Greetings to all at Pilgrim Hall for the 2010 reunion and gathering. I’m sorry not to be present this year, but Julia and I fully expect to join you once again at future Friends’ events. read on
The Bishop in Cyprus and the Gulf is pleased to announce the appointment of the Revd Andrew Thompson, currently Chaplain of St Paul Ahmadi and Kuwait, to be Chaplain of St Andrew Abu Dhabi.
Andy and Navina expect to move in the late summer before an institution and induction in September.
Please pray for them and their family, and for the people of Abu Dhabi and Kuwait.
I want to begin with part of a speech delivered by a member of the British Parliament to the electors who voted for him.
“Parliament is not a congress, of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where not local purposes, not local prejudices, ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him he is not a member of Bristol, but he is member of Parliament.” read on
(Adapted from THE NATIONAL, Abu Dhabi – November 2009)
The Crown Prince has pledged to help fund the refurbishment of the capital’s St Andrew’s Church compound, a group of ageing buildings that draws tens of thousands of worshippers every week.
The announcement that Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, who is also Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, will “take care of any shortfall of funds” in the project to revamp the complex into a modern place of worship was made by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, at a Remembrance Sunday service this week. read on
At Christ Church, Remembrance Day is one of the highlights of the year and this year it was marked by a series of three services, attended by representatives of the British, French and Indian embassies; members of the local congregation; and other Christians living in Aden. The first service began at 10.55am in Ma’alla Cemetery, allowing us to observe the two minute silence at 11am. Wreaths were laid at the cemetery including one that had been sent by a family in England whose relative lies buried there.
At midday we gathered at Christ Church for the main service of the day, which was followed by a splendid lunch in the church hall when everyone was able to meet and relax. The day finished with an atmospheric dusk service at Silent Valley: a cemetery on the edge of the desert, far away from the hustle and bustle of Aden. As the sun set over the rocky hills, four sisters from the Missionaries of Charity sang a quiet song in honour of those buried there.
A poignant day for all involved, remembering those who have gone before us in this place.
Ras Morbat Institute
When Stefan Poldevaart first came to Yemen four years ago his plan was to teach technical skills to local people. His dream is finally becoming a reality as the building of the Ras Morbat Institute nears completion. The Institute has been built next to the church and consists of a teaching space on the ground floor and a community space upstairs. Early in 2010 Stefan will train two teachers: one Yemeni and one Somali. They will then provide the training for the first intake of students, who will also be a mixture of local Yemenis and refugees from Somalia. The team at Christ Church is most grateful to all those who have supported this project financially and have backed Stefan’s dream with the necessary resources. Particular thanks go to the British Embassy in Sana’a, Episcopal Relief & Development and the Anglican congregation in Bahrain.
Partnership with UNHCR
Another exciting development in the past few months is a new partnership with the United Nations’ refugee agency, UNHCR. There are two large refugee camps on the outskirts of Aden and UNHCR has engaged our clinic to provide eye care to the refugees in Kharaz camp. A team from the eye department has been visiting the camp to perform basic eye examinations and to refer patients for operations at the clinic. So far the project has been running on a pilot basis and we hope that the partnership will lead to a more significant commitment in 2010.
Nigel & Catherine’s Wedding
On 17th October, Nigel Dawkins (Chaplain, Christ Church) married Catherine Lewis-Morris. The service took place in the UK, at St Mary’s Church, Caterham, where Nigel served his curacy. Over 200 friends and family came together to celebrate the wedding.
The service was followed by a reception at the Surrey National Golf Club, in what proved to be a wonderfully joyful and relaxed day. Catherine worked as an accountant in London for seven years and has spent the past three years training for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. She is now with Nigel in Aden where she is helping to manage the chaplaincy finances.
On 15th January 2010 Catherine will be ordained deacon by Bishop Michael Lewis, Bishop in Cyprus and the Gulf, and will be licensed as Assistant Chaplain.
- for the finances of the church and clinic: as a result of the global recession, pledged support for 2010 is significantly lower than previous years;
- for the management team at Christ Church as they face tough decisions regarding how best to reduce expenditure in 2010;
- for the Ras Morbat Institute as it begins training its first students;
- for the development of work with Somali refugees in partnership with UNHCR;
- for Nigel and Catherine as they settle into married life together.