The Anglican Diocese of Freetown has a number of local parish links with Hull and East Riding.
|Hull Churches||Freetown Churches|
|Hull Minster||Holy Trinity, Kissy Road|
|St Columbas, Drypool.||St Phillips, Patton Street.|
|St John, Drypool.||St John, Brookfields.|
|St Martin’s, North Road.||Christ Church, Pademba Road|
|St Peter’s, Bilton.||Bishop Crowther Memorial Church.|
|St Mary’s Lowgate||St Mark’s, Lumley|
The Rev’d Allen Bagshawe co-ordinates these links and has led six visits to Freetown to help build the relationships. The partnerships began in 1999 when the then Bishop of Freetown, the Rt Rev’d Julius Lynch visited Hull. He was in the country to help celebrate the Bicentenary of the Church Mission Society (CMS). Although CMS was created by some passionate men in Clapham, London, what is not always recognised was that nearly every one of the so called ‘Clapham Sect’ originated in Hull! They were led, of course, by William Wilberforce. Allen was at the CMS Bicentenary event in Clapham and was introduced to Bishop Lynch. Within minutes the bishop’s programme was amended to allow him to come north and be at the heart of the north’s own Bicentenary Celebrations which had already been planned for Holy Trinity (now the Minster) in Hull. So began our partnership with the Anglican Church in Freetown.
In 2013, when Bishop Lynch retired, he was succeeded by the Rt Rev’d Thomas Wilson and our links have continued. The new bishop had previously been Vicar of Holy Trinity, Kissy Road, and was already well known to us through the parish partnership scheme. Indeed the first parish link, between the two Holy Trinity churches of Hull & Freetown, was started in 1980 at the time of the City Twinning and the first visit of officials from Hull to Freetown. The Civil War of the 1990’s saw this link, and many others, fragment. The Kissy Road Church was actually burnt to the ground during the Conflict but a new church has now risen and thanks to some keen fundraising in Hull they were able to source a new pipe organ to lead the worship.
The later links followed as we were able to visit Freetown with small groups from Hull parishes. During those visits we established a very special relationship with the Rev’d Canon Elkanah Thomas. Elkanah was invited by Bishop Lynch to oversee our first visit in 2007 and he never left our side! A special bond was formed and he has been our continuing point of reference. It was, therefore, our joy to bring Elkanah to Hull during the year of our City of Culture in 2017. He came with the civic delegation from Hull and then stayed on for a longer visit.
Allen Bagshawe with Elkanah Thomas
Plans are currently in hand for a visit in May, 2020, and you are invited to contact Allen if you are interested in being part of that visit.