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Politicians and diplomats join religious leaders as Anglican church in Abu Dhabi re-opens

Posted on: October 23, 2015 11:30 AM
Political, diplomatic and religious leaders at the re-opening service of St Andrew's Church, Abu Dhabi
Photo Credit: Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf

[ACNS] Saint Andrew’s Church in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, has re-opened after nine-months of renovations.

Religious, political and diplomatic leaders attended the re-opening service which was led by the Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf, the Rt Revd Michael Lewis.

St Andrew’s Church, which was originally built in 1984, is located “in the centre of a city which is increasingly gaining global attention,” the chaplain, the Revd Canon Andy Thompson, MBE, said. “Our church members come from many different countries and Christian traditions and it’s a privilege to be worshipping Jesus Christ with them.

“We also host many different congregations at St Andrew’s and so ecumenical relations are high on our agenda. Interfaith relations are also a priority and we are reminded of this every Friday as we jostle with the mosque next door for car parking space and the air is filled with the sounds of worship and prayer.

“Somebody once described St Andrew’s church as ‘Evangelical in the pulpit, Catholic at the altar and Charismatic in the pews.’ That pretty much sums us up – in other words we embrace Christians of all traditions and together we seek to be an authentic witness for Jesus Christ in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”

Bishop Michael and Canon Thompson were joined by His Highness Sheikh Nahayan, the UAE’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development; as well as the Roman Catholic Bishop, the Rt Revd Paul Hinder; and the British Ambassador to the UAE, Philip Parham; for the one-hour rededication ceremony.

The church’s former chaplain, the Revd Clive Windebank, was also in attendance as well as ecumenical partners Cameron Arensen of the Evangelical Church, the Revd Heejin Kang of the Korean Methodist Church, and the Revd Moritz Drucker of the German Lutheran Church.