Friday, June 26, 2009


The Diocese of Peru, its Bishop, Clergy and People, joyfully greet the Anglican Church in North America, its Archbishop Robert Duncan, its Dioceses, Bishops, Clergy and People, and our many friends who are a part of it. We wish you God’s blessing in the communion we share as members of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and in our common mission of proclaiming the Gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This has been a very happy week for you with the inauguration of the new Province and we are delighted that you were able to celebrate the central Eucharist in Christ Church Plano as the guests of Fr David Roseberry and his people, with whom we have a long and close relationship in Christ.

As a Diocese, we are committed, like you, to the Gospel principles on which the one Church of Christ, which includes our beloved Anglican Communion, has stood from the beginning.

At this important time for Anglicans in North America, we are conscious also of faithful dioceses, bishops, clergy and people, among them many of our close friends, who remain part of the Provinces of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America and the Anglican Church of Canada. With them too we rejoice to share communion, and as a Diocese we are committed, as our Constitution states, to do everything possible in brotherly love and repentance to heal our divisions.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Heroes of the Faith - Juan Carlos

The Diocese is blessed to have some modern day "heroes of the faith". Juan Carlos, one of them, working in one of the poorest areas of Lima north, in St Patrick's Mission, Cerro Cachito. He leaves his work at 2.30pm and travels by public transport to be with his people - on one of those "combis" packed with people - a two or three hour journey. Then his real work begins, sharing the love and compassion of Christ in any way he can, visiting homes and running Bible study groups for the families and activities for the children.
It's a mission which lacks funds. They used to run a soup kitchen, but the support came to an end. He told me that he could feed about 70 children every day for less than US$300 per month, and asked if I could help.
Sarah Tester, a SAMS GB missionary, runs a play scheme for the children on Saturdays. There's a photo of her with some of the children on the Outreach page of the new web site. David Gonzales, one of our deacons, works there as well.
There are about 80 people in his congregation, not counting the children, all of whom live in wooden shacks and most of whom don't have enough to eat. It is an area designated by the Government for physically handicapped people, and there are a number who need wheel chairs, almost impossible to push in the sand on which the houses are built.
Besides his work in the mission, Juan Carlos is a seminarian and will finish his studies at the end of this year. He says, "I want to be a priest, but whatever happens, I will go on working with my people."
Pray for him and his future. Pray for the people of the Mission. Pray for Sarah and Deacon David. Pray for the land, that the Council will allow us to stay. And pray that the funds will come in, not only to allow us to start feeding the children again, but also to build the facilities needed to develop the mission.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Anderson Sanchez, Ruben Mancilla and Pastor Zevallos were recently ordained to Holy Orders in the Cathedral. In a joyful ceremony the new ministers - two priests and one deacon - were greeted with applause following the ordination prayer.
For the consecration of the priests, the Bishop was joined by his clergy for the laying on of hands. He also anointed their hands and forehead with the Holy Oil of Chrism, a sign of their being consecrated - set apart - for God's work.

All three were given Bibles, as a sign of their authority to preach the Word of God. (In the photo the newly ordained ministers are kneeling: Padre Anderson is at the far end, Deacon Pastor in the centre receiving his Bible, and Padre Ruben nearest the camera.)

All the ordinands were accompanied by family and friends and the Diocese gave thanks and praise to God for the gift of more workers for His mission field. At the end of the liturgy the new priests gave the blessing, and the new deacon dismissed the people, telling them to go in peace and joy to serve the Lord.

Both new priests presided at the Holy Eucharist for the first time in the days following their ordination.

PASTORAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Padre Anderson will continue to minister in the Cathedral as an assistant priest; Padre Ruben has been posted to Juliaca on the Alteplano (Peru's highland region), near lake Titicaca, as priest in charge of the Mission of St Mary Magdalene; and Deacon Pastor continues as the Deacon of the NGO "Comunion-Peru", responsible for the encouragement and development of social action in the Diocese.

Friday, June 19, 2009


When I arrived in Peru in April 1998, there were 4 Peruvian priests and 1 deacon, looking after 9 congregations . They were helped by two ordained missionaries from overseas, a Canadian and a Cuban-American.
Now there is Anglican worship in 41 congregations, led by 24 priests, 8 deacons and 23 lay ministers; and in our two seminaries there are around 60 seminarians, preparing for the work to which God is calling them.

This amazing growth has come about by an outpouring of God’s grace, for which we praise and thank Him.

Numerical growth must, of course, be matched by growth in faithfulness to Jesus, obedience to the Father's will, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. As we prepare to push out in new mission, in Ica and Trujillo, it is so very encouraging for us to see that God is preparing His mission team ready for His new work.

If you think God may be calling you to join us and work in Peru, please write or call us, so that we may initiate a discernment process.

