Baptism, Confirmation and Dedication of the Cathedral’s altar array: Friday 10th June 2016
Friday morning was a very special service: the Baptism of Tim and Vickie and their 17 month old Patrick and Confirmation of Tim and Vickie, John serving with the Royal Navy here and young people from both the English-speaking and Tamil-speaking congregations: Alisha, Andrea, Ann, Annie, Abigail, Andrew, Ahaan, Valentine and Victor. This was my first experience of the baptism and confirmation of a family and having spent many weeks in their home leading a Christian Foundations group, it was a special joy. It was a joy to welcome grandparents too from France and India. It was a joy to welcome Jon Lavelle, who’d stayed on after the Clergy and Spouses Day, for the Confirmation Service and to present the young people from the English-speaking congregation whom he had prepared for confirmation.
If baptisms and confirmations were not enough, Bishop Michael also dedicated the new altar array that had been designed and painted onto silk by the Rev’d Deborah Chapman and sewed onto cotton sheet backing by Julie Donelly and Angela Murray. It is wonderful to see the fruits of Deborah’s creative design incorporating rich biblical themes and rooting them so firmly in the history and culture of Bahrain. From a distance you see the swirl of a galaxy, such as you can see on a clear night, away from artificial light, in the desert areas of Bahrain, but when you look closely there is so much fascinating detail to be discovered. We are privileged to have such a beautiful work in St Christopher’s Cathedral – one that will inspire wonder – and I am so grateful to Deborah for offering so much time and her creative skills to the Cathedral and also to Angela Murray and Julie Donnelly, who have given their sewing skills and time to back the designs onto cotton sheets for the altar, the lectern and pulpit.
After the conclusion of a memorable service, the candidates and clergy gathered for a group photo with Bishop Michael at the entrance to the Cathedral