Greetings from Zanzibar!

Edna, from St Chrysostom’s congregation, is currently in Tanzania from where she sends this interesting ‘postcard’

Jambo!! Warm greetings from Tanzania where Nicky and I are visiting Alison and enjoying the glorious sunny weather.

Recently, we visited an island resort in Zanzibar called Kizimkazi for a short break and decided to proceed to stone town an hours drive from our resort. Stone Town as the name implies, has majority of the building made of stone with narrow streets where no cars are passable.

Here, there is a unique historical mixture of Persian, Indian and European influence that brought about the spice trade. Currently, Zanzibar is made up of a population of 95% Muslims and 5% Christians and Hindus. The town was designated as a UNESCO world heritage in 2000.

Tanz Cath u2We were very excited to visit the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral where Christians still worship. Here is the church building as it is today.

The church is a historical landmark, one of the most prominent examples of early Christian architecture in East Africa

The third Anglican Bishop of Zanzibar, Edward Steere had a vision for the church to be built. It was built in 10 years starting from 1873, and the building was mainly of coral stones. The construction was intended to celebrate the end of slavery and is situated where the biggest slave market in Zanzibar use to be. Unfortunately, Edward Steere died before the completion of the building and was buried behind the altar.

Tanz altar u2The altar is said to be situated exactly where the main ‘whipping post’ use to be.

It was amazing to hear that the famous explorer David Livingstone had some connections to the church. Our tour guide informed us that he died in Zambia, under a tree. In honour of him, a cross was made from the wood of that tree.

The church is currently being renovated and refurbished and a centre is being created to raise awareness about the history of slavery in Zanzibar and highlight the ongoing modern day slavery which in present day is termed ‘human trafficking’ taking place in East Africa and worldwide.

Best wishes,

Edna

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About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community where people of differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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One Response to Greetings from Zanzibar!

  1. From Wikipedia:
    Edward Steere was a colonial bishop in the 19th century.
    He was born in 1828, educated at London University and ordained in 1850.After curacies in Devon and Lincolnshire, he joined Bishop Tozer seven years later. He was created Bishop of Nyasaland in 1874 and died on 26 August 1882.
    He placed the foundation stone at Christ Church, Zanzibar in Stone Town, Zanzibar. Edward Steere also worked with David Livingstone to abolish slavery in Zanzibar.
    Edward Steere is now buried behind the altar in the church.

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