Diocese of Carlisle

    Diocese strengthens mission partnership agreement

    Latest News
    24 Jan. 2024

    The Diocese of Carlisle has strengthened ties with an international partner to support mission and ministry across Cumbria.

    For more than 15 years the Diocese has partnered with the Norwegian Mission Society (NMS), particularly around its Network Youth Church initiative which engages with hundreds of young people in the county and the introduction of international missionaries.

    This week, the Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Rev Rob Saner-Haigh, signed a new six-year partnership agreement with NMS. It will see continued working together in mission, resourcing local ministry and shared learning. For 2024 to 2026, NMS are funding a new Children’s and Families worker role to help grow new church communities, as well as supporting the Diocesan interns’ scheme and Network Youth Church.

    On Monday, NMS representatives and Brazilian mission partners who are also supported by the Norwegian team, gathered with Diocesan staff at Carlisle Cathedral for a special Eucharist service to celebrate the ongoing partnership.

    Bishop Rob said: “We are thrilled to be able to extend this working agreement with our Norwegian partners. We are truly thankful for the considerable financial commitment they continue to offer each year as together we look to grow disciples across Cumbria and strengthen our international bonds.

    “It was a huge blessing to be able to gather together at Carlisle Cathedral – members of NMS, a group of Brazilian mission partners and friends from our link Diocese in Northern Argentina, who happen to be visiting Cumbria at the moment – to celebrate God’s goodness across all nations.”

    NMS currently works with Brazilian mission partners in France and is now exploring how that can be expanded further in support of the Diocese of Carlisle.

    Sandra Bischler, NMS Section Leader for Europe and Brazil, said: “We are very excited to be able to strengthen this partnership further. We have new projects that we are going to support and together we will also look at the possibility of new missionary placements with our Brazilian friends. This new partnership agreement is taking us into a new era. It is hugely positive.”

    Samuel and Karla Treptow Coswig – along with their two children, Thomas and Caleb - are currently missionaries in southern Brazil. They travelled over to Cumbria to meet with NMS and Diocesan representatives as they explore possible mission opportunities in Cumbria over the coming years.

    Samuel said: “We feel that we would learn a lot here and it may also be useful to pass on some of the things that we have learned from our churches in Brazil and from what God has taught us.

    “There are also some things which are similar about Cumbria and Brazil; the winter is similar to that in my home town, although I admit that it is a little colder here!”


    Notes for editors

    The Norwegian Mission Society is the first and oldest mission organisation in Norway.

    It was started by a group of approximately 180 people in the town of Stavanger in Norway in August 1842. The goal was to spread the Christian religion to other peoples, mainly in Africa. Hans Paludan Smith Schreuder became the first missionary, leaving for Zululand (South Africa) in 1843.

    NMS is currently working in the following countries or regions: Estonia, United Kingdom, France, Cameroon, Mali, Ethiopia, South Africa, Madagascar, Brazil, Pakistan, China, Thailand, Spain, Laos and Japan. The society also works in the Middle East through satellite television.

    For more information visit: https://nms.no/english/#

    For further information contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Head of Communications, on 07469 153658 or at communications@carlislediocese.org.uk.

    Bishop Rob is joined by NMS representatives and Brazilian mission partners