The Communion Forest is a practical, spiritual and symbolic response to the environmental crisis, and an act of Christian hope for the well-being of humanity and all God’s creation. The aim of the Communion Forest initiative is to significantly increase Anglican tree growing and ecosystem conservation and restoration around the world. The activities are determined locally, so that they are geographically and environmentally appropriate. The vision is also for the initiative to be woven into the spiritual and liturgical life of churches, to deepen care for creation within the Church and its members.
We spoke to Darlington Musekiwa of the Anglican Diocese of Central Zimbabwe, who informed us that it is for this reason, the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe in the Church of the Province of Central Africa committed 105HA of church land for Communion Forest Zimbabwe. Bishop Ignatius Makumbe committed and dedicated this land during the launch of Green Anglicans Central Zimbabwe, an actual Forest which the church has embarked on restoring and conserving. The Church partnered with Zimbabwean Forest Commission and Environmental Management Agency to inspect the land and give recommendations which included fencing the forest land, pruning and pollarding existing trees and enrichment planting to replace the cut trees.
The Forest is on AdPatrick Farm of The Anglican Diocese of Central Zimbabwe under The Church of The Province of Central Africa which has a church school as well and therefore attracts both congregants and members of the community. The Communion Forest is a practical action by the church in Central Zimbabwe in educating the community and children on environmental conservation and preservation. The school children and community’s members who previously relied on the forest for wood, were involved in tree planting in the forest and they also received tree seedlings to plant back in their homes. The other practical action the church has done is the introduction of solar power and biogas in the church school to reduce the demand for firewood.
The restoration of the Communion Forest in the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe began with pruning and pollarding of trees in 1 Hectare of the land. A teacher in the school, Nyikadzino Mukaro; an ambassador of the Friends for the Environment in Zimbabwe donated 800 indigenous trees and the Zimbabwean Forest Commission also donated 100 exotic shade tree seedlings, 20 exotic fruit tree seedlings and 2 baobab tree seedlings which have been planted for enrichment and replacing of cut trees.