Dean's Blog

Dean’s Blog – November 2015

New Courses: Christian Foundations and Exploring Faith

foundationsFollowing the weekend with Archdeacon John Holdsworth, two courses have been launched this week; A Christian Foundations course exploring the foundations of our faith and we began on Monday with What can we know about God? Sadly I had failed to put the apartment number on the publicity and also left my phone behind, so one couple were stranded outside the apartment block not knowing where to go! That ha261112_onversations with the New Testaments been sorted out now.

The second course – Exploring Faith – a rather more academic course with the possibility of formal assessment and accreditation started on Saturday using the book Conversations with the New Testament by john Holdsworth. We began by exploring the multi-faceted nature of Good News, beginning with our own experience and seeing how the answers to that question shapes the whole structure of the book beginning with the message of health and healing.

Awali Fair: Saturday 14th November 2015

The first awali_fairof the seasonal fairs took place at Awali and the stall of Freedom Dolls and Freedom Ties looked very colourful and I enjoyed my hour on the stall talking about the work of Freedom Dolls in Cyprus. The number of people visiting the fair seemed a little down on previous years but there was some lovely craft work exhibited and I bought on birthday present and three small gifts for Christmas as well as a cake for the Living Room Dialogue on Sunday.


TGIF: Friday 13th November 2015exodus

It was good to get together with our young people at the Bennett family home for the showing of Exodus and pizza, salad and ice cream. It is a lengthy Biblical epic with some interesting interpretations and particularly the presentation of God as a young child. Of course it is always hard to present God on screen and for many even to attempt to is almost blasphemous, but it certainly makes you think how did God reveal himself, how does God reveal himself? The plagues were very dramatic and the return of the waters following the crossing of the Red Sea seemed to be like a tsunami. We are very grateful to the Bennett family for hosting us all so graciously.


Visit of Deputy Chaplain of the Fleet, the Rev’d Martyn Gough: Friday 13th February 2015

One of the joys and frustrations of ministry at the cathedral has been the links with the US Navy and British Royal Navy. Joys in seafarersthat it is always good to welcome those who are serving here in Bahrain who want to be part of the wider community into the life of the Cathedral; several have, and they have been a huge enrichment to our lives in the time that they are here. Frustrations, in that there is so little continuity and that it all seems to depend on the particular interests or affiliations of the chaplaincy team. With the arrival of the Rev’d Dr Mark Davidson, the Royal Navy Chaplain, who is here on a six month term, rather than three months, that relationship seems to have changed with the Brits so that connectivity will remain even if the affiliations of the Chaplain may not be Anglican – indeed Mark is a Church of Scotland minister. This is especially important with the establishment of a British base here and a larger Royal Navy presence. So it was good that he brought the Rev’d Martyn Gough, the Deputy Chaplain of the Fleet, round to meet me on Friday afternoon to help both foster and cement those relationships and we had a good hour talking together.