Dean's Blog

Dean’s Blog – December 2016

The role of the Orthodox Church in the Conflict in Ukraine: Sunday November 14th 2016

dec-1Dr Vickie Hudson, a British Academy Post Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of War Studies at Kings College, London was the speaker at our November Living Room Dialogue, reflecting on the controversial role of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine as it comes under the Moscow Patriarchate. It is clearly a topical subject as a few days later there was an article in the Church Times by Dr Michael Bordeaux on the same subject.

Katie Morag and the Tale of Tiresome Ted: Monday 21st November 2016

dec-2It was a joy to attend the very imaginative Year 2 production of Katie Morag and the Tale of Tiresome Ted at St Christopher’s School. It really evoked a Scottish fishing port. I remember reading Katie Morag stories to our children when they were that age, but I don’t remember Tiresome Ted! Year Twos are collecting winter woollies for the seafarers and all donations from parents were directed towards Mission to Seafarers. As Stephen was attending the MtS regional conference in India, it was an honour to stand in for him. Afterwards I received a call to say that BD800 had been raised, a wonderful collection!

Building Appeal Fund Gift Weekend: 25-27th November 2016

dec-3The Launch of the Building Appeal within the congregation was approached with some trepidation. Would this all be a damp squid and would BD160,000 be way beyond our means. In the end I think we have surprised ourselves and coverwhelmed by the grace of generosity shown by many in our community and beyond, which has really given affirmation that the vision to provide proper children’s space, renewed charity centre space and an interfaith study centre, library and meeting room is right for us at this time. In three weeks over BD63,000 has been pledged or given which takes the total to over BD93,000, or for those who think in other currencies                    (US$ 246,717 or GBP 197,051). There have been a few Hallelujahs around The Deanery as we have seen the total grow and though there is still a journey to travel, we are clearly on the way.

Jason Carter in Concert: Thursday 1st December

dec-4We had a fascinating evening of beautiful and very peaceful music from Jason Carter on his intriguing instrument, a harp guitar. As well as a professional musician, Jason is a traveler and a great raconteur, telling amazing stories of his travels from North Korea for a music festival, where he performed in front of a huge crowd of people all dressed in the same uniform to Finland where he went to a remote rural retreat to compose and where he played Finlandia with a proud Finn standing to attention while he played.

Manama Singers Christmas Concert: Saturday 3rd December2016                                              

dec-6As usual I helped at the Manama Singers Christmas evening concert as front of house, selling tickets. It was a lovely evening of carols, but sadly a small audience for an evening that so many had worked hard for. I suspect that there are so many hotel Christmas tree lighting events – the secular equivalent – that authentic carol services and concerts don’t receive the attention they might have in the past. People missed a lovely evening.

Nativity Play: Friday 9th November 2016

dec-7Another dramatic triumph for our Friday Club children as they presented the Nativity through the eyes and experience of the animals. It gave opportunity for costume designers with doves, sheep, and cows as well as shepherds as angels, stars and a moon. The script was largely related by Andrea and Alice, which meant that the words were heard. A big thank you to Natasha and Sarah, who directed the play this year and who will be taking on leadership of Friday Club in the New Year.

St Christopher’s School Last night of the Proms at the Cultural Hall: Friday 9th November 2016

dec-8The UK/BH 200 years of friendship came to a climax with an evening of wonderful and occasionally patriotic music in the Cultural Hall led by the orchestra and choir of St Christopher’s School with a few additions to the orchestra from the Bahrain Police Band.

I have always wanted to go to a Promenade Concert at the Albert Hall in London, so this was a special treat and included such favourites as the Radetzky March, Elgars Pomp and Circumstance and Henry Wood’s Hornpipe from the Fantasia on British Sea Songs. Thank you to the music staff of St Christopher’s School and all who made it such a memorable evening.