Dean's Blog

Clergy and Spouses Meetings in Dubai

Clergy and SpousesAfter a morning showing our friends from Hong Kong a little of we flew out to Dubai on Tuesday 21st May evening and were met at Dubai airport by an American couple – Frannie and Chad – who were kindly hosting us. We went out for a lovely meal at one of their favourite places and then returned to their apartment on the 47th Floor of the Rolex building in the heart of the Financial district. The views were amazing especially as the windows came down to the floor. Tricia declined the bed next to the window with a sheer drop onto the 8 lane highway below, but I slept peacefully enough.By The Window The highlight of the meeting was a session with Father Tomasito, the Filipino Roman Catholic Parish priest of Dubai, who spoke very honestly of the pain of leading and seeking to bring change to a community and the experience of isolation, depression and loneliness that he felt in the face of the antagonism of some of his parishioners. He spoke of the wise support from his Bishop and how, after a period of retreat in the Philippines, he has been able to come back and lead the community afresh, to face up to “his enemies” and preach the gospel afresh. It was very courageous to come and speak so openly to a group of Anglican priests and their spouses, but the fact that we listened so intently was an indication of how such issues are not confined to that particular context. Many of us had experienced similar antagonism within church communities in which we have served; thankfully I can say it is not true in Bahrain!