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Welcome for a woman bishop

by
15 November 2013

THEY do not yet have one of their own (although Scotland voted for women bishops ten years ago), but the Bishop of Brechin, the Rt Revd Nigel Peyton, recently welcomed the first African woman bishop, the Rt Revd Elinah Wamukoya, of Swaziland (far left) (Feature, 8 November), together with the Bishop of Iowa, the Rt Revd Alan Scarfe, to a special celebration service in St Paul's Cathedral, in Dundee (Letters, 27 September).

It was a service to recognise the unique and special relationship between the dioceses of Brechin, Iowa, and Swaziland, which started with the American diocese in 1982, and with the African diocese in 1989. Dr Peyton says that it is one of the longest-standing such links in the Anglican Communion.

Visits are exchanged, and Brechin contributes towards education and work with women and pre-school children in Swaziland, which suffers greatly from HIV/AIDS. "However," he says, "I sometimes think we learn as much by welcoming visitors to our country, and listening attentively to their questions and polite critique of what they experience.

"The relative wealth and accompanying sense of entitlement in British and American culture is a real shock to the Swazis."

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