Diocese of Portsmouth

Inter-Diocesan West Africa Link

The Project G team from Portsmouth deanery painted a school classroom in Ghana

Our diocese has had strong links with Anglican churches, schools and communities in Ghana as part of the Inter-Diocesan West Africa Link (IDWAL) for more than 40 years. IDWAL was formed in 1978 as the organisation to sustain links between churchgoers in Chichester, Guildford and Portsmouth dioceses with Anglican Christians in West Africa. Since 1998, our links have been primarily with Ghana. 

Churchgoers from our diocese regularly visit Ghana, and we welcome people from Ghana here. We also collaborate on projects, pray for each other and learn valuable insights from each other, with individuals keeping in touch with their friends in many different ways. The idea is to mutually support each other in Christian faith and mission. Around 40 parishes and schools have active links.

How IDWAL works

Our IDWAL strategy includes:

  • Ensuring that links are primarily about building relationships, mutual support and sharing experience
  • Developing links between our Deaneries and Ghana Dioceses. The current arrangement is:
    • Bishop’s Waltham deanery is linked with the Diocese of Wiawso
    • Fareham deanery is linked with the Dioceses of Sekondi-Takoradi and Wiawso
    • Gosport deanery is linked with the Diocese of Accra
    • Havant deanery is linked with the Diocese of Koforidua
    • Petersfield deanery is linked with the Dioceses of Cape Coast and Dunkwa-on-Offin
    • Portsmouth deanery is linked with the Diocese of Ho
    • Isle of Wight deanery is linked with the Dioceses of Sunyani and Tamale
    • Portsmouth Cathedral is linked with Sunyani Cathedral and Kumasi
    • The parish of Alverstoke is linked with the Diocese of Wusasa (Nigeria)
  • Encouraging parish to parish links (in the context of the Deanery/Diocese partnership) and supporting visits
  • Commitment to the work of St Nicholas Anglican Seminary, Cape Coast

Each deanery has an IDWAL committee, comprised of parish representatives, which co-ordinates parish and school links

Diocesan IDWAL committee

The Diocesan Committee meets quarterly to exchange information, make policy and approve grants. Its membership is formed of Deanery and Cathedral representatives, and delegates from the mission agencies (USPG, CMS and MU). The Chair is appointed by the Bishop. The current executive officers are:

Chair: Rev Max Cross, max@bedhampton.church (pictured right)

Hon. Secretary: Marion Syms, marion.syms@btinternet.com

Hon. Treasurer: Alan Hoad, alan.hoad@ntlworld.com

Publicity Officer: tbc

The IDWAL officers from Portsmouth, Chichester (Canon Ian Hutchinson-Cervantes) and Guildford (Rev David Minns) meet three or four times a year.