Many parishes in the Portsmouth diocese have a link with a parish in Ghana including St Peter’s which is linked with St James’ church in Agona Swedru, a market town about fifteen miles north of Winneba, which is on the coast about two thirds of the way from Cape Coast to Accra. The link was developed in the early 1990s and in September 2007, the vicar, Giles Harris-Evans, accompanied by churchwarden, Dick Parsons, made the second visit as part of a larger party of fourteen clergy and laity visiting other Ghanaian parishes. St James’ church is in the diocese of Cape Coast, with which the Petersfield Deanery is linked.
As the Vicar of St James, Agona Swedru the Venerable Archdeacon Benjamin Djan, is fully occupied, for in addition to his parochial duties as parish priest, he is also responsible to the Bishop for overseeing the various projects with which parishes in Cape Coast diocese are involved. Father Benjamin is also responsible for six outlying village churches in Agona Nyakrom (St Paul’s), Bobikum (St Andrew’s), Abadom (St Mary’s) and Osafo (St Peter’s and has one retired priest Canon Moses and a worker priest Canon Charles to help him. It is however difficult for the priests to visit the outlying churches as they have no transport and have to rely on taxis and lifts, so each church has a Catechist, who leads worship in their absence. The church building in Agona Swedru replaces an earlier one and though not yet complete is in a good state of repair. Those in the outlying villages are built of mud brick and are generally in a poor state, indeed the simple church building at Bobikum was washed away by the rains about ten years ago and services are still held in the open air.
The church school at Agona Swedru consists of about eight mudbrick huts of which two cannot be used as they are in danger of collapse. Schooling is free, the teaching is in English, though Fante (the local language) is taught as a separate subject and the children seem keen to learn. Each of the outlying churches also has its own church school.
On the 2007 visit donations from the parishioners of St Peter’s, were given to help the church and school at Agona Swedru and the church at Agona Nyakrom.