Its that time again we take stock of what was an eventful 2021 for Cranborne Circuit. An absolute rollercoaster with a telling blow at the start and the perserverance of steel in the half term and the perfect ending in the penultimate month.

In a year that started very much in the thicket of a lockdown precipitated by a raging second wave, Cranborne shook but never wilted and the show continued with the traditional 10 days of prayer and fasting online.

January and February did give us one of most difficult starts in living memory as the church lost Baba Josphat Matemezano and his lovely wife Cecilia inside seven days.

Mrs Sharon Madhongo, a recent inductee into the RRW barely three years back, passed on too in February.

So did the youthful Peace Chikuhwa.

It was a difficult period to navigate under a raging pandemic but the church managed to give the four befitting farewells.

By March, the lockdown eased and for the first time, members entered the sanctuary and the church breathed some life.

The Harvest Thanksgiving season kicked off spectacularly, preceded by a First Fruits and Seeding Campaign in April.

This year’s Holy Week and Easter was special as people congregated for the revival for the first time physically after last year’s revival was virtualised after the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Mrs Rose Magara, Reverend Gwenambira and Mr Joseph Mushambi ignited our Easter experience with their sermons and teachings.

The church was again to experience another lockdown at the end of June with services from July virtual at the peak of our Harvest Season.

As it happened, another stalwart Mrs Irene Mugurwa departed to eternal glory at the end of June.

The Harvest Thanksgiving celebrations were hosted virtually in early August with the circuit once again surpassing its set target of USD$13 000 by an extra USD$600 and beating the RTGS target double the target as the church exercised extraordinary faith through giving in adverse times.

Former circuit treasurer Mr Edwin Chimbadzwa passed on in the same month.

It was a month too of joy in the clergy family as Rujeko Machinga, first born daughter to our Pastor In Charge Rev Dr Gift Machinga tied the knot with Akinola Asaolu in the United States.

In person worship services resumed in September with a telling heavy blow befalling the circuit on September 21 with the news of the passing of another of the great music icons, Zvatinoda Paul Gandanzara.

His funeral was a true celebration with music very much the soundtrack of the entire sendoff with his final service in Cranborne an event to remember with the main church choir, which he directed for over 20 years, discovering their rhythm and mojo of old, eventually making their comeback.

The choir, in honour of Sekuru Gandanzara, are back in the thick of things.

The month ended with circuit History and Communications chairperson Luckmore Kufarimayi getting married to Harare East District youth president Tariro Dandara as well as Mr Founder Jakachira’ joining in holy matrimony with Paidamoyo Munhenga.

The missions team went to Marara circuit as the church made its presence felt in Mutasa Nyanga District with their exemplary mission work.

This year’s Laity Week saw the church honour its health front line workers and remember all the members who passed on from the start of 2020 to the present.

The circuit successfully hosted its End of Year revival in good old November, another significant triumph given the year the circuit had with the programme well attended with great speakers in tow.

The year ended in the best way Cranborne knows how to – weddings and not just one but three.

Chorister Cornelias Makoni and Ruth Maruza were joined in holy matrimony so did Fortunate Munhumumwe, sister to former student pastor Reverend Brenda Gurupira and lastly former youth president Takudzwa Chimukuche and Nyaradzai Chikoore.

The projects committee hosted the Carols by Candlelight and struck gold with the aim achieved of sinking a borehole at our parsonage in Queensdale.

At the action of the 21st Zimbabwe East Annual Conference, our current pastors were given another mandate to serve us for the year 2022.

The conference also saw some of our former student pastors in Reverend Gurupira, Reverend Barbara Marumba, Reverend John Mwaita all being ordained as full elders.

Its been quite a year. A year we rejoiced, a year we cried, a year we marched on in ministry against the tide of a triple wave, a year we out did ourselves in giving, a year Cranborne did what Cranborne always does – claim higher ground.

The year clocks down with a crossover service which will be done differently in line with lockdown regulations as it ends before the 9pm curfew deadline, ensuring Cranborners will usher in 2022 in the comfort of their homes.

The prayer is always for a better year, a better 2022, a year hopefully the pandemic recedes even much more to allow the smooth return to the old life.

2021, indeed we wave it goodbye yet we will never forget the marks it left on our history book at Cranborne.

On to a new fresh page worth 365 days. Let get into it with grace. Lets be part of it.

Adieu 2021! Behold 2022!

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