News from Monze

Greetings from Monze.

It seems so long since my last visit and of course in many ways our world is very different to that which we inhabited 3 years ago. As you can see from the posters in the Old Priory some good friends are no longer with us. I also have to let you know of the sad and tragic death of Fr. Kenan who visited St. Gregory's in 2007.

On a happier note Fr. Raphael, a priest who served at Our Lady of the Wayside and was a great friend to St. Gregory's was consecrated as the new Bishop of Monze earlier this year – an event at which the President of Zambia was present.

Our Lady of the Wayside has had huge challenges with the pandemic including a reduction in income. It has therefore been even more important to develop projects which help them to provide the funds necessary to function. This has included fish farming which St Gregory's parishioners helped to establish.

I am very much looking forward to seeing the projects, but most of all I am looking forward to meeting the many friends that I have made over the years.

Since our link established 15 years ago with help from Fr. Kenan, we have had a opportunity to discover a little more about a community in Sub-Saharan Africa and for them to learn a little more about us. Special links have been established between the children of the parishes. We have also made other connections – including between members of the Legion of Mary in Monze and in Cheltenham. I am very privileged to have the opportunity to spend time in Zambia - nearly 4 years in total. I gain so much on each visit and learn a little mre about a very different way of life. I hope that our parishioners also feel that they have a special connection with Our Lady of the Wayside and want to learn more.

I would like to welcome everyone to join me on my visit. I write a blog almost daily while I am in Monze, recording my meetings with friends and other happenings. You can follow me at or contact me at

More details can be found on the noticeboard in the Old Priory.

Chris Barrell

Posted in News.