A MALAWI CONVERSATION
Shared knowledge and experience
At both morning services on Sunday 26 February the theme was Malawi. There are lots of separate links in Mayfield Salisbury Church with Malawi and its people and these services were an opportunity for the congregation to learn of these, ask questions and to gather information on extending any of those links. Those taking part in the servcie included -
Revd Professor Ken Ross OBE: minister of the Netherton Churches, Argyll. Ken has wide experience of ministry, teaching, writing and church leadership, both in Scotland and internationally. He is the chairman and a founding member of the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP), having lived in the African nation for 11 years between 1988 and 1998. He helped to establish the first theology degree in the country at the University of Malawi Chancellor College. The SMP is a national civil society network coordinating, supporting and representing the people-to-people links between the two nations, and representing 94,000 Scottish people with active links to Malawi, which has 700 member organisations and key individuals, including councils, universities, churches and businesses, amongst many others. After teaching at Chancellor College in the University of Malawi, Ken continued his Malawi involvement during his years as General Secretary for World Mission at the Church of Scotland (1998 – 2009).
Revd Professor Ken Ross' sermon can be accessed here.
Professor Douglas Blackwood is associated with the Scotland Malawi Mental Health Education Project (SMMHEP). The WHO campaign “No Health without Mental Health” highlights a severe shortage of mental health resources in many countries. Malawi is no exception and for the past few years there have been no Malawian psychiatrists working in the country. SMMHEP has been arranging teaching visits for UK volunteers to help set up the Department of Mental Health in the College of Medicine in Blantyre where the first group of psychiatrists will graduate in 2017.
Professor Heather Cubie is associated with the Nkhoma Cervical Cancer Screening Programme which is co-ordinated with Nkhoma Mission Hospital. Malawi has the highest incidence of cervical cancer in the world but has few resources to implement screening (nor HPV vaccine for adolescent girls). The programme has screened over 18,000 women through daily ‘screen and treat’ clinics, using affordable and sustainable technologies and trained 37 nurses and midwives to provide the service. Roll-out across the rest of Malawi is a future goal.
When she was 18, Lizzie McAdam spent 5 months at a Malawi school in 2010 as a young volunteer. Her father, Boyd this morning conveyed some of her experiences in Malawi as Lizzie is currently working shifts and could not be with us.
Also taking part in the service by leading the closing prayers were Drs Alastair and Jean MacGilchrist, who have been instrumental in a great deal of fund raising with EMMS ( http://www.emms.org/vital-work/the-places/malawi/) through their cycling, including several trips to Malawi
The Choir Music included an introit which was a hymn using a melody from Northern Malawi adapted by T Colvin, arranged by John Bell. The words were a Tumbuka hymn by J Chirwa, translated and adapted by T Colvin, and an anthem, of South African origin, which has no direct translation and is arranged by A Nyberg. It builds interest and tension by frequent repetitions, using both the original and English words. Also several of the hymns were sung in English or Chichewa.
Ken, Boyd, Douglas, Jean, Alastair and Heather were all available to chat over coffee between services and after the second service with all who were interested in finding out more. The hall and vestibule were also full of stalls giving further information and selling Malawi goods.
In particular the congregation was encouraged to support the 90kg rice challenge. Kilombero rice is produced by Malawian small farmers, imported through a Fair Trade organisation Just Trading Scotland (www.jts.co.uk ) and sold through the Coop and several branches of Margiotta. 90kg of fairly traded rice enables a Malawian farmer to send a child to secondary school for a year.
More photographs can be seen in our Gallery here