Monday, July 27, 2009


This short presentation of slides shows a little of the suffering of the children of Peru's Alteplano (High Plains). The cold this year has been intense. The children and elderly are particularly vulnerable because of malnutrition. Pneumonia has taken the lives of more children in the first half of this year than usually die in any one year.

The Anglican Church has a mission in Juliaca which is working with others to alleviate the suffering. Puno is one of the poorest areas of South America and the problem is vast. We are sending warm clothes from Lima and providing food for families, but our resources are few.

Thank you to "USPG-Anglicans in Mission" of London for their support.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Denise Dodd, from St Peter and St Paul's Church, Hucknall, was ordained deacon in Southwell Minister a few weeks ago. I was parish priest in Hucknall - we lived there from 1975-1986 - and knew all the Dodd family. It is such a great blessing to now see her committed to the Lord's work in ordained ministry in England.

When she first began her training at St John's College, Cranmer Hall, she wrote these words to me:

"I know within that each day God is blessing me. I so passionately want to do the ministry to which God has called me.... Everyday is a blessing and honour, knowing that God has really called "little shy Dee" to be a servant for his precious people! There is one thing that I must say to you, which I have wanted to do since I came back to faith in my late teens and that is, "Thank you for being an ambassador for God, so that I could receive from an early age the greatest gift of all, a loving relationship with God, not just for me but also for Mum, Suzanne & Colin".

Thank you Denise, and may God bless you in your new ministry.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Stefany and Steven Acosta were baptised in the Cathedral on Sunday (19th July). In the photo they are with their parents, Jerry and Edith, in the baptistry after the service.

Jerry is a former evangelical pastor and is in preparation to become a priest. Edith is a seminarian and hopes to become a deacon. They run the mission Jesus Source of Life in north Lima.

Edith is the sister of Padre Misael Varillas, the parish priest of Cristo Redentor and San Pedro in south Lima. Their father was a Pentecostal evangelist who rode on horse back evangelising the villages in the region of Huaraz in northern Peru. All of his family are involved in one way or another in the Lord's work. It was a joy to baptise Stefany and Steven, the next generation of the Varillas family.

Friday, July 17, 2009


There are some good photos of the immediate response to deliver clothing and blankets to children and elderly people suffering from cold and malnutrition in southern Peru. They were taken in Caracoto, one of the numerous small villages near Juliaca.

You will find them in the new Blog
of St Mary Magdalene's Church, Juliaca, published by Padre Ruben and Lay Minister Luis. Although the Blog is in Spanish it is well worth looking at.

One of the members of their congregation, Patty, is a social worker and has taken them out to the village. Padre Ruben asks us to pray for those who are especially vulnerable to the very cold weather, elderly people and children.

DONATION RECEIVED. We have received a donation in response to our appeal, from the mission society USPG in London, of £500. We are grateful to them for their immediate and generous support.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Help is urgently needed for children dying of hypothermia and malnutrition in Puno, one of Peru’s poorest regions.

We carried clothing and blankets to Juliaca, but

San Mateo School in Lima gathered the gifts especially for the suffering children. It has been handed over to Santa Maria Magdalena
Anglican Church, Juliaca, to be distributed immediately to children in the area.

The BBC published an article on Sunday 12th July about children dying in Peru's very harsh winter. The article can be found at: It states that about 250 children under the age of five have already died in the harsh conditions, and the winter is not halfway through yet.

The region of Puno is one of the poorest in South America. Many children live in primitive conditions and often are malnourished, which makes them all the more vulnerable to hypothermia. Prolonged exposure to the cold causes respiratory infections like pneumonia. At the same time there is a lack of healthcare and basic services.

I can testify to the severe conditions and have rarely experienced such cold ever in my life.
I was properly fed and dressed, but still have come back with my hands and legs red raw and chapped... and I saw children with sandals and T-shirts. At about 3.30pm each day the sun begins to lose its warmth and a terrible cold sets in. The freezing temperatures have been accompanied by torrential rain, snow, hail, and strong winds, and although the winter is only halfway through it has killed more children than usually die in any one year.

In our Juliaca church is a social worker who works in the outlying villages where the suffering is at its worst. She is taking our clergy there to see how most effectively to distribute the help to the most needy children.

The government has declared a state of emergency and clothing, blankets and food are being collected in tents specially set up in cities throughout the country.


In the USA
Christ Church, Plano,

The Diocese of Florida

In the UK
The Diocese of Worcester

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Six visiting clergy were present for the institution of the Rev Ruben Mancilla as parish priest of Juliaca, and of his assistant, Lay Minister Luis Vizcarra.

From left to right in the photo they are: Rev Juan Carlos Revilla (Arequipa, who planted the church), Rev Ruben Mancilla (Juliaca, newly instituted), Rev Deacon María Andía (Arequipa), the Bishop, Rev Deacon Pastor Zevallos (Lima - Director of NGO), Rev Anderson Sanchez (Lima - at back in photo), Rev Alejandro Mesco (Cabanaconde), Lay Minister Luis Vizcarra (Juliaca, who has faithfully cared for the church), Rev Ronald Robertson (Rector of Seminary in Arequipa).

The Institution Eucharist was attended by sixty people and during the service there were eight confirmations, a sign of things to come. The confirmations made a great impact on many people, some never having seen one before, and before people went home there was already a list of people to be prepared in time for the Bishop's next visit in October.

