Dean's Blog

A week’s break before Synod in Istanbul

Chora ChurchOn Monday very early in the morning we headed to Istanbul via Dubai, Larnaca, Cyprust, kindly picked up in Larnaca by Nick and Viv Binks, the wonderful caretakers of Katafiyio, the Diocesan Retreat Centre, given lunch in their home and delivered to Ercan Northern Cyprus Airport for the onward journey to Istanbul. We look forward to welcoming them to Bahrain after Easter. We have taken a week’s break each year prior to the Diocesan Synod in Larnaca, an opportunity to explore our region. Istanbul is an amazing city, surrounded on all sides by water, with such a rich history, a meeting point of Europe and Asia, and Christian and Islamic cultures. Chora Church 2There were so many highlights, perhaps particularly Chora Church with its remarkable mosaics. It was a challenge to find it as it was not marked on the map that we had. Christian history sadly is not fully acknowledged and either put in a “museum” or Islamicized. We stayed in a very small apartment, an attic flat on the 4th Floor, which was ideally located near Tacksim Square. We bought an Istanbulcard (similar to an Oyster card) and used public transport: trams, funicular railways, ferries and buses extensively while we were there.