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Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Monday, 5 October 2009 13:00 UK
Bishop Michael's California dream
Michael Perham
Michael Perham was appointed Bishop of Gloucester in 2004

The Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Reverand Michael Perham, has recently returned from his first visit to California.

But this was no time for trips to the holiday destinations of Hollywood and San Francisco.

Bishop Perham was visiting the Diocese of El Camino Real in Southern California for conversations with Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves.

They were joined by Bishop Gerard Mpango from the Diocese of Western Tanganyika in Tanzania.

The Diocese of Gloucester is part of a triangular partnership, formed in 2008, with the Diocese of El Camino Real in California, led by Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves and the Diocese of Western Tanganyika in Tanzania, led by Bishop Gerard Mpango.

Experiences

The three bishops come from wide-ranging backgrounds and theological persuasions, but hope, through the partnership, to build on the shared experiences of the Church to forward the Anglican community across the world.

This visit was organised to develop friendships and grow a greater appreciation of the views and contexts of churches in other parts of the world.

Bishop Perham used the opportunity to visit churches with alternative approaches to worship. The three bishops discussed differing approaches to controversial topics.

"It was a time for honest talk about difficult matters."
Bishop Michael Perham

Also included in the programme was work on developing congregations, mission, immigration and Cathedral ministry.

This was the last visit to the partner Dioceses for Bishop Perham. Earlier this year he journeyed to the Diocese of Western Tanganyika in Tanzania to speak with Bishop Gerard Mpango.

"It was a time for honest talk about difficult matters. Overwhelmingly it was another experience how wonderful it is to belong to a universal family and to deepen friendships and relationships"

Grape harvest

One of the highlights of the visit was a celebration of a grape harvest with Spanish being the predominant language.

"Outside in temperatures of over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, we were blessing the grape harvest in Spanish because a lot Spanish workers live in that part of California. Very different to harvest festivals at home".




SEE ALSO
Bishop warns of church closures
30 May 04 |  Gloucestershire
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29 May 04 |  Gloucestershire

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