December, 2010 On the 21st of November 2010, at St John’s Cathedral, Peshawar a service was held to establish a diocesan link between the Diocese of Iran and the Diocese of Peshawar. The Diocesan Bishops expressed to one another the desire to partner in the Great Commission and service of Christ’s people in the South Western region of Asia, encouraging one another and promising pastoral care to advance the work of the Kingdom in the region. The service emphasised mutual sharing in partnership, support and strengthening of missions and engaging Christians in exchange programmes, prayer and the sharing of insights and expertise.
The Bishop of Peshawar, Bishop Humphrey Peters, and the Bishop of Iran, Bishop Azad Marshall, have embarked on a new journey of companionship to strengthen relationships, not only as churches in neighbouring countries but particularly within the Anglican Communion. This partnership is a coming together of spiritual, linguistic and cultural traditions in submission to the will and Word of God. Both dioceses have been drawn together because of the enormity of the challenge within their contexts.
Like numerous other links within the Anglican Communion the partnership experience and interaction will influence and change the lives of many Anglicans around the Communion and deepen their spiritual growth and walk with God. Some experiences of companion Diocese relationships which the Diocese of Iran and Peshawar hope to share with one another include visits by bishops, clergy and laity; youth, women and clergy exchanges; parish to parish links; mission team exchanges; evangelism programmes; a common prayer or intercessory calendar; training in ministry; renewal programmes; faithful communication; seminars and conferences ; work camps; attendance in diocesan conventions; assistance in time of need and working together on development projects.
Bishop Azad Marshall, Rev Christopher Edgar and the visiting young people from the Diocese of Iran were hosted by Bishop Humphrey Peters, his clergy and congregation on this meaningful occasion. The bishops of these dioceses with the support and blessing of their clergy and congregants have agreed to look to a future of mature relationships, mission, theological and spiritual dialogue within a partnership of prayer and appreciation of one another’s situations and perspectives. Commenting on the new link, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, President of OXTRAD and the former Bishop of Rochester, on a recent visit to the region, said that it was ‘crucial for the future of the gospel in the area and for the emerging partnerships among Biblical Anglicans throughout the communion’ .
Bishop of Peshawar
Church of Pakistan
Bishop of Iran
Province of Jerusalem and Middle East