Bishop of Wau, Sudan, Welcomed to Northern Ireland
Bishop of Wau, Sudan, Welcomed to Northern Ireland

The Rt Revd Moses Deng Bol, Bishop of the Wau Diocese in Southern Sudan (Episcopal Church of Sudan), visited Northern Ireland recently. The 34-year-old bishop is the youngest bishop in the Anglican Communion. A former Christian Commitment Co-ordinator for the charity World Vision in Sudan, he was elected bishop in October 2009 and enthroned in March this year.

Bishop Moses, who stayed in Ballyholme during his short visit, preached in Carrowdore & Millisle and worshipped in Bangor but also visited Belfast, where he was welcomed by the Bishop of Down & Dromore, the Rt Revd Harold Miller – who took him on a tour of Belfast’s developing Titanic Quarter and outlined the Church’s vision for its future – and met with the Dean of Belfast, the Very Revd Dr Houston McKelvey, at St Anne’s Cathedral.

The bishop was greeted in Armagh on 2 August by the Bishop of Clogher, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Jackson, who has been engaged with the Church in Sudan on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He also met Mrs Janet Maxwell, Head of Synod Services, and the Dean of Armagh, the Very Revd Patrick Rooke, who gave him a tour of the Robinson Library and St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh.

Bishop Moses was joined on his visit to Armagh by Canon Kenneth Hearn, UK Commissary for Wau Diocese, and Mr Billy Smyth, formerly of CMSI, who has been involved with practical development work in Southern Sudan, and who is engaged in developing further opportunities for voluntary ‘hands-on’ building work in the region which faces challenges of post-conflict reconstruction.

Bishop Jackson and Bishop Deng Bol discussed the situation in Sudan, North and South, with its legacy of war trauma and lack of educational opportunities – while the Church is involved in schooling, 70% of children in the region are not yet in school and many fewer girls than boys. The bishop described how he was seeking to build up the structure of his diocese which is split into 15 Archdeaconries and has 300,000 members but where clergy have been unpaid and often work with NGOs and as teachers. He explained also the Church’s involvement in empowering people and women in particular through literacy programmes and skills development. He praised, too, the financial help which has come from Ireland, which has enabled the purchase of bicycles that allow people to traverse very large areas.

Bishop Jackson commended Bishop Moses as someone of ‘energy, insight, hard work, vision and faith’, while in turn the visiting bishop thanked him for the Church’s encouragement and asked for its continuing prayer. Bishop Jackson presented Bishop Deng Bol with a token of friendship in the form of a St Macartan Belleek Pottery plate illustrating Celtic symbols of faith.

For further information on Wau Diocese contact Canon Kenneth Hearn on T.028 91 453602 and see and