TW Father Nathan
- Credit: Submitted
The Rev Nathan Kiyaga is well-known in Torbay especially as the school chaplain at Torquay's St Cuthbert Mayne School.
But Father Nathan has also just been appointed the new Area Dean for Torbay. Here he talks about how the Bay has been brought closer together by the pandemic and of his hopes and aspirations for the future
I was raised in Uganda to a family that was and still is involved with the Church.
Christianinty in Uganda was introduced by missionaries from this country and over the years our home has hosted many of them.
I made my decision to follow the way of Jesus as a young person and since then, he has been my comforter in the difficult times and one who joins in with the celebrations on a good day.
I love reading and many people have inspired me after reading their work.
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One of them is Bishop Graham Cray who is credited with this phrase: “Roots down, walls down, bridges out”.
He explained these three phrases in relation to the faith community in the following ways:
*Roots down: we can be secure in what we are and what we believe. Drink deeply from the welling spring. We won’t pretend that we’re all vaguely the same. We will be strongly who we are.
*Walls down: from our security as people of a clear faith we have no need to hide. We can include. We can be there for all people, undefended, since we are deeply rooted in the faith that we believe God has gifted to us.
*Bridges out: actively and courageously we can reach out to our sisters and brothers and together we can continue to build a community of love, as we too devote ourselves to serve.
How does this align with our priorities for Torbay? We will ensure that our roots are as deep as they can be through Theological Growth in Mission.
Theology is simply the knowledge we have about God and his priorities. Mission on the other hand is how we respond generously according to what we know about God.
You have perhaps seen this through the food alliances, the worship we offer, and through the many faith filled people working either from home or out and about in our hospitals within this climate.
We anticipate that in our learning, you will taste more of God’s generous love.
We shall continue to break our walls down by supporting different groups of people including those who are grieving at this time.
Online platforms have demonstrated how thin our walls have always been.
I have come to notice many who are grieving a loss of some kind and perhaps with little opportunity to grieve well in this time.
As a Church, we have good news for those grieving in our communities. We not only carry with us the future hope, but the present hope wrapped in our ministry of presence to one another.
It is with this in mind that we will engage with those who have lost someone, through the collaboration we have with our funeral directors and those involved with end-of-life ministry.
We will extend our bridges out in building on the Unity that already exists
The pandemic has demonstrated that we are stronger when we work out of our silos.
In some cases, we have been brought closer by technology and there is room for us to define how we will move forward together working closely with those we have met virtually or in person.
We shall continue to recognise our brothers and sisters in other denominations, sectors and anchor institutions as equal participants in the mission of God here in Torbay as we build back better.
This may involve working with those supporting or affected by mental ill health, financial hardships, loneliness, injustices or in need of hope.
These are some of the priorities that I will push forward with the support of Rev Stephen Yates in Brixham and Father Peter March in Torquay as the assistants for this triennium. Do get in touch if you would like to hear more or of you would like to be involved with this journey via email: email@example.com