If you would like to give financially to support our mission work, please contact Patrick Mackie (UK) or Susan Kerr (USA). Their details are on our NEW web site,, on the SUPPORT page.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


More than 15,000 Christians marched to the Congress Building in Lima on June 11th to ask for Religious Equality. Although granted religious freedom by the Constitution, Peru's none Roman Catholics suffer in many ways on a daily basis, and there are no laws to back up their cause. While the Roman Catholic Church receives financial support from the government, other confessions are penalized.

Since the creation of a Register of Non-Catholic Confessions in 2004, things have been changing. A paper is now before Congress' Constitution Committee and following the March on Thursday it has been put in first place for consideration.

It is hoped that it will give other confessions the right to have chaplains in hospitals, schools, prisons and the armed forces; to enable non Roman Catholics to have a religious education other than Catholic; to liberation from taxes; and the right to enter into agreements with the State, for example on issues of education, relief and development. Attitudes will have to change in the country, but there has been a huge step forward.

For example, for us the possibility of the State paying for our school teachers, as happens with the RC Church, would be an enormous benefit.

I have been involved as one of the assessors to the Ministry of Justice on religious matters, specifically the registration of confessions and on the working group which produced the first draft of the proposed legislation.

We are also in the final stages of a new constitution for the Interreligious Committee of Peru, which will provide a forum for all confessions and their NGOs to meet and talk together. Much is already happening, in areas such as the Bible, justice and peace, relief and development, HIV/AIDS, micro-finance, religious dialogue - but this will bring it all together at national level. There are to be three co-presidents of the new body, the Archbishop of Huancayo, the President of the National Evangelical Council of Peru, and me. Let us pray for God's blessing as the new body begins its work.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Amazonas, Peru
The deadly conflict between the Indigenous Peoples of Amazonas and the Peruvian Government has been coming to a head since 2008. President Alan Garcia issued several decrees allowing foreign companies to look for gas and oil on lands specially reserved for Indigenous Peoples. Although 70% of Peru’s rain forests are already designated for exploration, the President's decrees opened up even the lands reserved for the native peoples.

The Indigenous Peoples considered this as an assault on their rights and a betrayal by the Government of its formal commitment before the United Nations. The Government responded with a law which criminalized protests. Many people have been imprisoned and forcibly removed from their lands, and there have been accusations of torture and the ‘disappearance’ of people (killing people and hiding their bodies).

The government defends its decrees, saying that the lands must be opened to attract investment and stimulate the economy. They accuse those working with the Indigenous Peoples of manipulating them on behalf of external powers, like Venezuela and Bolivia.

Talks with the Government have been requested since August 2008, but the situation finally exploded at the beginning of June 2009. For some time the indigenous peoples had blocked rivers and roads used for transporting heavy machinery, and when finally the police tried to disperse the protesters, 22 are said to have died, and 23 police and 9 civilians, and over 100 people have been injured in a fierce and bloody confrontation.... of spears versus rifles.

As news has leaked out it has rocked the country. Local people were called "savages" by Ministers, but finally the Government has had to take a step back and has temporarily suspended the legislation giving rights to the oil and gas companies, to allow talks with the indigenous peoples to take place.

It is very difficult to get a clear picture of what is happening and the Government has denied access to outside observers to see what is really happening. What the crisis clearly shows is the deep divisions in society and the need of a system which offers to its most vulnerable peoples respect for their basic human rights, and their fair and equal treatment as citizens.

In my opinion government centralised in Lima very often fails to value Peru’s unique ethnic and cultural diversity, to neglect the needs and rights of those who have lived here from time immemorial, and to overlook the decimation of its rain forests, which are central to the survival of the planet. There will be progress and change, but a way has to found for it to go forward, with respect and values, and without trampling down the little ones, the vulnerable, and the beauty of God's creation. There must be new vision and a radical change of heart..... Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.

[Several people asked me for something on this situation in northern Peru.]

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The Diocesan Web Site has a new look!

After several years with the yellow background we are moving to a cleaner, simpler look. Not all the pages are ready yet and to begin with some of the content will be the same as before, but now we shall be able to manage it ourselves and have much greater accessibility.

The key to news will be the blogspots and we hope our readers will find them useful to keep up with what's happening.

Some of the photos on the new site are stunning and we are grateful to those who make them available to us. I love the one we have on our home page, which is taken of the church notice board outside St Andrew's Mission in north Lima.

At the same time we are working on a parallel site in Spanish, which will have some things in common, but others which are more suited to the Spanish-speaking world. For example, where many of our English-speaking readers already know what the Anglican Church is, many of our Spanish-speaking readers are looking for more basic information about us, who we are and what we believe, and how we compare with churches they know.

As the old site is still up, the address of the new one has changed and is:

With God's blessing for all our readers, Bishop William Godfrey

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