The Rt Rev Hilary Luate Adebe, Bishop of the Diocese of Yei in southern Sudan, Africa, arrived in Northern Ireland on March 14 for a 10 day visit to Yei’s link diocese of Connor.
The link between Yei and Connor was formalised at the last Connor Diocesan Synod in October, and in January this year when the Archdeacon of Dalriada, the Ven Stephen Forde, travelled to Sudan to join delegates at the three-day Yei Diocesan Synod.
This is Bishop Hilary’s second visit to Ireland, having taken part a Mission Conference held in Armagh in 2005. During this trip he will visit a number of Connor parishes including Ardoyne in north Belfast, St Michael’s on the Shankill Road and Agherton in Portstewart.
Bishop Hilary’s busy schedule also includes meetings with staff at the Church Mission Society Ireland (CMSI) in Belfast and Connor Diocesan Council for Mission, and visits to Belfast Bible College and the Irish School of Ecumenics.
He is also hoping to visit the Restorative Justice Programme and the Cornerstone Reconciliation Community.
The Bishop will attend the Enthronement Service for the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev Alan Harper, on March 16, and will also have a private meeting with the Archbishop with whom he worked closely when the Primate was the Bishop of Connor.
He will participate in services in Cairncastle, in Larne, and at Queen’s University, Belfast. On St Patrick’s Day he will attend the 11am service at St Patrick’s, Cairncastle, and the following day, Mothering Sunday, will attended 10am service at St Cedma’s, Larne, 11.45am service at St John’s, Glynn, outside Larne, and that evening, at 8.30pm, he will preach at the Church of the Resurrection at Queen’s.
It is hoped Bishop Hilary will have an opportunity to meet clergy and parishioners from across Connor, and also do some sightseeing before flying back to Entebbe, Uganda, via Winchester.
Archdeacon Forde, who will host Bishop Yei during his visit, said: “Although you can read about the situation in a place like Sudan, it is not until you actually meet someone who lives their daily life there that you begin to understand the harsh realities they have survived and the deep faith that carries them through every day.
“I hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity to meet and welcome this man of faith, whose life has been shaped by the challenges of modern Africa.”