The link between Oxford and K&K goes back to 1992.
The link is lived out in partnerships that connect people in parishes and ministries throughout both dioceses.
The Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman, also known as K&K, is located in the northwest part of South Africa and covers an area about the size of Germany, including substantial parts of the Northern Cape and North West provinces. It includes 46 parishes, many of them with multiple outstations. The churches are diverse in nature - large and small, in urban and rural settings, conducting worship in Tswana, Afrikaans, English, Xhosa and Sotho.
Bishop Brian Marajh was enthroned as K&K's bishop in 2021.
Historically, the diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman has come together for a 'family weekend' once a year - sometimes as a whole diocese, sometimes by archdeaconry. Alistair Andrews created a video from his photographs of the 2018 Family Weekend - a literal 'snapshot' of the diocese.
Our work together
Our partnership in the Gospel takes many forms. Parish-to-parish links enable particular communities to develop strong friendships and partnerships of prayer and action. At diocesan level, we both share in prayer and reflection and work jointly on different areas of mission.
What does it mean to be a link parish? It's about sharing together in God's mission through prayer and action, learning from each other and growing together in love of God and neighbour. The following quote from the agreement signed by Huhudi and Moulsford gives a picture:
“We, the above, rejoicing in our unity as brothers and sisters in the Lord, wish to encourage each other in the work of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and building the kingdom of God in our communities."
"We wish to grow together in understanding and love and to learn from each other about our calling, our vision and the challenges that face us. We will seek to achieve this by: regular communication and, where possible, personal visits, the giving and receiving of practical and spiritual support, the assurance of our love and prayers."
There are currently several parish-to-parish links - Batlharos/Newbury Deanery, Huhudi/Moulsford, Lacey Green/Kuruman, Ritchie/Hitcham, St Cyprians/Christ Church (cathedrals), Taung/Summertown and Wolvercote - as well as two parish-to-programme links, Hope for the Living (Roodepan)/Thame and The Burning Bush Project/Dorchester Team.
Finding out more
- Take a look at short summaries from:
An introduction to the Social Development Officer
The Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman in the Northern Cape, South Africa recently employed a Social Development Officer (SDO). The key role of the SDO is to set up projects and programs for all the parishes in the diocese and promote the mission of the church in their respective communities. This mission is to feed people spiritually, provide guidance, empower, build capacity as well as advance the work of God.
My name is Heather Steenkamp (the new SDO). I am married to William and we have three children: daughter, Thandeka (27) and two sons, William (18) and Terence (15).
I started with this new responsibility on 1 January 2014. This important task involves spreading God’s Word, expressing and embracing love and compassion, building individual congregants’ and parishes’ capacities and in so doing growing the church.
Since starting work in the diocese I focused on existing projects. We are in the process of reviewing short, medium and long terms goals for some of the projects as well as re-launching a few stagnant projects. The greatest need together with support for projects is building human capacity.
Members from parishes are invited to attend various training – using the slogan “each one teach one”. Some parishes already have edible gardens and are also initiating home edible gardens. Father Mhuriro of St Francis of Assisi Parish in Roodepan, Kimberley has extensive knowledge in the field of edible gardens and he offered to start an edible garden training program. We will be setting up a model/pilot garden where he will train members from various parishes in the Kimberley area once all the “ingredients” for the gardens are sourced and delivered to his parish. This garden is part of the “Hope for the Living” projects. The training will include soil preparation, planting, caring for the plants and harvesting. We will be producing training manuals in the English, Afrikaans and Setswana languages.
St Matthews, Barkly Road in Kimberley has very enthusiastic men and womenwho have a sewing project which needs re-ignition. To ensure the sustainability of the project, we are using the philosophy: The “wealth of the poor”. It is an exciting project where training in Market Research, Marketing as well as Basic Bookkeeping will be run to build capacity.
Caregivers who tend to the very ill and elderly in communities have expressed a need for training and spiritual guidance to enhance their work and lives.
We are busy with Sunday school training for teachers and are developing training material for them in the Kimberley area, where we also invite priests such as Father Reggie Leeuw.
An exciting career development project is to be launched with St Cyprian’s Grammar School, a project of St Cyprian’s Cathedral. It’s a very exciting, intensive, practical career guidance program involving a range of external partners to ensure its success and sustainability.
My philosophy is projects must breed sustainability through ongoing human development because there are many skills sitting in the pews of parishes which can be utilized to glorify the work of God in all the diocese.
Interested in becoming a link parish?
Get in touch with the Link Chair and Link Co-ordinator, whose details are below. They'll be able to start the process by telling you more about what a link entails and finding out about your parish's hopes and expectations.
As with parish links, the diocesan links are founded on mutual friendship in Christ and shared learning. Over the years, we have presented at each other's diocesan conferences, shared thoughts around specific areas of work, and engaged in some larger scale projects together.
- Members of the K&K leadership have spoken at our diocesan conferences for clergy and lay members of the diocese. We, in turn, have worked with them on clergy schools and gatherings.
- In 2017, we identified some key concerns - making disciples, care for creation, poverty and inequality and the role of young people in the church - that are shared on both sides. In a summit held in Kimberley, 30 people from each diocese reflected on these questions, responses for each context and how we could support each other. You can read about the summit in a collection of stories here.
- In 2019, we initiated a youth exchange programme. The hope is that this programme will enable young people from K&K to broaden their experiences and to help Diocese of Oxford parishes to have a better understanding of the languages and cultures of K&K, so that we can deepen our relationships. In the first instance, a young person from K and K, Ona, came for a year to Warfield Parish, where she shared in the parish's youth work and also did online Setswana language tutoring.
- The diocese has worked alongside K&K leadership, including the Social Development Officer and, more recently, the Action and Outreach Committee on projects in K&K relating to capacity building, access to food, and HIV/AIDS. We recently sponsored a session in which a group working on access to food in Boegoeberg and groups working on sustainability in south Oxfordshire met to exchange experiences and ideas. We hope to take this kind of exchange forward in the future.
While visits and exchanges were put on hold during the pandemic, our connections have continued, aided by the development of new online communities, including the St Cyprian's Cathedral Community Facebook group. As travel opens up, we have had a visit by the PWM Project Officer to Kimberley and Kuruman, and are hoping and praying that it will be possible to join together on more occasions, including hosting clergy at our clergy conference and meeting Bishop Brian in his first visit to the UK as Kimberley and Kuruman's bishop.
The Revd Canon Sue Booys
Kimberley & Kuruman Link Chair
01865 340 007
The Revd Canon Nick Molony
01844 273 895
Maranda St John Nicolle
PWM Project Officer
07493 377 580