Norwich Cathedral the biggest interruption to a service may be a lost tourist. But in Zimbabwe, from where the Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Graham Smith, has returned, police wielding batons and armed with tear gas threaten Anglican sermons.
With the church split between one bishop allied to the country’s president, Robert Mugabe, and one opposed to his rule, Anglicans have become a target for police, who have orders to arrest anyone who supports the new Bishop of Harare, the Rt Rev Chad Gandiya.
Banned from their cathedral, congregations have created make-shift churches under corrugated iron and thatched roofs with plastic chairs for pews and a folding table as an altar.
But through the fear Norwich has sent a message of hope to the victims of Mugabe, donating a throne for when they return to their cathedral, with words engraved: “in exile”.
The dean’s 10-week trip to Africa as a guest of the bishop followed a visit by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, last October to show support for the persecuted Anglicans.
The full article by Tom Bristow can be found here: Norwich Evening News