"Building Bridges" was the title of a significant Christian-Muslim Dialogue Seminar that has just ended in Doha in the State of Qatar. Fifteen Christian scholars, led by Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, joined with fifteen Muslim Theologians to explore the use of Scripture in the two faiths.
Meeting when the current conflict in Iraq is in the minds of so many people, such a conference was seen as especial importance, a fact stressed by His Highness the Emir of Qatar at the opening ceremony.
A participant in the Conference was Dr Ken Bailey, a long time friend and Canon of the Diocese. Ken gave four lectures on themes from St Luke's Gospel to members of the congregation and friends before the Conference began.
This is the second time in eighteen months that an Archbishop of Canterbury has visited Qatar. On Sunday evening there was a splendid confirmation service where almost six hundred people filled the Hall of the Doha English-speaking School. The service was arranged by Archdeacon Ian Young who trained a choir of some forty persons who sang items from different parts of the world. The Archbishop preached, confirmed sixteen young people of seven nationalities and Bishop Clive celebrated the Eucharist.
Preparations to begin building The Church of the Epiphany are nearing their final stage. Tom Hornsby, the Architect, was present at the service. He had fashioned a temporary reredos in which was set a small stone model of one of the stations of the Cross which will be a feature of the new Church, for which the Archbishop also blessed the first stone.
The Most Reverend Clive Handford