Proper British tea and cakes welcome for Bishop George

The recently elected Bishop of Mara, The Rt Revd George Okoth, made straight for the parish of Christ the King in Battyeford on his first visit to the Diocese of Leeds.

The young George Okoth was parish priest at Issenye in Mara and also taught Bible Studies at the Secondary School there - so it was to a very warm welcome and renewal of old friendships...and a very British afternoon tea!

He was welcomed there by parishioners from Battyeford itself and from other Mara-linked parishes before everyone sat down to a proper British afternoon tea with scores of cakes.

The Bishop of Wakefield, Bishop Tony and our Diocesan Tanzania Link Officer, Stephen Spencer led a question and answer session.

 Bishop George gave an up-beat assessment of Mara Diocese, despite the worrying lack of rain over the last two years, expressed gratitude for the link with Leeds and gave special thanks for its sponsorship of the Diocesan Synod and for the generous response to his request for bags of maize to feed the clergy.

Since the appeal was launched, the Diocese of Leeds has donated over £22,000 to help alleviate widespread starvation in Mara after devastating drought caused crop failures.

On a lighter note, when asked about his hobbies, he expressed support for Manchester United - to the evident concern of a number of Liverpool fans present.

Bishop George will be in the diocese for a week as part of the unique gathering of bishops from our overseas link dioceses of Sudan, Sri Lanka, South West Virginia, Sweden, Pakistan, and Germany, attending events at Wakefield Cathedral and Leeds Minster at the invitation of the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines.