visit of Bishop James and Veronica Almasi from the Diocese of Masasi

We were blessed with a four day visit to Minchinhampton by +James and Veronica as part of their stay in the UK from 10th April until 1st May.

During their time with us +James preached at Box and Holy Trinity at Sunday services on 26th April, followed by a Bring and Share lunch in the Porch Room with over 40 people present.

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The Rondo Chapel

Appeal Progress Report.

The Chapel at Rondo Seminary and school in the Diocese of Tanzania was built by Trevor Huddleston during his time as Bishop.
The chapel has some beautiful stained glass friezes designed and made by Jonathan Kingdon. Sadly the chapel maintenance is beyond the means of the local people and for some time there has been a need to repair damage by termites, white ants and the weather. The window frames were hanging, and many tiles were missing from the roof allowing the ingress of water. Several of the stained glass windows have pieces missing and need repairing, before this damage deteriorates further.

In 2009 the Parish of Minchinhampton to celebrate the anniversary of their 50 years of association with the Diocese of Masasi launched an appeal to raise funds to cover the costs of these repairs and also to install solar lighting within the chapel. The chapel is currently poorly lit by a few battery powered bulbs which are totally inadequate for the size of the building and restrict the use of the building.
The chapel and Seminary are dedicated to St Cyprian as it was founded on his day, September 25th, in 1965 and so this year will be the 50th anniversary. The stained glass windows are dated 1966 and so were added a little later.
Some of the repairs which were essential and to some extent emergency work have been undertaken and the pictures below show the changes so far.
The appeal is still open and with tremendous support from the Charity, The Friends of Masasi and Newala, just over £10500 has been raised so far. The total costs will be in the order of £30000 and the Friends are launching their own appeal to help with finding all the funds needed. You can still make donations to The Reverend Steve Jarvis, 8 Ollney Road, Minchinhampton, Stroud GL6 9BX Telephone: 01453 884545 if you wish to support the ongoing repairs.

The church has charitable status by an act of Parliament and so donations can be gift aided. If you are a UK tax payer and wish to gift aid your donation please download a gift aid form, complete it in favour of Minchinhampton P.C.C. and send with your cheque which should be made payable to Minchinhampton PCC-Masasi. Thank you for your support.

To view photographs of the stained glass please click here

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News from our link with Masasi - December 2014

Masasi1214Following on from Bishop Patrick's retirement last year, I am delighted to confirm that in July, the people of Masasi elected James Almasi to be their next Bishop. Bishop James was duly installed in September at a very well attended service. All of us who know James are delighted with his appointment as he is a long-time friend of the link here in Minchinhampton. He has often been our interpreter when we have visited Masasi especially helping with the HIV/AIDS conferences for the Mothers UnionThere is a proposed visit by Bishop James and his wife Veronica after Easter in 2015, subject to obtaining the appropriate visas. We hope that there will be an opportunity to provide Bishop James and Veronica with hospitality here in Minchinhampton. The last time he visited was many years ago with Christopher Wagstaff, former Archdeacon of Gloucester, when he attended evensong.

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Masasi Newsletter - Christmas 2012

Dear friends, benefactors, brothers and sisters in Christ.

May the light of Christ, born in Bethlehem shine upon you now and always.

I am writing my last Christmas Newsletter as the Diocesan Bishop of Masasi; firstly to thank you for your endless help and the support you have given to the Diocese of Masasi, and secondary to thank you personally for the gifts and support you have given to me and my family.

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Masasi News - December 2012

In September this year the Minchinhampton HIV project members set out on their 5th trip to Masasi. The aim of the trip this year was to continue to build and develop upon the ongoing knowledge base in relation to HIV and AIDS, to include harm reduction and health promotion whilst continuing to challenge stigma and providing simple methods of how to care for the sick. The team has built up a repertoire of factual material and practical skills which support the training we provide.

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Visit to Masasi - September 2012


A group, mainly from Minchinhampton, visited Masasi in September to hold a HIV/AIDS conference for 36 young men of the Masasi diocese. The conference was very successful and was greatly appreciated by the young men. At the end of the conference they gave us the following letter:

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Retirement of Bishop Patrick in Masasi


Many of you will have met Patrick Mwachiko, the Bishop of Masasi, on one of his several visits to Minchinhampton since 1996. In February 2013 he will be 65 and in accordance with the rules of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, he will have to retire.

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