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A meeting with the Rt Revd Saw Maung Doe, Bishop of Hpa’an, Anglican Province of Myanmar, January 2020

Hpa’an is a town in the south east of Myanmar (formerly Burma). The local people are mainly of Karen background. The Diocese straddles a major political boundary with a significant number of parishioners living in Thailand. Because of the troubled local history, many of these people are stateless.

There are 34 priests in Hpa’an Diocese, and a ‘parish’ can have up to a dozen churches. The church therefore depends on local leadership. St Paul’s Bible school trains catechists.  The Bishop travels widely, visiting and encouraging the churches.

Poverty is widespread. However, the Bishop’s wife Joanna Naw, an educationalist by profession, has founded a number of village schools, passing them over into the state system when possible. 

Bishop Doe is a graduate of OCMS. Prior to his studies in the UK, he was on the teaching staff of the national seminary for 23 years. In 2015, his thesis ‘Discipling the Church’ was published by Regnum. Professor Andrew Walls comments: “Not the least of its many merits (is) the way it explores the realities behind ecclesiastical structures at local level …”.

We were privileged to meet Bishop Doe and Joanna. Clearly Bishop and wife share an important ongoing partnership in their care for people in this part of Myanmar.  We wish them God’s blessing!

 

Godfrey & Dot Stone, February 2020

(Godfrey and Dot are retired, live locally in Oxford and for some years have made friendship visits to China and SEAsia.)


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