This diocese has a companion link with a diocese in Rwanda. Last night we had a visit from Meg Guillebaud a CMS Mission Partner from the diocese in question who came and gave an excellent presentation about life in that country.

Over the last few years, I’ve met quite a few people connected with Rwanda – students studying aquaculture, aid workers, people studying Rwanda itself and those involved in Christian mission activity. They tell the most extraordinary stories. They tell of things that happened during the genocide which chill the blood. They also often tell of more hopeful examples of reconcilliation. Talk to someone from Rwanda and you often seem to hear of the best and the very worst of what it is to be a human being.

The more you hear, the more sympathy for the country you tend to have. As I’ve learnt about Rwanda, I’ve certainly found my sympathies growing. At the same time, I’ve learnt about the Anglican Church of Rwanda and I find increasingly my sympathies for that church evaporating.

Last week, we saw a further move from the Rwandan Archbishop to promote schism in the church. (It is important to recognise that the Gafcon movement is a schism within a schism – it is primarily a break away movement not from the Anglican Communion but from the Global South). The ugly words of the schism leaders are the ugly words of the Anglican Church of Rwanda. They are a reminder that almost half of the bishops of the Rwandan Church are now white Americans working in America to split the Church.

The news that our companion bishop from Rwanda was in Jerusalem for the Gafcon (ie alternative Lambeth) Conference (for which we are indebted to Gadgetvicar) turned my stomach.

In St Mary’s we are increasingly asking people to think about how they spend their money. That means thinking about fair trading practises. It means thinking about the environment when shopping. We recognise that what we do with our money is to express our values.

I find that I don’t much want to invest money in anything involving the Anglican Church in Rwanda any more. I’m happy to pray with them, share friendship with them, share bread and wine with them and all that. When in comes to money though, my money has more than just financial value attached to it. If I feel inspired by the stories of Rwanda to invest in that country I would prefer to do so through agencies which share the values that I have. Given the opportunity to invest in sending priests of the Rwandan church motorcycles so that they can get around the diocese faster, I find myself thinking that if I wanted to make a difference, I’d rather give a motorcycle to a local doctor than to the clergy of that church.

These are hard things to say and I’ve no doubt that they were not nice things for Meg to listen to last night. But the Rwandan church is making it clear where it stands.

Time for us to do the same.