Inter Diocesan West African Link (I.D.W.A.L.)
What Is IDWAL?
Its purpose is to link congregations in England with Anglican congregations in the Provinces of West Africa and Nigeria.
IDWAL promotes companion links between the Dioceses of Portsmouth, Chichester and Guildford and the Anglican Provinces of West Africa, Ghana and Nigeria. IDWAL links ‘people to people’ and ‘parishes to parishes’ in a two-way movement of people as partners in World Mission.
How IDWAL developed
Three southern Dioceses (Portsmouth, Guildford and Chichester) joined together in 1977 to explore and share ways of supporting links with West Africa and Nigeria through the exchange of people.
Some fourteen West African Bishops and their wives attended the first IDWAL pre–Lambeth meeting in 1978. Thirty–nine attended the second in 1988 and fifty–seven the third in 1998. All wanted the existing links to continue and many wanted to start new ones.
In 1999 it was decided that the Central Committee should be disbanded and that the link co-ordination should be handled within each Diocese. Portsmouth would focus on Ghana; Guildford on Nigeria; and Chichester on Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cameroon, but existing links would be continued.
Deaneries in the Portsmouth Diocese are encouraged to foster a link with a West African Diocese (For example Fareham Deanery is linked with Sekondi Diocese, Ghana).
Link activities, plans and funding are coordinated by the IDWAL Committee, which is made up of representatives from each Deanery, CMS, USPG and MU. This Committee plan meetings, recommend policy and future priorities.
Members of the Executive Committees of the three Dioceses meet regularly to share experiences and information.
An annual forum is arranged in one of the Dioceses to enable information to get to a wider audience. An annual Service in one of the Dioceses is also being considered.
Portsmouth IDWAL is funded by parish and individual donations. Funds are not used to support projects, which may result from visits; these become the responsibility of the sponsoring parish.
IDWAL Portsmouth has a growing network of ‘parish to parish’ links. These have proved enriching for everyone involved with schools, churches, groups and organisations all benefiting from such relationships. At present a series of Deanery visits is being undertaken to Link Dioceses to enable parish representatives to visit their link parishes.
Reverend Jeremy Dussek, a former Team Vicar at St Columba, visited the African Parish at Ho in September 2005. This photo shows Jeremy holding a hand made scarf which was given to him as a sign of their appreciation.
The visit made by Reverend Jeremy Dussek followed that made by Maurice Shergold in July 2003.