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Diocese of Cyprus and Gulf celebrates 40th anniversary

Posted on: December 4, 2015 9:38 AM
Relief work in Iraq, by St George's Cathedral, Baghdad, is just part of the ministry of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf
Photo Credit: Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf

[ACNS] Four decades of ministry in the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, in the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, will be celebrated next year with special liturgy, a hymn writing competition and a special calendar.

The diocese is marking 40 years in its present configuration and members of its standing committee said that the landmark, “whilst not as auspicious as a fifty-year jubilee, it is nevertheless an achievement to be proud of.” Work is also underway to prepare and publish a history of the diocese.

“It was felt that, in addition, something was needed that would help the diocese to celebrate together as part of our understanding of having a common life,” the reports from the diocese’s standing committee, Scene, said. “And so a special liturgy is to be devised by Bishop Michael [Lewis] to be celebrated throughout the diocese at All Saints tide next year.” It is anticipated that the winning hymn will feature as part of the anniversary liturgy. Details of the hymn competition will be given in the new year.

The standing committee also considered and welcomed the financial plan for 2016 and 2017, which “describes a healthy and functioning diocese, in which support will continue to be given to Baghdad and Aden, Ministry training will be maintained and developed, and the Student Chaplaincy in Famagusta will be encouraged, alongside other programmes and priorities.”

The Archdeacon in the Gulf, the Venerable Bill Schwartz told the standing committee that the “good work” of St George’s Cathedral in Baghdad had not been adversely affected by Canon Andrew White's move to Jordan. “St George’s partnership with other historic churches in the relief programme was having considerable impact,” the diocese said in its Scene publication. “Work was being done with displaced people to provide not only food and clothing, but also opportunities for re-skilling and new employment.”