Dean's Blog

Blog – July 2017

A Separation: Wednesday 12th July 2017

j01Pizzas, ice cream and popcorn, distributed by young Patrick before we watched the movie A Separation, was this week’s activity organized by Tim and Vickie in the café and the very smart cinema room at their block in Juffair. A Separation is a very thought- provoking movie, set in Iran, dealing with all sorts of moral dilemmas: wanting the best for your child, care for an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s, truth-telling, and in the end the heart-rending decision for the child of which parent to stay with. This is a foreign language film that deservedly won an Academy Award nomination for its original screenplay. A big thank you to Vickie for hosting it, while Tim was dining with the visiting Prince Michael of Kent.

Wimbledon semi-final : Thursday 13th July 2017
j02Having not seen any of Wimbledon live on TV this year, I headed down to the British Club to join a small group watching the Jo Konta/Venus Williams semi-final. In the end the match was a disappointment for British fans, who had high hopes of Konta winning the Championship as the highest remaining seed. But the experience of Venus Williams, who has already won the tournament five times before proved too much on the day.

Charity Clothes sale: Friday 14th July 2017
j03The Charity Centre has been closed for far too long, but with Angel’s enthusiastic lead, a sale of excess clothes was arranged for Friday with the hope that the shop can open very soon clear of the overflowing bags.
By the number of people who have bought clothes at knock-down prices, there is a clear need for such provision and it raises funds for the work of the Ecumenical Conference of Charity (ECC) for its ministry among the needy in Bahrain.
So once again we will need donations of good quality second-hand clothes, we will need people to help keep the shop open at regular hours each week and we will need good publicity to say that we are now open again for business.


Bastille Day: Le 14 Juillet 2017
j04It was fun joining Tim and Vicki for the French Bastille Day celebrations at the Sofitel Hotel in the evening and it was an opportunity to catch up with a variety of people whom I had not seen for a long time. Large photos of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and Le Moulin Rouge created the atmosphere of being in Paris. Excellent food, Champagne and French wines and cheeses and being chauffeurred by Tim and Vickie there and back made it very special.

A week of weddings
Over the next week I have four weddings to take in the Cathedral: one on Saturday, two on Monday and one next Thursday. Each one will have a very different character. I was invited to the Reception in the Coffee Chimney following the Saturday wedding and wore my Freedom Tie in support of Freedom Dolls, taking with me a few in my pocket and some in a bag in the car. Without any sales pitch the groom and nearly all the male guests bought one! Ten sold in the evening!

Desi Spice Evening: Tuesday 25th July 2017
j05The summer weekly programme of activities has been going really well and it’s good to see that all the weeks have now been filled by volunteers willing to organize an activity. This week sulo arranged an evening at Desi Spice and many of us enjoyed exploring a new cuisine, especially the chaat the snacky street food that Desi spice is known for. Twenty-four gathered at the restaurant and it is good to see those who are relatively new to our community integrating so easily and the mixing-up of those attending different services meeting and making friends.

Pray for Bahrain: Wednesday 26th July 2017
Pray for Bahrain is a monthly ecumenical meeting hosted by the National Evangelical Church to pray for Bahrain and the wider region, which I try to attend when I can, but often get caught up with other things on a Wednesday evening. But this month I had been asked to lead. It was interesting meeting up with a medical student from Cambridge doing an elective at King Hamad Hospital.

Baptism service for Solomon and Kenneth: Friday 28th July 2017
Friday’s service was full of joy with the baptism of two cousins Solomon Kigen Murei, visiting with his mother Rahab from Nairobi, and Kenneth Jabali Dawson son of Rob and Catherine. An East African Choir led songs of praise in Swahili and Kikuyu to open our service, and a bagpiper Lindsay Aird accompanied j07Sharon on piano playing Amazing grace – quite a sound in a confined space. It was a service of great joy and celebration. In the middle of my sermon a young lad from another congregation, quite oblivious to the congregation and the preacher, rushed into the church playing catch-me-if-you-can, at one point chasing round the altar, much to the consternation of his parent/carer. As one person commenting afterwards said: Never have I been to a service when quite so much happened.

Songs of Praise: Sunday 30th July 2017
j08Being the fifth Sunday of the month we had a Songs of Praise Service in the evening; a variety of hymns chosen by members of the congregation interspersed by readings, both Biblical and from other sources that reflected the themes of the hymns chosen.