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UK, Gambian Churches Form Partnership

Dec 18, 2008, 5:31 AM | Article By: Augustine Kanjia

A Catholic church in the UK has recently formed a partnership with a Catholic church in The Gambia. The partnership was celebrated at a colourful ceremony held at St Anthony's Catholic Church in Kololi.

St Anthony's Catholic Church in Slough in the UK has signed a partnership with St Anthony's parish in Bakau. Fr. Emil Sambou, parish priest of St Anthony's in Kololi welcomed the 11-man team from Slough to the partnership ceremony. "We hope some day to reach out not only to the west but to other parishes in the diocese of Banjul," he said.

Bishop Ellison CSSp said he had celebrated "Sang Marie" with them. "Now that we both have taken this step forward, I hope it will give life to our church. I also hope that this relationship will extend to other parts of the diocese with UK partners," he said.

In his agreement speech, Fr Richard Morloney, parish priest of St Anthony's Parish in Slough, said they were attracted by the Association of Gambian Catholics in the UK. He said, "when I saw them in Slough I asked them, as Jesus did, where do you live? They said come and see and we came and saw."

He said that others then came and got involved in the event. "My mother always used to say, the wider enterprise we take up by ourselves, we do so by the grace of God," he said.

In his agreement speech, Fr Emil Sambou, acknowledged that it was a great day and a delight to be a part of. Mr. Solomon Jarra, one of the 11 delegates and originally from Kololi, said their partnership was based on an exchange partnership of assistance and fundraising. He thanked St Anthony's UK and their Catholic Association for giving rise to the partnership. He urged all sides in the partnership to take as well as give. The Bishop received the plaque and showed it to the congregation. The theme of the agreement is "United in mission as servants in Christ".