Presidential Address to Synod 2011

In 1908 Cosmo Gordon Lang, Bishop of Stepney, was nominated to be Archbishop of York and soon afterwards went to stay with King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra at Windsor Castle. The King had just two pieces of advice for him. “Keep the parties in the Church together, and prevent the clergy wearing moustaches.” Since becoming a bishop twelve years ago I’ve miserably failed in Lang’s second task but I’m still committed to the first. read on

January 2011

Medical Training Conference
In early January, we were very excited to host a training conference for medical personnel in Aden. Dr Edwin Martin, a long term supporter of Ras Morbat Clinic, works for the UK-based charity Dr Edwin presenting certificate to Dr Nada at the Ras Morbat Clinic, Aden, YemenPRIME which offers medical training to doctors and nurses in many countries to improve healthcare worldwide. Edwin organised the three-day course focussing on patient-centred medicine. He was accompanied by his wife, Peta, who is an experienced nurse, and by Dr Tony Cole, a doctor with many years of experience working in the Middle East. The course was attended by 35 health workers from across Aden, including staff from Ras Morbat Clinic, doctors from the medical faculty at the University of Aden and health workers from the local government clinic. There are few opportunities in Aden for doctors to continue their medical education throughout their career and all the participants were very pleased to have the chance to expand their knowledge and meet new people.

Prime training participants at the Ras Morbat Clinic in Aden, YemenTony, Edwin and Peta also spent a morning at the government hospital and university providing training in communication skills for the doctors, and meeting the Dean of the Medical Faculty. They hope to be able to build a lasting relationship with the University to provide on-going medical training for doctors in Aden, and we wish them every success with this new endeavour and look forward to seeing them regularly in the future.

Yemen Smile
In November 2010 we were pleased to welcome Dr Bona to Ras Morbat Clinic again. Dr Bona runs the charity Yemen Smile which provides cleft lip and cleft palate operations to the people of Yemen. He spends much time touring the country and treating patients identified by local clinics. Ras Morbat Clinic has hosted his work for many years and we enjoy a fruitful partnership, enabling the work of Yemen Smile to reach the people of Aden. During this visit he performed 17 operations, and we look forward to welcoming him again in 2011.

USS Cole Memorial Service
On 12 October 2010 a memorial service was held at Christ Church to mark the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the USS Cole in Aden harbour. It was a quiet and prayerful service, honouring those who had died and remembering those who still grieve. For security reasons the service was not advertised in advance, but after the service a message was sent to the current commanding officer of USS Cole to inform the victims’ friends and families that the service had taken place. We received many messages of gratitude in return.

USS Cole Memorial Service, Aden, Yemen

Remembrance Day Services

Remembrance Day at Silent Valley - Christ Church Aden, YemenA month later, on 11 November, we held the annual Services of Remembrance to mark the end of the First World War and to remember all those who have died while serving their countries. Services were held at Christ Church, Silent Valley Cemetery and Ma’alla Cemetery, where service personnel of many nationalities are buried.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”

The Reverend Andy Thompson, MBE

Reverend Andy Thompson MBE at Buckingham Palace with his wife NavinaThe Bishop in Cyprus and the Gulf, the Rt Revd Michael Lewis, is delighted to offer the diocese’s warmest congratulations to the Revd Andrew Thompson, at present Chaplain of Abu Dhabi and until recently Chaplain of Kuwait, on his being made a member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in HM the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2011.

He receives the honour for services to human rights and promoting interfaith dialogue between Christians and Muslims in Kuwait.

Please remember Andy, Navina, and their family, and the peoples of Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, in your thanksgivings and prayers.

+Michael Cyprus and the Gulf

The Reverend Jebaraj Devasagayam

The Bishop in Cyprus and the Gulf, the Rt Revd Michael Lewis, is pleased to announce the appointment of the Revd Jebaraj Devasagayam, at present a theological writer, publisher, and teacher in Bangalore, India, to be Assistant Priest in the Chaplaincy of the Epiphany, Doha, Qatar.

He expects to move to Qatar imminently and to be welcome by the congregations of the chaplaincy on Friday 31 December.

Please remember Fr Jebaraj, his wife Felshi, and their children Immanuel and Sarah in your prayers, as well as the people of the Chaplaincy of the Epiphany.

+Michael Cyprus and the Gulf

August 2010

New Doctors Arrive
We are delighted to announce that two Korean doctors, Jihong and Sunghye, have arrived at Christ Church and are working at Ras Morbat Clinic on a permanent basis. Dr Jihong is an experienced ophthalmologist and has already proved to be a great asset in the Eye Department. We have been without a permanent eye surgeon since January and have been dependent on visiting surgeons to perform operations. Jihong’s arrival means that regular operations have resumed which is wonderful news for the many people in Yemen who are visually impaired. Jihong is also training the two junior ophthalmologists, Dr Tahani and Dr Randa, who have recently joined the Diploma in Ophthalmology course at the University of Aden. Jihong’s wife, Dr Sunghye, is a gynaecologist/ obstetrician and is serving the local female population in the General Department. The clinic has not had a gynaecologist for a number of years and word is now spreading that she is here. Both doctors have been received warmly by the clinic staff.

Solomon’s Baptism

Rev Nigel Dawkins with the newly baptised Solomon and familyThere was a great celebration on 4th June when Solomon Nazir, the youngest member of the congregation, was baptised at the main service. It was a joy for all to share such an important day with Nazir, Firdous and their family. Firdous is the nurse in the General Department at Ras Morbat Clinic and lives on site with her family. Solomon is the Pakistani family’s third child, his brother Adam and his sister Edna already being regular members of the children’s Friday School which meets during worship on Friday mornings. We welcomed Solomon into the family of the Church and celebrated with a party after the service.

Dr Jan’s Visit
In June we welcomed Dr Jan Tynovsky, an eye surgeon from the Czech Republic, to Ras Morbat Clinic. He came for ten days and performed many eye operations whilst here. Jan is no stranger to Aden, having been here many times before. He enjoyed being back, especially having the chance to visit old haunts and meet old friends. We are extremely grateful to Jan for giving his time and skill so generously to the clinic here, and very much hope that he will be able to visit us again next year.

Ordination in Baghdad
Bishop Michael, Rev Faiz and the clergy at St George's in BaghdadAnother highlight of the summer was our visit to St George’s Church in Baghdad to attend an ordination. We met Faiz and his wife at diocesan synod in February and heard what life has been like for Iraqi Christians in recent years. He is the first Iraqi to be ordained into the Anglican church and we were delighted to secure visas and go to Iraq to support him at his deaconing. We had a wonderful time meeting the Iraqis who make up the congregation at St George’s Church, and enjoyed meeting a number of expats working in military and diplomatic roles in the Green Zone

Ever keen to visit Biblical sites, we also had a day-trip out of Baghdad to visit two fascinating places: Babylon and Ezekiel’s tomb. Iraq continues to be a country of great insecurity where the future is uncertain, and we continue to pray for its people as they build a new life for themselves.

Prayer Points

  • for Jihong and Sunghye as they settle into life and work in Aden
  • for the security situation in Yemen
  • for the people of Yemen as they struggle to live with fuel shortages and rising electricity and water prices
  • for the work and ministry of St George’s Church in Baghdad
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