Latest News from St Christopher’s
Dean: The Very Reverend Christopher Butt
PO Box 36
Kingdom of Bahrain
F: +973 172 46436
There are references to ecumenical services being held in Bahrain as early as 1902, and for some time Bahrain was regarded as part of the parish of Basra.
The Anglican Chaplaincy was formally established in 1951, with the appointment of the Reverend Robert Rickells, a New Zealander. Since then eleven chaplains have served in Bahrain.
With the appointment of a Chaplain, energy was focused into building a church. Plans were drawn up and the church was consecrated on Friday 13th March 1953. One of its most distinctive features is the chancel windows, made from handmade 18th century Persian glass. Following the building of the Cathedral, other buildings were constructed on the compound: a large church hall, “big enough to house a badminton court” and a school block which was home to the newly started St Christopher’s School. Although the school has long since moved out, the buildings continue to be well used by the Cathedral and many other church groups, the Bible Society who have a small resources centre, and the Ecumenical Conference of Charity, a social outreach arm of the churches, who run a thrift shop one way of responding to the needs of the poor in the community. The Cathedral community also uses the larger space of the Alun Morris Hall both for worship and social events.
The church moved to becoming a Cathedral in the 1980’s: in 1982, formally declared a ‘pro-cathedral’ by the visiting Archbishop of York, before finally being proclaimed “our Cathedral in the Gulf” by Bishop Harry Moore in 1986. Bishop Harry retired soon afterwards and was succeeded by Bishop John Brown.
St Christopher’s Cathedral is home to an international community drawn from all the continents of the world: a wonderfully diverse mix of people of many nationalities, ages, Christian traditions and backgrounds. We aim to welcome everyone, whether a visitor or a resident and are especially delighted to welcome those who are new to Bahrain. The Cathedral is a living centre of worship and place of prayer. On occasions we are delighted to host some of the big occasions in the Diocese, most recently an Ordination and the Installation of new Canons, but for the most part we are very much a normal “parish” community providing regular worship, opportunities to grow in faith, and organizing events that build community and reach out to the wider community.
We have a lively childrens’ programme: our Friday Club provides regular age-appropriate worship, teaching and activity for younger members of our community with ambitious productions at Christmas and Easter. In addition to the Cathedral, Awali Church meets on Saturday mornings in the leafy green Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) compound ten miles south of Manama.