The Church of Bangladesh (COB)’s Bishop of Barishal Diocese Rt. Rev. Shourabh Pholia recently led a liturgical training workshop for the diocese’s catechists and some lay leaders, made possible by the support of CWM’s Mission Support Programme (MSP) 4. Participants were led to practise in mock sessions on issues including marriage counselling, creation care, child marriage, child labour, human trafficking, and gender-based violence and were confident about implementing the work at the parish and community levels. As and when required, they are free to develop liturgy based on social issues for lay people, bearing in mind peace and justice in the family, church and society. This training workshop was also conducted in Kushtia Diocese, under the leadership of Rt. Rev. Hemen Halder, facilitated by MSP 4 programme head Paul Malakar.

In addition, Bishop Pholia met with local church committee members of Christ Church, Jessore to discuss matters on self-sufficiency and how the church’s local assets could be used for its upkeep. Among his pastoral visits to parishes in end August, the Bishop also visited a graveyard to pray for the departed faithful, and inspected church building repair work and construction work for a local school.

Finally, the Bishop thanked local staff for their hard work in distributing humanitarian aid. Through the Shalom field office, the Barishal Dicoese had received support for families affected by Cyclone Amphan from Methodist Church of Britain, and from Compassion International Bangladesh (CIB) which supported its children and their families during the pandemic.