Bill’s Letter June 2015

I have just had the great privilege of spending three weeks in East Africa. For the 3rd week, my daughter Susie and I went on a road trip adventure. This involved hiring a 4×4 and driving down to Tanzania to visit our link parish and for Susie to deliver a training course for her women’s health project.

The traffic in Nairobi gets very bad, so we started our trip at 4am. This was a great success, as we got out of the city easily and got to the Tanzanian border by midday. Once in Tanzania, we were met by the link person for the diocese, Peter Oyoo. We spent the first night in Tarime and set off the next day for Sakawa, our link parish, in time for the Sunday service. Driving on dirt roads in the rainy season is very difficult and we were glad to have the 4×4!

We had a most warm and enthusiastic welcome with singing and dancing outside the church, followed by a lively service. They       produced a feast afterwards, which was humbling to receive. We had sent funds for a rain water harvesting system from the church roof. We saw it had been completed, albeit only two days earlier. We exchanged gifts and shared prayer needs. They promised to dedicate a special day of prayer for our church building and securing a long lease. The next day found us at Kowak where Susie did her training about health and making sanitary towels using locally sourced materials. She expected 15 people, but 63 turned up! It really showed how important this is. We will watch to see if the ideas and lessons are taken up.

We went on to meet with the Water for Life team in Musoma and Tarime. We visited one of the well sites that has stalled as they have reached rock. They are not allowed to use dynamite as they are within the town boundaries. One solution would be to drill, but that would be very expensive. The lack of resources means that problems that would be straightforward to solve in this country, are almost impossible there. Susie met with Lucy, a dynamic lady working in women’s health.

From Tarime we returned to Kenya and successfully negotiated the border. The next day we drove through the Maasai Mara game reserve, then had the long drive to Nairobi through very heavy rain and awkward police checks. Thank the Lord we arrived safely exhilarated by our journey. Thank you for your support.

Rev Bill Henderson


Bill’s Letter May 2015

I have spent some time recently in Kenya visiting our daughter, and travelling back to Tanzania to help with the ‘Water for Life’ project. It has been running for 7 years now and so far over £75,000 has been raised and sent to the project.

We began by helping train people to build hand dug wells and fit hand pumps to extract the water. There is also an important element of health education so that people understand the value of clean water. The purpose of the visit is to help evaluate the project, see what lessons can be learned and how to carry on into the future. I hope to get some good feedback from the local people about what has been helpful.

There are a number of challenges to make the project work. The first one is for the villagers to take responsibility for ‘their’ well in the long term so it will be maintained. Education is part of this so people will understand the health benefits. Finding a good site can be difficult too and of course it is very discouraging to dig down, even breaking through rock, only to find there is no water. We have been looking at ways to do more effective surveys, but these can be expensive.

I visited each of the three dioceses: Mara, Rorya and Tarime. Mara is well established and has an experienced team working in development. Tarime is a new diocese but has some very good staff working for them. Rorya has much poorer infrastructure and probably needs different support.

I flew into Nairobi, Kenya, then hired a 4×4 and drove with Susie over the border into Tanzania. This is always an interesting trip; hot, dusty with lots to see. We met with the development team and people from the communities in each of the dioceses. In some places it is not suitable to dig a well and so the project is to harvest rain water from roofs. This does not provide as good a solution as a well, but is better than just going to a river or unprotected well. Susie will teach about her women’s health project and see if it can be launched in our link dioceses. In Rorya diocese, I visited our link parish, Sakawa. I also visited Rose and her husband, Samuel, who is now principal of the local Bible College. Rose visited us here in Stanley some years ago.

