Dean's Blog

St Christopher’s Cathedral Diamond Jubilee: March 13th – 17th

Jubilee LogoThe week of the Diamond Jubilee Week seemed like one endless celebration beginning with a Reception hosted by the British Ambassador Iain Lindsay and his wife Bridget in the lovely embassy gardens on the actual date of the Consecration, 13th March.


Manama String QuartetOn the following evening The Manama String Quartet with flautist Paul Bagley, played an imaginative programme: I particularly enjoyed Richard Rodney Bennett’s humourous Travel Notes; journeying by pram and hearse amongst others! Thursday evening Recitals at 6pm are becoming a regular feature of the Cathedral’s life, popular with both audiences and musicians and there are several more concerts in the pipeline leading up to the summer.


Reader LicensingOn the Friday morning Bishop Michael admitted and licensed three new Readers- Tricia Butt, Elizabeth George, and Simon Phillips – and licensed Viv Buckle who has already served in the diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney. It was encouraging for the Cathedral community, not only to look back, but also to look forward to new patterns of ministry. The theme of the service was vocation and two newer hymns that I had never sung before seemed especially appropriate for the occasion: Lord you call us to a journey by Nick Fawcett and Called to your service, God we have responded by Alan Gaunt.


WheelathonIt was followed by a Wheelathon at the Formula One track, the Bahrain International Circuit, organized by David Axtell with the help of many Cathedral volunteers. Julia Lewis waved the chequered flag to start the cyclists and roller bladers off which included Bahrainis and expatriates and many with disabilities on especially adapted bikes. It was good to see so many there and enjoying the experience of riding round the track where in a few weeks time the cars will be whizzing round.


FriendsOne of the joys of special events is the visits of friends. Two friends whom we have known over all of our married life stayed with us for the week of the Jubilee – Emlyn and Tricia Williams who have spent all of their working life serving God through Scripture Union.  And Bill and Edie Schwartz also joined us from Doha on Sunday. We were all able to visit the British Club for a fish curry or fish and chips (depending on individual’s taste).


Jubilee CakeThe celebrations concluded with a Diamond Jubilee Service on Sunday 17th March in the evening, to which we had invited members of the wider community to come and celebrate with us. The Manama Singers, who have several Cathedral members sang  followed by a reception and the cutting of a Diamond Jubilee cake. It may have taken one lady to make it, but five men were required to cut it (Ed Goodwin, Principal of St Christopher’s School, British Ambassador Iain Lindsay, Bishop Michael, CB and Archdeacon Bill Schwartz). We are grateful to God for his many blessings, and for greetings received from many who’d played a significant role in the Cathedral’s life over the years. We were delighted too to welcome back Gloria and Derrick Rea, who for many years maintained our website from Northern Ireland.

“For all that’s been, thanks; for all that shall be, yes.”(Dag Hammarskjőld)