The Overseas Task Group in its present form was set up by our previous Bishop in order to help stay informed about the various formal and informal contacts which congregations in the Diocese had with churches and other Anglican groups around the world. It was also the aim of the Group to support the formation of such contacts. The group receives reports on major overseas activities involving various clerical and lay members of the Diocese, and considers any ongoing effects of these visits.
Of particular concern to the Group have been the two formal companion links which the Diocese has with the Diocese of Connecticut and the Diocese of Mthatha.
The Group’s advice made it possible to establish the principle that, in every other year, the Bishop’s Lent Appeal should be devoted to an overseas cause and the Group provides advice on possible charities and organisations.
It’s members include:
- The Bishop (Convenor)
- Mr Hayden Barrett, MBE
- Roy Bridges (Secretary)
- Mrs Florence Cal-Anglia
- Mr David Crosley
- Mrs Fredrica Stephens
The Diocese has two formal links with other Dioceses in South Africa, and the USA.
The Diocese of Connecticut, USA
This link is of enormous significance not just for the Aberdeen and Connecticut sees but for the whole wide-world Anglican Communion. Following the American Revolution, the Church of England was unwilling to ordain a bishop from the Anglican churches of the new USA. Therefore Samuel Seabury was ordained bishop by Bishop Skinner in Aberdeen in November 1784. Thus the apostolic succession was maintained in the USA and the precedent was set for Anglican churches throughout the world to elect bishops who could be properlyordained.
The Aberdeen–Connecticut link itself has been maintained and has been reinforced by mutual visits at various levels and by the practice of each Church appointing an honorary canon from the other.
The Diocese of Mthatha, South Africa
Originally established in 1872 as the Diocese of St John’s, it seems that itys links with the Scottish Episcopal Church were established in the early twentieth century. In recent years there have been a number of reciprocal visits by individuals and Church groups. Mrs Roella Wilson from Orkney recently helped Mthatha to develop its IT systems while in 2016 Bishop Sitembele Mzamane visited Aberdeen and attended a meeting of the Overseas Task Group while some of the Mthatha Cathedral’s choristers sang in some of Aberdeen’s churches.
A great many other overseas links of various kinds have developed with other parts of the USA, with India and Sri Lanka, with East Africa and with Japan. Help has been extended to the Society of St Margaret Convent in Haiti. The Overseas Task Group attempts to keep itself and the diocese more widely informed of such links.
Some of our congregations have their own links, and many also support projects around the world. For more information on these links, please contact the committee.
For more information, please contact the Diocesan Office: