In April 2018, some of Wesley House’s Life Friends and Donors came to a lunch to celebrate the first anniversary of the college’s rededication. After lunch two of the students spoke about their experiences as they entered the third term of their three years of study.
Charles is studying for a PhD at Anglia Ruskin University.
Allow me to recognise the presence of our Principal Rev Dr Jane Leach, the Director of Studies, all the donors here present, the tutors and staff of Wesley House and my fellow students that are here present.
My name is Rev Charles Lungu from the United Church of Zambia who is a beneficiary of the SALT scholarships that are offered by the Methodist Church in Britain in conjunction with Wesley House through the Cambridge Theological Federation. I want to take this opportunity to say a few things about how the scholarship is benefiting me and how I feel this scholarship will still benefit the church and my community back home in Zambia. I am going to talk about three aspects of the benefit that I feel will be the reality and actualised.
Firstly me as an individual who has been given this opportunity to come and study here will benefit in the sense that the scholarship will help me gain new skills that I have did not gain. In as much as we know that even back home in Zambia I can gain some skills that are similar to these that I will get here but every context is different. Even back home we need to blend in the skills that church workers are getting and gaining from different places where they are doing their studies from. So I know that my perception to things, my thinking, my intellectual capabilities will definitely change as I continue with my studies here. My exposure also helps me look at things differently from the social and religious perspective which I feel those will definitely benefit my ministry back home.
Secondly, the United Church of Zambia, which is my sending congregation, will also benefit. In fact, for them to have recommended me to come and study here is because it it was a program that the church was implementing and I’m one of those ministers that have been earmarked for staff development for our United Church of Zambia University where we are training teachers in religious education as well as ministers to do ministry in the church. So I believe that when I complete my studies here I will go back as a qualified lecturer that will really contribute to what is already going on there, in addition to other lecturers that are there right now.
I also feel that the scholarship will benefit the community in Zambia through my studies because once I finish the PhD program for which I’m here, my work will be a resource in the community. The curriculum development department of our country will use my resources, or my resource, for curriculum development when it comes to religious education. Not only that but I also believe that politically we have the religious ministry that looks at the issues to do with religion in the country. My work will be a resource even as their work will look at inclusive activities between different faiths or religions that are present in Zambia. I also feel that my work could be a resource in the sense that the regions need to coexist peacefully and in a harmonious manner because Zambia is a Christian nation that is trying to learn how to live together in a pluralistic society. So I believe that churches and other religions might use my work as a resource even as they think in terms of their own.
So with those few remarks I feel that my coming here is, and will not be in vain, but to benefit me as well as my church and the community that I have come from back in Zambia. So to all the donors with you that this is the best way you can contribute to training of the clergy worldwide.
Thank you very much for your time.