BULAWAYO, Tuesday, September 6, 1966 — There is a grave shortage of European candidates for the priesthood, and unless clerical and lay staff members are maintained, the work of the church will be imperiled in the Matabeleland diocese.
The Bishop of Matabeleland Diocesan Synod said that this was a warning to the Church inside the diocese. He asked delegates to honour the memory of the late Miss Edith Dugdale, administrator at St Patrick’s Mission Hospital, who was murdered there in July. “She had always wanted to do missionary work and having the chance to give a few years at the end of her life to Africa she gave her life. There is no greater love than this,” Bishop Skelton said.
He referred to the “courageous devotion of the late Archdeacon and Rector of Gwelo, Father Adams. One of the many delegates at the synod, who have come from as far as Gaberones, is Canon Frederick McDonald, provincial officer of the Anglican province of Central Africa, who is personal representatives of the Archbishop of Central Africa.
Bishop Skelton said he was one of the fruits of mutual responsibility and interdependence in that he had been provided by the American Church as a contribution to the provincial organisation. He said Rhodesia and Botswana Christians were living in a critical situation.
“Christian history had shown that people reacted in one or two ways to crises. The first was to retreat into the in group. But the great creative figures in the faith were men who reacted differently.
“If Christ had compromised, if he had watered down his message, if he had allowed people to continue in their blindness, the reconciliation would never have been achieved, the suffering would have been greater”, he added.