At St Stephen’s, we are committed to reaching out to communities in the wider world, building relationships with them and helping them to thrive and move ever closer to God. We learn just as much (or more) from our mission partners as they learn from us.

Mission Focus – Mpwapwa, Tanzania

St Stephen’s Church has a longstanding and close relationship with 10 communities in the north of Mpwapwa Diocese in the semi-arid highlands of central Tanzania. They are Matongoro, Nolini, Songambele A and B, Mkoka, Zoissa, Mlanje, Chinangali, Ngututu, and Wangazi.

As a church we funded a Tearfund Church & Community Mobilisation Process (CCMP) for nine years, helping thousands move from a dependency mindset to one of empowerment. Tearfund withdrew from development work in Tanzania in 2023, since when St Stephen’s, Mpwapwa Diocese and St Philip’s Theological College in Kongwa, have agreed a further three-year project. This will see CCMP training continue – and, given that the area is impacted by climate change, includes water management training.

Rev Canon Jackson has retired to care for his wife. The New Project team of Erasto (Field Officer for CCMP), and Sarah (Water Project Supervisor at St Philip’s) is overseen by Rev Canon Agripa (Principal at St Philip’s College in Kongwa). In 2023, a grant from Rochester’s Poverty & Hope Appeal was given to provide loans to farmers to install drip irrigation on their farms. As these are repaid, more farmers are given loans – no longer dependent on the rains for planting, and using very small amounts of water targeted at a plant’s roots simply by turning a tap, the farmers’ incomes from several harvests a year are being multiplied. And start-up plots are already being used by the team as local demonstration sites for villagers to learn about water management.

How we support Mpwapwa Diocese

Through the training received, hope and inspiration is engendered, leading to income-generating projects which bring transformation to individuals, churches and communities. A number of our supporters sponsor children in the Compassion Projects in the communities, helping the poorest receive education, health and social care. STEPS Preschool and Bishop Chavasse School are linked with primary schools in the communities. Groups have visited several times – our next is likely to be in 2023.

What our support means

The lives of thousands of people across the villages are being transformed – their income pays for health insurance, improved diet, housing and access to education. The gospel is now alive, and practical, bringing people into God’s family. Congregations – and their giving – are multiplying. And we at St Stephen’s are learning to be thankful for all that we have, and perhaps even learning that we can live more simply?

Canon Jackson, CCMP Coordinator gives us a snapshot of the impact of our support:

… communities are adopting good agricultural practices including Farming God’s Way and micro irrigation … the voice of women was limited but they are now participating in village meetings and as CCMP facilitators.

Canon Jackson, Mpwapwa Diocese

Latest news

You can find out all the latest news by reading the Mpwapwa 2024 Spring Bulletin.

If you would like to know more about our link in Mpwapwa Diocese or get involved, please contact the church office. In addition, you can email Mpwapwa.cdsg@gmail.com if you would like to become a Friend of Mpwapwa and receive regular bulletins with news from the Mpwapwa Diocesan link.