September 17, 2014 in Dean's Blog
I was invited to join the special service to mark the anniversary of what is Kumar’s and Nazir’s Church in Bahrain. Among several others, I was asked to bring greetings which seemed an opportunity for some pastors to give a sermon although there was a guest preacher as well so a service, which had begun at 6pm, was still going strong at 9.15pm.
It was good to see Kumar, who supervises our cemetery, looking so smart in his suit and leading a prayer for a congregation of over 300 people.
September 20, 2014 in Dean's Blog
I had a call recently from Colin in Cumbria. He was ringing concerning the grave of his best friend, Private Brian Holroyd, who had died and was buried in Bahrain in 1959. I went off to the Christian Cemetery in Salmabad, armed with my camera, but could not find the grave in the War Grave section, but then went to look in the Old Christian Cemetery. Colin was delighted not only to see the grave but to see that the cemetery was kept in such good condition. I sent him several photos and encouraged him to think about coming out to Bahrain in the season of Remembrance, at the time that the Chelsea Pensioners will be coming. I am also exploring the possibility of getting some sponsorship to cover the cost of his airfare. I feel sure that there will be many people who would want to contribute towards his visit.
September 13, 2014 in Dean's Blog
Following on a week later was the Ordination of Jon Lavelle as Deacon by Bishop Michael. Jon has now joined the staff as curate and it is a joy to have a new colleague. The St Christopher’s Cathedral community came up trumps, as they always do, in organizing a reception that fitted the significance of the occasion. Karen, Jon’s wife who is likely to have to complete her contract with Zayed University produced a youtube which, if you want to get a feel for our new curate, is essential viewing:www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BWRDhM2l04.We were delighted to welcome several overseas guests including the Rev’dDr Peter Sedgwick, Jon’s Principal at St Michael’s Theological College, Llandaff and Andrew Butteriss, the College Site Manager. Peter preached at both the Ordination Service and at Evensong the next day.
In addition to the Ordination two Diocesan meetings were arranged, as they are so often are in this to reduce the costs of meetings which always involve airfares. One was to reflect on Our Common Life to reflect on the distinctiveness of the Anglican Church in this part of the world and a brief financial plan for the Diocese flowing from decisions made at the Diocesan Synod; this was held in the Golden Tulip Hotel, where some of our guests were staying. The second was a Vocational Advisers training session in the Deanery on the Sunday morning.
September 3, 2014 in Dean's Blog
Our return to Bahrain was very much overshadowed by the news that Isabella Andrews had died of a brain aneurysm while on holiday with her family in the United States. Isabella was someone who lit up a room with her smile and her smile reflected her personality. Her Memorial Service – a Celebration of her Life – took place on the Sunday evening after our return and was attended by a variety of people from all walks of her and her family’s life. Particularly moving were the tributes from her students, who very much regarded her as a second mother. Isabella was prepared to stand up for them, particularly where she saw there was an issue of justice or of compassion and she was clearly admired by her colleagues as a model to follow. Our love and sympathy reach out to Andrew, Charles (who returned to Bristol that same night, and Alexi who courageously gave a vote of thanks to all who’d given tributes to her Mum and to all who’d attended the service.
July 30, 2014 in Dean's Blog
Fifteen of us from ten different nations came together for an excellent meal at Al Safir and were graciously looked after by Nadeem and the hotel staff. Nadeem has become a regular at the Sunday morning service, and he was especially keen for us to come and enjoy his hospitality. For a few of us who travelled together, the evening began and ended with a glass of Ricardo’s amazing limoncello!