Advent Service: Friday 1st December 2018
A big thank you to Sharon for her enthusiasm, encouragement and professional expertise that brought together narration, music and dance in a powerful reflection on the meaning of the Incarnation to mark the beginning of Advent. It was wonderful to have such a mixed choir drawn from many nationalities and from the English and Tamil-speaking congregations, several soloists many singing for the first time and the wonderful interpretation by Saskia, a ballet teacher, who interpreted in her movements the feelings of Mary , hearing that she was to be the mother of the Christ.
Several people said how much they appreciated it including Royal Navy chaplain Martin Evans who wrote
I must say it really was a particularly special service this morning, the choir were superb, but also the congregational singing (no doubt helped by interspersed choir members) really was ‘something else’ as well.
It was followed by a lot of hard work at the Charity Centre and once again we can be very grateful to Angel and her team who had to prepare the tables for the outdoor sale, spend a long day responding to many people coming to the sale and then clearing up afterwards. A total of BD141 was raised, which, as most of the items were selling for only 100 fils, means that a lot of clothes and books were shifted.
Awali: Saturday 2nd December 2017
I realized that we didn’t have an Advent wreath and so we used one of the electric candles that we are encouraged to use at Awali to mark the first ‘Sunday’ of Advent first and Jacob, a delightful boy, helped by ‘lighting it’. When we came to the Communion he held the candle as bread and wine were passed round the circle (as we normally do at Awali) and entered fully into the prayers by saying them after me and always saying the ‘Amen’ at the end confidently. I think our small community at Awali felt that Jacob had really lifted our worship in a special way.
British MPs’ visit: Saturday 2nd December 2017
I had a phone call last night from a lady in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: a group of British MP’s wanted to visit the Cathedral and the leader of the delegation, Rehman Chishti, was the MP for Gillingham and Rainham, our previous constituency; he had been very supportive of community activities in the Church, and I’d played cricket with him in at least a couple of community cricket matches that he’d organized.
It was a joy to meet him again and to hear something of the purpose of their visit to Bahrain. He brought with him some hand sewn coasters from the ladies of St Matthew’s our previous parish, which was very thoughtful