Chris

Family gathering to say farewell: Wednesday 22nd April 2015

May 23, 2015 in Dean's Blog

We returned to the UK for my mother’s funeral and stayed near the south coast in Emsworth in a house on stilts (through Airbnb) looking out overfarewellChichester Harbour. We were blessed with amazing spring weather and stunning sunsets and we were able to farewellsqueeze all the family in without discomfort for the night before the funeral. The service took place in West Wittering Parish Church which had been my parents’ home for as long as anywhere in their lives and where my father is buried. I shared the eulogy with my niece, the eldest granddaughter, and several members of the family were involved in readings, prayers and song. It was lovely getting together as an extended family, a relatively rare event these days and I think that we all felt the service was a fitting and honest tribute to her life that didn’t hide some of her more difficult traits of character, but was able to focus on the positives with gratitude

Chris

Birthdays: Friday 17th April

May 23, 2015 in Dean's Blog

BirthdaysOne of the traditions of Friday mornings, which I all too often forget but I have a congregation always ready to remind me,  is that we mark members birthdays from the previous week. Haniel in particular was well-dressed for the occasion and joining with Irwin they made a fine pair.

Chris

Farewell to Russ and Debbie Dixon: Thursday 16th April 2015

May 23, 2015 in Dean's Blog

We were invited to a farewell dinner for Russ and Debbie Dixon’s at the British Ambassador’s Residence, though sadly Debbie was down with a bugRuss Dixonso was unable to come. Russ has been the Deputy Head of Mission and Debbie the Head of UK Trade & Investment at the British Embassy.

Chris

Orthodox Easter Day and the death of my mother: Sunday 12th April 2015

May 23, 2015 in Dean's Blog

We awoke the Sunday morning to the irrepressible sounds of the Ethiopian Church community beginning their celebration of Easter Day and their my mothercelebration of Christ’s conquest of death.  In the afternoon my brother rang, on skype, from the residential care home where my mother has been and cared for during the last few years. She was sleeping fairly peacefully. I was able to see and talk to her, though she herself has not been able to enjoy the technology that so helps to reduce distance for a long time. Within half an hour of that call she had died. It’s strange how, with her passing memories, come flooding back and somehow I am going to have to pull together these memories and those of other family members into a tribute. Thankfully she had made a funeral plan, so the order of service for her funeral has been straightforward to plan. Tricia and I will head back for the funeral on Wednesday 22nd April, next Sunday. She will be buried in same plot as my father who died twenty years ago. We have been grateful for the love and support that we have received from the Cathedral and Awali communities.

Chris

Dr Hrayr Hebejian: Friday 10th April 2015

May 23, 2015 in Dean's Blog

Hrayr HebejianIt was a joy to welcome Dr Hrayr Jebejian, the General Secretary of the Bible Society for the Gulf, as our preacher at the Friday morning service, and then to meet up for coffee later in the day. Hrayr is always a thoughtful and passionate speaker and as an Armenian deeplyaware of suffering humanity and the hope of the Scriptures.