James Langstaff

A Bishop Reflects

Chrism Eucharist – God’s gifts of forgiveness, healing and peace

Rochester Cathedral – Chrism Eucharist 13th April 2017 – Maundy Thursday 1 Samuel 3.1-10; Revelation 1.5b-8; Luke 7.36-50  Characteristically, Luke’s account of the anointing of Jesus gives us a woman who is manifestly on the outside.  This is not Mary of Bethany as in John, nor is it the nameless woman of Matthew and Mark.  This is ‘a woman in the city, who is a sinner’ – and she enters the story of.. Read More

A Week in Mpwapwa: of many Confirmations

I’m used to my Tanzania visits being rather filled with Confirmation Services.  That’s in part because I tend to visit when it is dry, and that’s the best times for a bishop to travel around.  So I had shared 4 such services with Bishop Given in Kondoa, but Mpwapwa had something different in store for me.  I was about to fly solo. Bishop Jacob of Mpwapwa is at present also the Archbishop of.. Read More

Two Nights in Kongwa: missionary past to missionary present

Two nights at St Philip’s Theological College in Kongwa, en route from Kondoa Diocese to Mpwapwa.  The College was founded over 100 years a go by CMS-linked missionaries – and indeed the guest house where goes back to those days.  The setting is stunning, at the foot of dramatic hills 5 kms outside Kongwa, the District town.   St Philip’s is a resource for the whole Province of Tanzania, so not strictly part.. Read More

A Week in Kondoa: of leadership and gender

Part of our visit to Kondoa Diocese was for their Mothers’ Union conference – at which Bridget was somewhat surprised to find herself guest of honour and speaker.  At the closing service, one of the leading members stood up and thanked Bishop Given for his encouragement and defence of the place of women in the church.  A casual observer might find that a rather strange comment as the leadership (ordained and lay) of.. Read More

A Week in Kondoa: of projects and resources

Could I survive as Bishop of Rochester without a car?  Almost certainly, Yes.  It might take a bit longer to get there, but there’s hardly anywhere in the Diocese I couldn’t reach by train and/or bus, with the occasional taxi thrown in.  For the Bishop of Kondoa, it is a very different picture.  Getting to most areas of the Diocese for a Confirmation Service or an evangelistic programme requires several hours (or more).. Read More