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Blackburn Diocese link with the Diocese of the Free State stretches back more than 50 years.

Bishop Julian recently appointed a new Chair of the Free State Link Committee, Revd Sam Cheesman, pictured here with the Bishop. 

The previous chair, Fr John Hall, has stepped down from the position after leading the team for 25 years, seeing through many changes in this Diocese and in South Africa.

Bishop Julian said: “I am hugely grateful for John’s contribution to the Diocese in this way and his faithful service to the link for over two decades.

"Fr John (pictured) has brought continuity and stability to the link committee and maintained what is an important part of the mission and ministry of the Diocese of Blackburn.

"I am delighted that he will continue to serve on the board of the Mosamaria Trust, a charity which many in our Diocese will have links to."

The new Chair of the Link Committee Revd Sam Cheesman, who is also the Bishop's Chaplain, has been involved with the work with the Free State for 10 years now and has organised a number of youth trips to the Diocese and also held mission trips in the Diocese of Blackburn involving people from South Africa.

Sam was brought up in West Africa and has a passion for the whole continent but specifically for South Africa. He is currently the Bishop’s Chaplain, working at Bishop’s House in Salesbury.

Sam said of his appointment: “It is a real honour to be asked to chair this particular committee which leads work that I am extremely passionate about.

I hope that we will be able to continue to build friendships and work closely with our brothers and sisters in the Free State and that these relationships will help both sides of the link as we try to make disciples, grow leaders, be witnesses and inspire children and young people.”

  • If you are interested in knowing more about the link with the Diocese of the Free State you can contact Sam using and they are always keen to meet potential new members.





Ronnie Semley, November 2021