Their Majesties King Letsie III and Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso, The King and Queen of Lesotho will be making an official visit to the Diocese of Durham in June 2016.
The visit which will celebrate thirty years of the Durham Diocese – Lesotho LINK was organised after The Rt Revd Paul Butler visited Lesotho in 2015 and made a personal invite to their Majesties to mark the occasion.
The Royal Party will visit a range of locations during three days in the Diocese from Friday 24th June – Sunday 26th June 2016. Each of the locations to be visited has been chosen to represent the LINK and other areas of interest to their Majesties. Throughout the visit, Bishop Paul, Lord Lieutenancy of Durham (Lord Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear for the Sunderland and Gateshead elements of the visit) and members of the LINK will accompany the Royal Party.
Amongst the places that will be visited include: Venerable Bede Church of England Academy in Tunstall Bank, Sunderland – (a frequent participant in LINK activities); The National Glass Centre (to see Durham craftsmen at work); Durham County Cricket Club, Emirates Riverside Stadium, Chester Le Street to watch Durham Vs Yorkshire in 20:20 Cricket (The King enjoys watching Cricket); East Durham College’s Houghall Campus, Durham and the UTASS [Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Service] – (recognising the King’s interest in farming); A service of Celebration of the Thirty Years of the Link in Chester Le Street.
The Revd Margaret Bianchi, Executive Director of the Durham-Lesotho LINK said: “I am delighted that their Royal Highnesses have been able to accept Bishop Paul’s invitation and be with us to celebrate thirty years of the LINK.
“The King has often attended significant LINK events in Lesotho, he is also patron of the Lesotho Royal Lifesaving Society which the LINK set up, so it is fantastic that he is able to be here and for us to show him around the Diocese taking in places and areas of mutual interest.
“The Link is important because of its long term commitment to Lesotho, particularly working with youth and vulnerable people. It models a realistic style of sustainability and, through the partnership, enables people in Durham to gain an understanding of developing world issues.”
The Durham Lesotho LINK is a registered charity and was established in 1986 as a partnership between the two Dioceses of Lesotho and Durham, with a strong developmental element at its heart. It has initiated a wide range of projects, always aiming to make a difference in the lives of people at both ends of the LINK. It is a tangible expression of oneness in the Body of Christ.
The LINK functions as a window on the world, giving a focussed and more personal angle on developing world issues such as poverty, climate change, inequality, dependency, AIDS and on Christianity in the developing world.
Pictures From The Visit