Dean’s Blog September 2016

It has been the strangest starts to the new academic year which always feels like the beginning of the Church year after the long summer break. As soon as children went back to school, they were off again some for a whole week with Eid and it no doubt it will be the same at Ashura. It has meant a rather 001bitty start, but it has been good over the past few weeks to welcome several individuals and families and only time will tell if they will remain with us at the Cathedral/Awali or find another church community that suits them better. All we can do is be ourselves and welcome people warmly and be as supportive as we can to those starting life in a new place.

On the final Wednesday evening get-together of the summer we showed Chariots of Fire, a suitable post-Olympic choice of movie. About thirty crowded into The Deanery for biryani, and ice cream and to watch the 1981 Oscar winning movie.

002Over Eid we held a picnic, kindly hosted by David and Sara, George and Charlie, in the Layla Gardens compound. More than double the numbers came than signed up – nearly 70 – but as people brought their own picnics and shared them, there was plenty to go round and there was a lovely mix of people from both our English-speaking and Tamil- speaking congregations and we were able to welcome and integrate

some who are new to our community.

Autumn clean: Saturday 24th September 2016

003A big thank you to our cleaning team who volunteered to do a special autumn clean of the cathedral for all their hard work. I had to use the excuse of going to the service at Awali, but we are grateful for all that was accomplished.

Monday 26th September 2016

A very varied day that included meeting with someone new to Bahrain willing and with the skills to take on running the concert programme, which I am delighted about. Watch this space!

In the afternoon, at the Salmabad Cemetery, I took the funeral of Ken Foxall who had lived in Bahrain for 62 years, for much of his working life in BAPCO, where he was a great encourager of training and

enabling Bahrainis to take on responsibilities in the company. He had adopted a Bahraini family and they had clearly adopted him as honorary godfather to the children and grandchildren.

004In the evening I had a Skype conference with a professor, Alvin Lingenfelter and five students doing a course on Global Christianity. What an enlightened way of using the technology to engage with the worldwide Church! It was a very stimulating conversation covering a range of topics and it may be followed up with email correspondence if further issues need teasing out further.