Dean's Blog

Blog – 22nd October 2017

The Turin Shroud: Sunday 22nd October 2017

01More than forty people squeezed into The Deanery for the Living Room Dialogue to listen to Nigel Goddard speak on the subject of the Turin Shroud and to weigh the evidence that this was the shroud that wrapped the body of Jesus. Nigel has worked as a Rolls-Royce jet-engine performance engineer and has a solid computing background, as well as two Masters degrees in Engineering and Operational Research. He presented the evidence in a measured forensic way exploring some of the remarkable discoveries: the fact that it is not a painting, that the image on the shroud is a negative (only discovered when it was photographed for the first time in the nineteenth century), the discovery of pollen from plants found only near Jerusalem, the presence of blood that is proven to be of a victim of torture, and the remarkable image that could have been formed by a burst of radiation, not dissimilar to images left in Hiroshima following the nuclear bomb on the city.

Whatever one’s conclusions, this is a remarkable relic that has stood the tests of 21st Century science. It was a fascinating evening.

Cyprus and back: Tuesday 24th to Thursday 26th October 2017

Both Tricia and I headed off to Cyprus, Tricia leaving on Sunday for the Barnabas team meeting and I followed on Tuesday for the Bishop’s Council and Standing Committee which was all day Wednesday. There was plenty of meaty business to discuss and it was good to meet Helen Perry, the new member of staff in the Diocesan Office. Both of us managed to catch quick swims in the sea: The Mediterranean is still remarkably warm at this time of the year.

Celebration of Music: Thursday 26th October 2017

02We arrived back from Cyprus just in time for A Celebration of Music with the very talented musicians who make up the St Christopher’s School Music Department. It was an initiative of Paul Bagshaw, Head of Woodwind, who felt that, for regular concerts in the Cathedral, we needed a better quality upright piano. We have now completed five years of Thursday evening concerts at 6pm and they have been a regular feature of 0.3the musical life of Bahrain. All who were there enjoyed a very varied programme and at the end all of the musicians came to the front for a final bow. We charged the regular price for tickets (BD5 with children free), but in addition we had a retiring collection, so the funds now stand at over BD1000. Research suggests that we need to raise at least another BD3000.


Baptism of Simon: Friday 27th October 2017

Our service this Friday was in two parts: the first part of the baptism service with Holy Communion in the Cathedral followed by baptism by immersion in a compound swimming pool in Saar. 04Simon gave a very interesting testimony he said he’d grown up in a home with parents who were both atheists and living quite a wild teenage life on the streets. But he came across a picture of Jesus on the cross and he stuck it on the headboard of his bed. Later he went to watch a movie and found an enquiry postcard about exploring the Christian faith, which he filled in and was contacted by the pastor of a church in Portsmouth. 05He joined a baptism class but was soon sent off on a ship, which meant he could not follow it through. When he was back in Portsmouth, he connected with his local parish church, St Jude’s, where he felt very much at home. In the last few months he has been a regular part of the cathedral’s life Bahrain in the Friday morning congregation, and with the encouragement of Royal Navy Chaplain Martin Evans he decided to take the plunge and be baptized. He will follow it through with Confirmation when Bishop Michael visits us at the end of November.Following the baptism those who came enjoyed a simple lunch of samosas and salad and fruit sticks and enjoyed the opportunity of a swim.