61st Annual General Meeting 2016
Wednesday 15 June 2016 at St James’s Piccadilly, London
This was not only an AGM but also a gathering in the happiest sense with friends and colleagues associated over the years with the Diocese of Egypt and North Africa with the Horn of Africa. Scattered as we are we came together in London to thank God for all that He is working through the Christian witness of people in each part of the diocese and for the privilege of being associated here in the UK by prayer and active involvement with this ministry. There was a cheerful buzz of conversation in all the free time through the day. We caught up with news, enjoyed one another’s company and a delicious buffet lunch as well. In every aspect it was a most rewarding and enjoyable occasion and we thank the people who took the trouble to make it so. The room under St James’s was just the right size for our number, about 60 people in the morning. We were able to hear and see with ease the illustrated talks by Bishop Grant Le Marquand and his wife Dr Wendy about the truly remarkable and distinctive ministry that each undertakes, based at Gambella in Ethiopia, about which they both spoke with enthusiasm. Bishop Grant told us about the encouraging growth in Christian ministry and the number of congregations in the area. He also showed us pictures of the finishing of the striking new chapel for St Frumentius’ Theological College at Gambella, despite the great sadness of recent tribal conflict in the area, which he hopes is coming to an end. Dr Wendy Le Marquand spoke about the crucial role of the Mothers’ Union in local educational and medical initiatives in the towns and villages. As a doctor she brings all her experience to bear on these situations. She told us how she has been able to help in simple and effective methods of water purification and in promoting the use of a particular native plant significantly to improve nutrition in the diet of the people. This and much more is really encouraging news for which we thank God with them and all their colleagues in Ethiopia. After lunch we shared in a simple eucharist in the church and were delighted that the Reverend Lucy Winkett , Vicar of St James’s presided. We were surrounded by the Egyptian “ankh” Key of Life exhibits from the Caravan exhibition in the church. By a happy coincidence the exhibition was to be opened that same evening and a number of members were able to stay for this and the reception. In addition there was a table of articles from the Wady Craft Shop at All Saints’ Cathedral, on sale here as there are so few tourists in Cairo and income there is smaller than it used to be. This is a small way in which we can help them. £400 was taken for the Craft Shop from this day and the sales at Bishop Mouneer’s lecture in Cambridge. The AGM itself was efficient and brief, chaired by Canon Huw Thomas and the minutes are available as prepared by Margaret Ford. The meeting reinvigorated our commitment to prayer and support for Archbishop Mouneer, his colleagues and our fellow Christians in the diocese and for each other. It was time of encouragement together and we thank God for it.
Chris P Andrews (EDA Committee)
Photos Gallery Below