Solomon Isles blog - "Guadalcanal" - Chester Cathedral

Solomon Isles blog - "Guadalcanal"

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Dean Tim and wife Jen (also Cathedral Education Officer) are away from the Cathedral for three weeks in the Solomon Isles, preaching, teaching, working with the diocese and meeting the locals. Here's an update from the past two days.

Wednesday 19 June

Jen and I have been travelling together today along the north coast of Guadalcanal. The road is very poor. We have averaged perhaps 10mph due to potholes and needed to negotiate a narrow bridge in a large minibus with some of the wooden slats forming the roadway half-missing. We have visited Bishop Selwyn College, the Sisters of Melanesia based at Verana’aso and the Franciscan friars at La Verna. These are all remote communities along the coast, demonstrating faithful discipleship and being of real service to the neighbouring settlements. All of them provide education and formation for young people from across Melanesia. We also got to paddle in the warm Pacific Ocean (see Jen).

We have finally settled for four days in Tabalia and are being looked after by members of the Melanesian Brotherhood, seven of whose recent Martyrs are commemorated in the Chester Cathedral South Transept. This will be a time of rest, although I appear to be rota’ed to preach twice.

Thursday 20 June

Today, as will be the case for the next three days, we have spent our time with the Melanesian Brothers and Novices in Tabalia. Today’s picture is of their tiny Canteen (that means shop) with one of the brothers serving endless varieties of tinned tuna and tinned mackerel. We have also visited the Bishop Patterson Theological College which is alongside the Brothers’ compound. I’m hopeful I may have access to Wi-Fi there tonight to get my messages out given there is no mobile phone service. I was delighted to visit their library and find in there a booklet I had written. It is amazing how far things go.

The Very Revd Dr Tim Stratford

The Dean

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