Linking the Parish of Radyr with Bangladesh

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

May I introduce myself? I am Hemen Halder, serving as parish priest of St. Thomas Church, Dhaka. But my original family home is Kanainagar. For that reason, our bishop Rt. Revd. Paul S. Sarker as asked me to act as the contact between your parish in Radyr and Kanainagar parish. It will be easier to maintain contact through somebody living in Dhaka as communication is poor with Kanainagar.

Bishop Sarker has told me that he visited your church when he visited the diocese of Llandaff last year and that you would like to establish a link with Kanainagar parish. On behalf of all the people in Kanainagar, I would like to say that we will all be very happy to establish that link and look forward to building up friendship between our two parishes. Perhaps in the future some of the people from Radyr will be able to visit and get know us personally.

Kanainagar is in an area that is already suffering from climate change. It is subject to cyclones and other natural disasters. Last year the Revd. Kate Tiltman from St. Michael’s College visited our village. She will be able to tell you about our situation.

I am sending some photographs. I have asked Revd. John Webber to send them from his computer as it is much faster than my computer. I look forward to hearing from you. I will send your news to Kanainagar and keep them fully informed.

I will regularly send you news of Kanainagar.

Thank you for your concern. With best regards,
Revd. Hemen Halder, St. Thomas Church, Dhaka

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The last stage on the journey to Kanainagar crossing the river
at Mongla Port by ferry. Mongla Port is the second largest port in
Bangladesh, after Chittagong.

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The ferry itself.

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The path into the village.
P.s. I think many of these photos were taken by Kate Tiltman
last year. She had just finished her time at St. Mike’s when she
visited Bangladesh and is now curate in Wrecsam.

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Once fertile land. Now due to climate change the ground water
is too saline to grow crops in it. This is caused by two factors –
[a] a small rise in sea level resulting in more sea water
invading the ground water [b] increased frequency and
severity of cyclonic storms, flooding the land with sea water.
The ground water doesn’t now have time to recover from the
increased salinity this brings.

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The church – this rather ugly structure replaces the previous
church building. It doubles as a cyclone shelter – the villagers
can take refuge here until any tidal waves the cyclone brings
have passed.

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Hemen’s family home in Kanainagar. It is one of the more
prosperous ones!

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Ro provide drinking water, every home has been given a tank
to harvest rain water. This is being delivered to Hemen’s home.

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Tank being fitted.

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People keep smiling, despite everything!