Rev Bill Henderson


Film Club – May 2015

Friday evening, 8th May, 7:30pm

‘Déjà Vu’ (2007)   12 Rating

When a ferry filled with crewmen from the USS Nimitz and their   families is blown up in New Orleans, Federal Agent Doug Carlin (Denzel Washington) is brought in to help with the investigation. He joins an experimental FBI surveillance unit that uses spacefolding technology to look back a little over four days into the past. While tracking down the bomber Carlin gets an idea in his head: could they use the device to actually travel back in time and not only prevent the bombing but also the murder of a local woman whose truck was used in the atrocity? Director Tony Scott’s most effective film since ‘Enemy of the State’, this sci-fi thriller is constructed around a clever script and is executed by a top notch cast, including Val Kilmer, Paula Patton and an eerie Jim Caviezel.

Doors open 7pm, film start 7.30pm.

Free admission, tea & coffee, but bring your own popcorn!


Film Club – April 2015

Friday evening, 10th April, 7:30pm

‘God’s not Dead’ (2014)   12 Rating

An atheist Philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo) decides to forego dusty arguments in his class, and instead insists that the new students declare that ‘God is dead’. Unable to do this, Josh (Shane Harper) is challenged to defend his faith and prove to the class that ‘God is NOT dead’. Against all odds, Josh stands up for his faith and takes on the challenge—let the debate begin! With enthralling performances from the star-studded cast, including David A.R. White, Dean Cain, and with a special appearance by Christian rock band ‘Newsboys’, and Willie and Korie Robertson (from American reality TV series ’Duck Dynasty’), this is an intensely thought provoking, faith inspiring and uplifting film.

Doors open 7pm, film start 7.30pm.

Free admission, tea & coffee, but bring your own popcorn!




Bill’s Letter April 2015

Since the demolition of the old church we have been working to establish a long term place of worship in the village.

There has been recent change in the legal designation of the Church Centre. It is now a ‘Parish Centre of Worship’. A Parish Centre of Worship is a church or other building licensed as such by the diocesan bishop in the Church of England, usually where there is no parish church. For most purposes it is deemed to be a parish church but it is dedicated, not consecrated, and parishioners have a right to be married in a neighbouring parish. There is also a licence to be married at St Peter’s Church and Centre too. This means people living in Stanley have a choice about where they get married. So if you are thinking about getting married and are not sure of your options do get in touch.

The events we remember at Easter are, I would say, the most  decisive events in human history. They contain the deepest tragedy and the greatest hope. As we enter into this story once again, we are given strength to face our own difficulties and confidence to embrace our times of joy.

Jesus was called to the home of his dear friend Lazarus who was on the point of death. But he does not set off straight away. By the time he arrives, Lazarus has died. His sisters Martha and Mary, both say, “ If only you had been here”. But Jesus transforms the situation; he claims to BE the resurrection and the life. Then he demonstrates it by raising Lazarus from the dead.

The implication of this does not sink in for the disciples—that Jesus has the power over death. So when Jesus was killed, his friends were frightened and upset. This changed when Jesus was not resuscitated like Lazarus but resurrected. At this Easter may we know the transforming power of Christ, so we experience the hope of new life in whatever we face.

Rev Bill Henderson


Easter 2015

Easter Services 2015 in Stanley

Please join us at St Peter’s Church on Lake Lock Road and at the Methodist Chapel on Mount Road for our Easter services next month: we will be very happy to welcome you.


Sunday 29th March, 10am

Palm Sunday Parade Service: The service will begin at Mount Road Chapel: half-way through the service the congregation will walk to St Peter’s for the rest of the service.

Wednesday 1st April, 7.30pm

Holy week Taize service: a contemplative style of worship with meditative music.

Thursday 2nd April, 7:30pm

Maundy Thursday Passover meal at St Peter’s Church. A special evening service and meal to celebrate the Last Supper. Please let us know if you’d like to come so we know how many people to expect.

Friday 3rd April, 2pm

Good Friday Hot Cross Bun service: a very popular service for all ages, followed by crafts and refreshments.

Sunday 5th April, 10am and 10:30am 

Easter Day services: Easter Sunday family services at 10am at St Peter’s Church or at 10.30am at Mount Road Chapel. Everyone is very welcome.