Dean's Blog

Dean’s Blog – 27th November

The Challenge of keeping Cool

coolThe air conditioning units after many years of service have been increasingly unreliable and in what has been, apparently, the hottest summer on record the need to change them increasingly urgent. So the Cathedral Council (BACC) eventually had to bite the bullet and replace them and a crane was required to get the old units down and put the new ones up. Hopefully these new ones will be more efficient and last many more years. In a week or two there will be no need for air conditioning , but at least we will be better prepared for next spring and our tenant congregations will be happy.

Artist in residence: 17-22nd November 2015

It has been fun having Deborah Chapman as artist in residence in the cathedral compound,working on what in frontaldue time will be a stunning altar frontal for the Cathedral frontal2and as you can see it is a stunning work of art – painted silk with all sorts of intricate designs. Deborah, who is a priest married to John, who was at St Martin’s Sharjah in the diocese and is now the Chaplain in Barcelona. She has beavered away all hours through the week and generally had an evening meal with us. It is not quite finished and Deborah wants to provide a full set of vestments, but she plans to be back, perhaps with John and the hope might be to dedicate it at Easter.

American Women’s Association Fayre: Saturday 21st November2015

fairI was delighted to hear that the Freedom Ties, which I have had made up in the souq, were in high demand at the AWA Fayre on Saturday and good to hear that Bahrainis and not just westerners are intrigued by them. Twenty-nine were apparently sold at the Freedom Doll and tie stall and the golfing dolls were more popular than the pirates this Saturday, whereas the previous week the pirates were the best seller!

Visiting the Christian Cemetery: Saturday 21st November

Sometimes out of the blue comes a request to visit a grave, and to take a photograph of it – this time that of a soldier Melville Harry Jones who had died after injuries in Aden at the age of eighteen. He had served with the cemeterySouth Wales Borderers and his cousin, also a serving soldier was present for the burial wanted to see the site of the grave. I sent some photos of the Remembrance Day service and was able to reassure him that his cousin’s grave was well cared for and that we had the occasional workparty from the royal Navy, but it was only on Saturday that I was able to photograph the grave and send it off. I got this lovely response from his nephew:

I cannot thank you enough for doing this for us and taking time out of your busy day and work life. I would say that I have shown my uncle the other pictures and he was over the moon to see them. This will be the icing on the cake. Again thank you and I wish you a very merry Christmas


I stand with Akeem: Friday 20th November 2015

Congratakeemulations to the African community in Bahrain and Jon Lavelle for all their efforts to support Akeem Lawal in raising sufficient funds for a kidney transplant. It was fun to join the group if all too briefly for a Fundraiser brunch at Russo’s restaurant and lounge. The party was set to start at 12noon and for those with the energy to finish at 2.00am! I gather it finished before that but a good time was had by all who attended and over BD1000 was raised.


The Taming of the Queen


I enjoy historical novels and I have really appreciated Philippa Gregory’s The Taming of the Queen, the story of Kateryn Parr, a birthday present from my three daughters. Kateryn was the final wife of Henry VIII, an intelligent woman, who was very supportive of the reformers, a friend of Thomas Cranmer, who wro

te her own translations of prayers and the Psalms. She managed to survive as the wife of the increasingly sick and irrational King. Philippa Gregory has made the period of the Tudors her specialty and though a novel, you sense the characters are true to history.