In his sermon the Bishop spoke of the ministries of evangelists, teachers and pastors, three of the ministries spoken of by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians (4.11): evangelists - proclaiming the Gospel and helping people to come to faith in Christ and give their lives to him; teachers - setting out the faith and its meaning; pastors - guiding and strengthening people in their walk with Christ. All three, he said, are needed in parish ministry.

Pray for Ruben and Luis.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


The visit to Cabanconde in the Colca Canyon was marked by visits to homes, prayer, Bible Study (Lectio Divina), silence and the stunning beauty of God's creation. It is without doubt one of the most beautiful places I know and our mission centre, built of stone, is worthy of it.

The vision we began with had three aspects to it: a place of prayer, community life and mission springing from service, and all three are beginning to happen. Padre Alejandro and Deacon Justo, together with Alejandro's wife Doris, are known and loved in this small market town. Children rush up to hug Padre Alejandro and all of them know him because of his visits to the schools, and because of that the parents too. They also help in the fields during the time of sewing and reaping when there is so much to do, and people are amazed and grateful to see clergy hard at work alongside them.

Deacon Justo is very quiet and reserved, but he faithfully visits peoples' homes and they seek him out to have him visit and pray with them; and Doris joins him in this, especially among the womenfolk.

It is good to have a team of ministers; they can share the load and the dangerous journeys along mountain paths. It is our hope that every visit to the mountain villages will provide an opportunity for other clergy, seminarians and lay workers - from Lima and Arequipa - to go with them, and for others to stay behind and maintain the ministry in Cabanaconde while they're away.

Before October of this year we hope to have an "outdoor chapel" which will provide a bigger place for the growing congregation to meet. At present they meet in the central dining/living room of the house. But it's already full, and for the Eucharist last Thursday (9th June) during my visit, there were over fifty people. The "outdoor chapel" will have a sanctuary built of stone with a thatched roof, and the nave will be made of an open wooden frame with a thatched roof.

We have also made moves to acquire the next door plot of land, which we hope will enable us to expand our work and also bring in some income to maintain the mission, with stone bungalows that can be used for retreats and rest.

[The photo shows a young mother bringing her child to receive a blessing in the Eucharist. Her typical dress is still seem commonly in the streets and surrounding fields of Cabanaconde.]

Sunday, July 05, 2009


Five churches, two schools and two children's homes are being visited by the Bishop in a ten day tour of Arequipa, the Colca Canyon and Juliaca in the south of the Diocese.

The visits began on 3rd July and the Bishop is accompanied by Padre Ruben Mancilla, who will be instituted at parish priest of St Mary Magdalene Mission Church, Juliaca, on 12th July, and Deacon Pastor Zevallos, who is in charge of the Diocese's social outreach work.

The photograph shows the visit to the Santiago Apostol Mission (Mission of St James the Apostle) in the outskirts of Arequipa, where a new church is being built. Two members of the community are showing Padre Juan Carlos, Padre Ruben and the Bishop the plans. The next phase of the building will be to erect the walls, which will be built of the local white "sillar" stone. Arequipa is called "the white city" because so many of its buildings have been built of this stone.

At the Eucharist there this evening, the Bishop preached on the building up of the Church (the people), and asked the congregation what they thought should happen in the new church (building): "a medical centre!" came the reply from one lady. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but I think it was a right answer and that Jesus would have approved!

On Monday 6th the team drives to the Colca Canyon to visit the Mission of San Felipe (St Philip) in Cabanaconde. Here they will spend three days with Padre Alejandro Mesco and his wife Doris, and Deacon Justo Maqque.

On Friday 10th they drive on to Juliaca, a city high on the Alteplano, for the celebration of Padre Ruben and Lay Minister Luis Vizcarra's institution. These two young ministers have the task of developing mission work in this new area for the Diocese. It is a great challenge for them both, but their willingness to take it up is a wonderful testimony of faithfulness to the Lord's call and their readiness to put their lives on the line for the Gospel.

The aim of the ten day trip is to visit and encourage the Church, to accompany and stand alongside the young churches, and to strengthen its mission workers, in the style of Paul and Barnabas in the early Church. Paul said to Barnabas, "Come, let us return and visit the believers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord and see how they are doing." (Ac 15:36).

Saturday, July 04, 2009


The Diocese of Peru sends it’s loving greetings and congratulations to the Community of the Holy Cross at Rempstone, Nottingham, for the purchase of their new property, and for being bold and doing the best of things in the worst of times.

The Community at Rempstone prays for us regularly and we are delighted to receive the news of their new home-to-be in Costock. They bought the new property in April and it will take two years for work on it to be completed.

The Rev’d Mother Mary Luke writes about a religious community taking such an adventurous step at a time when numbers in traditional communities are dropping. She tells of an inscription in Staunton Harold Church, Leicestershire, which was built during Cromwell’s time in 1653, which reads: ‘Sir Robert Shirley, Baronet, founded this church, whose singular praise it is to have done the best things in ye worst of times.’

"Jeremiah" she says, "was told to buy a field... just before the people of Judah were taken into captivity, as a sign that the Lord would restore the fortunes of Israel and Judah. She continues, "So we are looking towards the future [and this church's inscription] reminds us that sometimes it is good to be bold. I hope it will be that we have done the best of things in the worst of times and it will be the presage of a new growth in the religious life for us and for the whole Church."

What a wonderful reflection! May God bless the Community.

Please support the Sisters’ building fund: Holy Cross Convent, Ashby Road, Rempstone, Loughborough LE12 6RG, UK

[The photo is of Sisters of the Community praying the Divine Office in one of the barns they have bought.]

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