Homeschoolers visit: Monday 30th October 2017
A first for me was the visit of a group of children from various backgrounds and nationalities whose parents are homeschooling them. They were a lively and interested bunch of children and Mums and they were following a multi-faith unit exploring different faith traditions and were very appreciative of the time and attention given to them. Some were clearly fully-committed homeschoolers; others had not got into the school of their choice and others had had a bad experience of school. I am always glad to connect with people wh want to find out more and some of the most thoughtful questions were from a Bahraini Mum for whom this was the first experience of coming into a church.
All Saints Family Service: Friday 3rd November 2018
Tricia led a lively interactive All Saints family service with a practical activity that involved plaiting three strands of ribbon in groups and then joining the various strands together to make a circle round the church and then with everyone holding the circle we sang Bind us together, Lord. The Bible reading had been from Romans chapter 16, a list of greetings of Paul to so many people in the church of Rome, most of whom we do not know anywhere else in Scripture, but people from all sorts of walks of live, male and female, slave and free, Greek, Roman and Jewish all who had clearly contributed to the life of the church community by who they were and what they did: all who were “saints”.
Tamil congregation service led by the children: Friday 10th November 2017
It was good to attend the Tamil congregation’s children-led service and to see the growth in confidence in so many of the children in both reading and singing and their enthusiasm in the different roles they played. It was followed by a wonderful biryani behind the cathedral.
Remembrance at British Embassy, the Old Cemetery and Cathedral: 11th/12th November 2018
Remembrance once again this year was held in the grounds of the British Embassy, a very gracious setting for the diplomats, servicemen and women and the many others who attend from the community, many who have themselves served in the armed forces, but the war memorials and graves of servicemen are not there and it is hard to create a focus for remembrance, though the simple wooden cross that we use on Good Friday is effective. In future we will need to work at making a significant Remembrance event in the Old Cemetery. Following the excellent curry lunch in the Embassy grounds a few of us took several of the wreaths and placed them on the War Memorial and held a simple act of remembrance there.
On Sunday 12th November Remembrance Sunday we welcomed several ambassadors and servicemen and women to our Remembrance Service including Commodore Steve Dainton, Commander of UKMCC, who read the Parable of the Good Samaritan and it was good to welcome the Chelsea Pensioners visiting Bahrain this week and also the Cub Scouts who came in good numbers and paraded their banner. Royal Navy Chaplain Martin Evans preached very thoughtfully but with a light touch.
Two more adult baptisms: Sunday 12th November 2018
The bubbly flowed following the morning service to celebrate not only the baptisms but the engagement of two members of our Kenyan community: Eunice and Suleiman. Both shared a little of their journey to faith and how coming to Bahrain had caused them to reflect on their life and faith and I have had the privilege of meeting with them each week to explore together. They now look forward to their Confirmation. They have been attending worship on Sunday mornings, which has become such a welcoming and refreshing community – a small congregation, mostly linked with the hospitality industry, but ready to embrace all who are new.
It was a joy to welcome Dr Hrayr Jebejian, the Gulf Bible Society General Secretary, and Daniel John, who co-ordinates the Bible society’s ministry in Bahrain. Three of our members are following a course that the Bible Society are currently running on trauma healing, which they all speak very highly of.