Mampong Babies Home - History
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St. Wilfrid's has been involved with Mampong Babies Home for a decade now.
The Babies Home is in the town of Mampong, approximately an hours drive north east of the city of Kumasi. Mampong is home to St. Monica's Maternity Hospital and in 1960s some Sisters of the Order of the Holy Paraclete in Whitby were working at the hospital. They recognised that there were a number of babies in desperate need of care due to their mother's being very ill of sadly even dying after giving birth. Most of these children did have fathers or extended family but these were often ill-equipped to care for a new born baby.
So in 1967 the Sisters set up Mampong Babies Home to care for these children until either their mothers recovered or their fathers or families were in a position to care for them. The Sisters ran the home until 1982 when they returned to England and the responsibility for the Home passed to the Anglican Diocese of Kumasi.
In November 2014 the Archdeaconry of Mampong was made into a Diocese and now the responsibility for the home is shared equally between the Anglican Dioceses of both Kumasi and Mampong.
The Rector of St. Wilfrid's, Ian Blay, became involved with Mampong Babies Home whilst in his previous Parish of St. Andrew, Droylsden in the Diocese of Manchester, now a part of the Church of the Epiphany, where he got to know the Venerable Elvis Acheampong who had been Vicar at Mampong and was, at the time, Vicar of Bekwai.
Elvis Acheampong and Ian Blay in 2008
When Ian moved to Mobberley he brought that link with him and it has taken root and grown here. In 2008 Ian took a group of parishioners, both Anglican and Methodist, with him to visit Ghana and, of course, Mampong Babies Home.
Here are some pictures of that 2008 visit.
The driveway into the Home compound
The Administration Block
The entrance to the Children's Block
...with clothes drying in the sun
The children at the Home are well cared for but love the extra attention from visitors.
We also visited the Pre-School that was built to enable the older children to play with and integrate more with children from the town. As well as the kids from the Home nurses and teachers from both the hospital and nearby school leave their children there.
Some of the children were enjoying a siesta
... but not all of them as Nick Eadie discovered
After being shown around we then spent some time with Sister Mabel who had recently taken over from Sister Grace. We took the opportunity to present Mabel with some things that we had brought over with us.
The Rev. David Burrow, Superintendent of the Rossendale Circuit, presented some books from his churches
Patrick was a long-term resident at the Home, I hope he has grown into the Arsenal shirt we gave him
Ian presents Mabel with some funds, also present is the Venerable Elvis Acheampong
Mobberley continued to support the Babies Home, as well as supporting St. Anne's Church in Kumasi when Elvis became the Archdeacon of Manhyia. He moved to be the Archdeacon of Obuasi and in 2015 was made Acting Dean of Kumasi Cathedral.
In 2012 as part of his sabbatical Ian again visited the Babies Home and met up with sister Mabel along with Margaret who was shortly to take over from her in running the Home. In Mobberley there had been some fundraising with a charity Quiz Night at the local Church Inn in Mobberley. The money raised was presented to Mabel at the Home.
Mabel retired at Christmas 2012 and was replaced by Sister Margaret. The Home has many friends supporting it from all around the world. The Rev. Annie Ryder from Sheffield Massachusetts in the USA is a long-term supporter and frequently stays at the Home where she works as a volunteer.
Margaret with Annie Ryder, pastor and rector of Christ Church Episcopal & Trinity Lutheran, Massachusetts
In 2014 the Archdeaconry of Mampong became a Diocese and the then suffragan Bishop, the Right Reverend Cyril Kobina Ben-Smith, was made the Diocesan Bishop. The parish church of Mampong, dedicated to St. Michael and All Angels, was made the Cathedral. In recognition of the support given by both St. Andrew's Droylsden and St. Wilfrid's Ian was invited to be made an Honorary Canon of the new Cathedral.
The new Cathedral of St. Michael & All Angels, Mampong
The service of installation took place on Sunday 18th January 2015.
Not feeling hot, honest
Two other priests from the UK were also being installed as Honorary Canons
Father Mark Williams of St. John Kennington, & Father Angus Aagaard of the North Lambeth Team
Angus was visiting Ghana for the first time and had brought with him some lovely ladies from his congregation.
Ian was delighted to be able to present a cheque for 10,000 Ghana Cedis to Bishop Cyril for Mampong Babies Home. The money had been collected at St. Wilfrid's over Christmas.
Yes, really not hot at all!
In February Bishop Cyril visited the UK and took a day out to come and visit Mobberley. We went into Chester where Bishop Cyril got to meet Bishop Peter, the Bishop of Chester, and Bishop Libby, the Bishop of Stockport. In the evening we held a reception, again at the Church Inn, and to help him in the setting up of the new Diocese we presented him with a new laptop computer.
Bishop Cyril, Bishop of Mampong
We have a couple of projects in mind to support both the Babies Home and the new Diocese so watch this space and please keep Bishop Cyril, Sister Margaret and all the children and Staff of the Home in your thoughts and prayers.
A second group of 12 parishioners plus the Rector went from Mobberley to Ghana in February 2017. We were hosted by the Very Reverend Elvis and his brother Bismarck who is the Dean of Mampong Cathedral. In our time we took part in the life of the 2 Cathedrals and visited Mampong Babies Home. Unfortunately Bishop Cyril was out of the country at the time of the visit.
We were all greatly saddened shortly after our return to here of the death of the Superintendent at the Home Maggie Addai who collapsed during the 50th Anniversary celebrations for the home and sadly died on her way to hospital. A new Superintendent, the Rev. Hannah Nyamekye was subsequently appointed in her stead.