Diocese welcomes Argentinian link team
A six-strong delegation from the Diocese of Northern Argentina is touring Cumbria as part of special link visit.
The group arrived in Cumbria on Tuesday, having left temperatures of over 30 degrees to face snow and freezing conditions in Cumbria. The visit strengthens ties between the Dioceses of Carlisle and Northern Argentina, which have been in place since 1995.
The Argentine group is led by the Rev Dany Lescano, Vicar General in Northern Argentina, who is acting Bishop following the retirement of the Rt Rev Nick Drayson last May.
Dany, who has travelled to Cumbria with his wife, Flavia, and daughter, Sofi, said: “We need each other. As Christians we believe that relationships with one another are so vital, and we give thanks for our strong partnership with the Diocese of Carlisle. It’s a blessing for us all.
“We are also very thankful for the support that our friends in Cumbria will offer towards a new seminary programme that we are starting to help train fifteen students.
“And as for the weather since we arrived… well it has been very cold but the Cumbrian welcome has been so warm!”
The Archdeacon of West Cumberland, the Ven Stewart Fyfe, who is also the convenor for the Northern Argentina link on the Diocese of Carlisle’s Partnership in World Mission committee has helped organise the visit.
Archdeacon Stewart said: “There are so many similarities between our two dioceses. They are both geographically large, and yet relatively sparsely populated. Both are currently without a Diocesan bishop, and both also have a particular focus on supporting and nurturing lay ministry. So we have much we can learn from one another.
“It’s wonderful to be able to welcome Dany and his team to Cumbria so we can listen to them - and they to us - about where God is leading our dioceses at this time. It’s also been heartwarming to see how they’ve been so welcomed by church and school communities.”
The group has already visited the Diocese’s head office in Penrith and members have helped lead collective worship at Orton CE Primary school. In coming days, they will also meet members of the Diocesan Mothers’ Union and take part in church services at St John’s Levens, St Michael’s Dalston and St Peter’s Kingmoor.
The visit builds on work that has been ongoing for nearly 30 years to build stronger ties between the dioceses. As well as various visits there's also been prayerful and financial support for several Argentinian projects including a soup kitchen and medical services.
In 2013 the former Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev James Newcome visited the Argentinian diocese and he and Bishop Nick Drayson signed a special “Faith in Partnership” agreement, further cementing ties.
Meanwhile, the Northern Argentina link is set to be one of the beneficiaries of the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal for the next three years.
The Rt Rev Peter Ramsden, chair of the Diocese of Carlisle’s Partnership in World Mission committee and former Bishop of Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, said: “For many years the Diocese of Carlisle has had links with Northern Argentina as well as the Diocese of Stavanger and the Diocese of Zululand.
“It’s always important that these relationships are refreshed and that’s exactly what this visit is about. With a renewed commitment to support Northern Argentina through our Bishop’s Harvest Appeal it means that together we can turn towards a new phase.”
There are also plans for the Archdeacon of West Cumberland to visit the Diocese of Northern Argentina in October.
For further information contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Head of Communications, on 07469 153658 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.