Chris

Cemetery Preparation for Remembrance Day

November 24, 2014 in Dean's Blog

Old Christian Cemetery Twice this week I have been down to the Old Christian Cemetery to offer a hand to Kumar and Kalam in preparation for the eleventh of the eleventh at 11am, when the top brass from the Military and Ambassadors from several nations will be present.

We were delighted to receive the offer of help from a group of sailors from UKMCC to give Old Christian Cemetery a few hours to work alongside our two loyal workers and in particular to tackle a tree that had fallen down in the high winds, so one team set too and sawed and chopped it up into pieces for disposal;others focused on the continuing falling leaves, always a challenge; while a third team cleaned up some of the memorial stones and wooden crosses that the pigeons delight in sitting on or above.

A special visitor to the cemetery on Friday morning, just flown in from the UK, was Colin Waite who came to see the grave of his friend from childhood/teenage years Private Brian Holroyd who died in Aden in 1959 at the age of twenty. The story of Colin and Brian’s friendship is told at length in this week’s Gulf Weekly.Colin will be attending the two Remembrance services in the Cathedral and Old Christian Cemetery and connecting with the Chelsea Pensioners’ programme while they are here in Bahrain. The Bahrain British Business Forum have been very generous in sponsoring Colin’s airfare.

Chris

Bahrain Marathon Relay: Friday 31st October 2014

November 24, 2014 in Dean's Blog

Bahrain Marathon RelayThis year’s race proved a tough one with higher temperatures and consistently longer times, but under Bahrain Marathon RelayGraham Roberts’ leadership and organization and Paul Hamilton’s behind the scenes preparation, there was a great spirit of camaraderie among the international all-age team; congratulations to all who took part.

Chris

Bishop Michael’s Visit: Thursday 30th October – Thursday 6th November 2014

November 24, 2014 in Dean's Blog

Bishop Michael and Julia’s visit to the Chaplaincy has been in the diary for several months and hardly had he touched down Confirmation Service he was presiding at a Confirmation Service of two adults and eight young people on the Thursday evening. It was a very positive service as all the candidates who came from Friday Saturday and Sunday congregations, from the Tamil-speaking and English-speaking congregations and from Awali and the Cathedral all responded with great confidence and joy to the Bishop Michael’s questions. Having Bishop Michael’s Visitstarted the visit on such a high note, it would be hard to maintain the momentum, but he had the opportunity to preach or preside at services over the weekend, including the Tamil service; to meet with Bishop Camillo, the Roman Catholic Bishop based in Bahrain;  to lunch with the British Ambassador, Iain Lindsay and his wife Bridget; to meet with His Majesty the King; to visit the port with Stephen and enjoy his family’s hospitality; to meet with Jon and review his time as a curate here; and to attend thehomegroupmeeting in Jon’s home and enjoy a bring and share meal; and to have some time out too.

 

Chris

Islam: A Religion, A Culture, A Society by Bill Schwartz

November 24, 2014 in Dean's Blog

Bill SchwartzThe flight back to Bahrain was spent reading our Archdeacon’s book based on his doctoralthesis, butmade more accessible for a thoughtful more popular readership. As Bill has given a lifetime of Christian ministry in the Middle East, what he provides in this book is the distilled wisdom of those years of service. It is particularly helpful in highlighting the unhelpful presuppositions that westerners and Christians have in their encounter Muslims and in trying to understand Islam.

I will certainly be commending this book and giving our congregations an opportunity to order it, and also suggesting it as a very useful resource for the US Navy through their Chaplaincy Department. It is written with an American audience in mind, but those who come from the west will find it a treasure.

Chris

Cyprus: 19th-23rd October2014

November 1, 2014 in Dean's Blog

My visit to Cyprus was to attend the meeting of the Bishop’s Council and Standing committee, but I left a couple of days earlier than I might and stayed in The CyprusDeanery in Nicosia, sharing it with Nelson the Nigerian caretaker…. There was plenty of space! In the change of scenery and without the interruptions that are an inevitable part of life in this Deanery, I managed to prepare for two very contrasting memorial services this coming Saturday- a stillborn baby and the deaths of three DHL employees, murdered in Afghanistan six years ago, as well as my Friday sermon for this week. It was good to see that the Bahrain tree I planted alongside those of our three partner cathedrals in Nicosia, Exeter and Thika was flourishing and of all the citrus trees was the only one with fruit. I don’t think that there is a parable in that! The Cyprus climate is really energizing at this time of the year.