Bishop Donald Arden - Manna
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Bishop Donald Arden

Bishop Donald Arden was born in 1916 in Hampshire but grew up in Australia. After University he trained for the priesthood and worked as a curate in London during the Blitz. Donald’s 38 years in African began in Pretoria in 1943 where he served 20 congregations, arranged a feeding programme for 5,000 children and started a Scout Troop for mixed race boys.

Donald also worked hard encouraging existing churches to work together to provide better unified medical care, resulting in an increase of the number of health centres attached to Anglican hospitals going from 4 to 14 between 1962 and 1980.

In 1961 Donald was consecrated Bishop of Nyasaland, now Malawi, encouraging the development of laypeople and clergy. He wrote;

“If the clergy are the lungs breathing in the fresh air of the Spirit, you laymen and laywomen are the hands and the feet and the mouth of the body of Christ.”

He worked tirelessly to deepen understanding between different Christian denominations and between Christians and Muslims in Malawi.

Donald also worked hard encouraging existing churches to work together to provide better unified medical care, resulting in an increase of the number of health centres attached to Anglican hospitals going from 4 to 14 between 1962 and 1980.

donald-arden

In 1963 Donald spoke to the Convention of the Diocese in Texas, following which a diocesan partnership was established and then 3 years later a partnership with the Diocese of Birmingham. In 1971, Donald was elected Archbishop of the Province of Central Africa.

Donald returned to England in 1981 to St Margaret’s, Uxbridge. On retiring at 70, he began 25 years as an Honorary Curate in North Harrow often going back to take groups to Malawi. It was during this time that he visited neighbouring Mozambique during the war. He then played an active role in the formation of ALMA  in London. He served for many years as a MANNA trustee, supporting the work of the churches in Mozambique.

People who knew Donald have said of him: “He was a really loved Father; a wonderfully loving and caring priest; a man of God; a wonderful irritant for the Kingdom; the most remarkable and inspiring person I have ever met; his quiet wisdom and impish wit…”

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