Two reports by Diocese of Madagascar (Province of Indian Ocean)

The Diocese of Canterbury sent a team led by Bishop Graham Cray to the Diocese of Antsiranana. This projected visit was planned a year ago when Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza was invited to be an overseas guest speaker at the Diocesan Canterbury clergy Conference at Guildford University . So the team of six people including The Rt Rev Graham Cray Bishop of Maidstone, Rev Ali Duguid, Rev Hilary Jones, Rev Colin Preece, Rev Eileen Routh and Dr Gill Sadler arrived in the Arrachart airport Antsiranana with all their luggage stranded in Milan. However all the team wished that their luggage will arrive in Antsiranana before they departed back home.

The team had to walk the last part of the trip to the Bishopscourt as the Episcopal vehicle had a punctured tyre as it drove in the pot holes.  So that was the first providential contact with the people as the team walked in the dusty streets of Diego Suarez.
They were able to see first hand some of the projects such as the Hostels , the Library in the Canterbury Educational center and especially the Ruth project empowering the women of Madagascar during their short visit .
The team led a seminar training for the Clergy with a theme Mission and Evangelism and development in the Diocese .
The Rev Colin Preece and the Rev Hilary Jones were also excellent in their team work presentation as they alternated with Bishop Graham Cray teaching the delighted Clergy who have come to this first ever clergy and spouses training in the newly opened Immanuel hall last Oct 2006; The Rev Eileen Routh led the Spouses training and used the Book of Ruth as the text for teaching.
This training for the Diocesan Clergy and spouses preceded the inauguration of the New Cathedral of St Matthew on Sunday 17th June 2007.


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2nd Report:

The new Cathedral of Antsiranana was jointly inaugurated by the Bishop of Maidstone , the Rt Rev Graham Cray and The Rt Rev Roger Chung Jaomalaza Bishop of Antsiranana Diocese on Sunday 17th June 2007. The theme of the inauguration service chosen was taken from Matthew 11 verse 28…Come to me All ye who are heavy laden and I will give you rest. A song writing Contest on the theme was won by the Choir of Ambilobe.

A commemoration plaque of Jaona Ratsizehena the first people elected Bishop of Northern Madagascar was also unveiled at the beginning of the Service.

The new Cathedral was projected to be built since 1972 by the late Bishop Gabriel Josoa and his successor Bishop Keith Benzies. However there was always an obstacle for the building of that new worship place. Finally in 2006 after calling for help , the Diocese of Antsiranana received help especially from the Canterbury Diocese and the new Cathedral took one year to be completed. Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza used the example of the Prophet Nehemiah in his desire to build the new Cathedral. Opposition to the building of the Cathedral by opportunists who planned to cause havoc were countered by great security measures as the work proceeded.

The Cathedral has no windows but ventilation holes in the bricks do that job.Three fattened zebus were slaughtered for the festivities.

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