The Methodist Church in Zimbabwe UK Fellowship Celebrates 21 years

Civic and Methodist Church leaders recently joined over 450 delegates who gathered in resort city of Blackpool to celebrate the Methodist Church Zimbabwe Fellowship UK’s (MCZF UK) 21 years of Mission in the UK.

The four-day event, slated from Thursday, May 30th, to Sunday, June 2nd, 2024, was held at Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool, bringing together civic leaders, faithful service members and leaders from various Methodist Church entities and Christian denominations globally.

The Mayor of Blackpool CounciSlor Peter Hunter and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Brigadier (Retd) Peter Rafferty MDE DL, addressed the delegates welcoming them to city, and emphasized the richness of diversity and how people of faith contribute to the life of the city, country, and the world.

Also to address the gathering was the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe Presiding Bishop Revd George Mawire and the Vice President of the Methodist Church in Britain, Deacon Kerry Scarlett.

Presiding Bishop Rev. Mawire on behalf of the MCZ Conference and his behalf as the first Chaplain of the MCZF UK, congratulated the UK Fellowship for reaching this 21st milestone.

In her keynote address, Deacon Kerry Scarlett, brought greetings, on behalf of the Methodist Conference and all Methodists across Britain.

Reflecting on the Presidential theme, ‘Hidden Treasures’, which she and President, the Reverend Gill Newton initiated, Deacon Scarlett talked about “light emerging from darkness, of activity happening even though we were unaware of it, of new things springing up where we had not noticed them before, of potential being uncovered in unexpected places.”

Citing a passage from Isaiah 45:1-8, the Vice President gave examples of the “world groaning with war, famine, earthquake and faces a climate crisis, our nation struggles to be a just and welcoming society in which all have enough, our neighbourhoods don’t all have a sense of community and caring Christian church in many places is fragile, declining, vulnerable, and seen by many as irrelevant.” Deacon Scarlett concluded with a message of hope by saying: “Even amid the most difficult and challenging of times, God is with us. God has not forgotten us.” And quoted from Isaiah 43:4, ‘precious in God’s sight.’

The vice President’s message was received with thunderous applause, with people ululating and shouting words of praise to God. Reverend Dr Clement Matarirano, Acting Chaplain of MCZF UK, expressed gratitude for the collective journey of the Fellowship, attributing the anniversary to God’s faithfulness and the unwavering commitment of its members.

The celebrations included a vibrant celebratory march on Friday along the Irish Sea. Most delegates were dressed in their specially designed colourful 21st Anniversary attire.

Delegates took a moment to stop and reflect at each station allocated to each of the Fellowship’s organisations (Ruwadzano/Manyano; MCU; Music Ministry; Evangelism; Preachers & Worship leaders) and completed the march at the Youth and Children’s Ministry’s (BCU, GCU, MYD, Young Adults, & Sunday School) station symbolizing the future of the Fellowship. The stations were used to reflect the journey of the Fellowship. The atmosphere of the march was amazing.

There were also powerful devotions, teachings, services, presentations, worship, music, as well as activities for young people and children. The 21st Anniversary Celebrations were a memorable occasion, which reflected on past achievements, and looking ahead with optimism. Under the theme, “God is faithful,” the event served as a testament to the enduring faith that has guided the Fellowship over the years.

National Steward, Mr Noah Dodo thanked everyone who contributed to the success of the 21st Anniversary Celebrations. “We express gratitude to our headline sponsor, Diaspora Insurance, for their financial support, production of the programme, and live streaming of some parts of the proceedings,” said Dodo. He also expressed the Fellowship’s gratitude to Jamboo digital banking and investment services and Dohatech Healthcare Services for the financial support.

MCZF UK was established in 2003 by Zimbabwean Methodists residing in or visiting the United Kingdom. It has been a beacon of worship and cultural expression within the Methodist Church in Britain (MCB) with strong ties to the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe (MCZ).

By New Zimbabwe Correspondent