St Mary's has supported work in Byumba Diocese in Rwanda through CMS since soon after the civil war of 1994. At that time Meg Guillebaud, who had been born in Rwanda to missionary parents, was a curate at St Mary's. The Bishop of Byumba invited her to return to Rwanda to help rebuild the church following the destruction of attempted genocide and mass reprisals. Following Meg's retirement to England, we have supported her successors as they have led the Bible School, teaching and training local evangelists and clergy to serve in the parishes.
Meg was followed by Phineas Zimulinda who sadly died unexpectedly in August 2011. Elson Mageza now undertakes this work with our prayers and financial support through CMS Timothy Fund, which exists to support indigenous mission partners.
We are also twinned with the parish of Kiyombe right next to the Ugandan border on the extreme northern edge of Rwanda.
In 2009 a group of six St Mary’s members visited Byumba and Kiyombe with Meg Guillebaud. In 2011 we hosted an evening at St Mary’s with Phineas and in 2014 a group of six of us met with Bishop Emmanuel (of Byumba) in Oxford.