Dean's Blog

Gulf Clergy and Spouses Day: Wednesday 3rd June 2015

The Gulf WifeOur annual Gulf Clergy and Spouses  day took place in Abu Dhabi, though spouses were a little tin on the ground. The Bahrain trio (all without spouses) flew out Gulf Clergy and Spouses Daytogether on late Tuesday  afternoon and arrived back early on Thursday morning. I was staying with the indomitable 93 year old Jocelyn Henderson whose husband Edward had served in Bahrain as Political Agent, Doha and Abu Dhabi. Jocelyn kindly gave me a copy of a book of her memoirs: The Gulf Wife, which I have thoroughly enjoyed reading. Her early era in the gulf is one which is past: a much smaller expatriate community, much simpler living and without all the mod cons that we would regard as essential, especially air conditioning.

We had an interesting programme visiting the grand Mosque, an exquisitely beautiful building, apart from the rather gaudy German-made chandeliers, meeting the Director of the mosque, a talk and conversation with a highly articulate and thoughtful English-trained Abu Dhabi British Club and educated imam and a briefing on the current geopolitical situation from the British Ambassador to the UAE. We also had time to share what was happening in our chaplaincies and to pray for one another. And in the evening we had an excellent buffet meal in the Abu Dhabi British Club with many of those who were hosting us.