Message from Bishop Bill Musk – Lent

“Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”
(Hosea 6:3)

Dear EDA members and friends;

Hosea is a prophet filled with both compassion and hope in the face of betrayal, tragedy, surrounding faithlessness… His personal story shows what forgiveness and restoration can look like in a close human relationship. It also reflects the greater story of a holy God who continues to love and rescue a people who have left God far behind. A good Bible book to consult and consider during our Lenten period!

Last and first!
At the Annual Gathering of the Egypt Diocesan Association (EDA) in June 2018, the Committee was unanimously given the mandate to alter the status of the association as a charity. We agreed to seek to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), a legal entity specially designed for non-profit organisations in the United Kingdom. Such CIO status became available to charities in England and Wales in 2013. As a CIO, a charity has a legal presence, the ability to conduct business in its own name, and limited liability so that its trustees will not have to contribute in the event of financial loss.

Since our Annual Gathering of 2018, the EDA Committee has been well guided and well served by one of its members – Peter Le Feuvre – in negotiating with the Charity Commission in England and Wales for a change of status from Charitable Trust to Charitable Incorporated Organisation. On 17th December, 2018 a new charity (Egypt Diocesan Association) was formed as a CIO. In March, 2019 the EDA Committee met for the last time as trustees/members of the EDA Charitable Trust and then for the first time as Trustees of the EDA Charitable Incorporated Organisation. We have allowed ourselves a leeway period for the transfer of assets from the former entity to the latter – with grateful thanks to Judith Spencer-Gregson for her expertise in facilitating such a handover. Our responsibility is then to close (deregister) the former EDA Charitable Trust.

I am relating all this now both to keep you abreast of the Committee’s / Trustees’ work and so that we will not need to take lots of time at this summer’s Annual Gathering reporting on the process. I think that, as trustees, we all feel relieved that the new status is in place – and we hope that, with it in place, other members of the EDA will feel more comfortable about putting themselves forward to serve as trustees.

Full on!
We support a Diocese that is dynamic, diverse, huge (one of the largest geographically in the Anglican Communion), faced with many challenges, yet growing in mission and ministry. Bishop Mouneer has appointed a Commissary (temporary) Bishop to the Horn of Africa Episcopal Area, plus an Archdeacon for the Gambella region. He has appointed an Archdeacon for Egypt, with other senior priests being given strategic responsibilities in that country. Just at the moment, a number of expatriate ministers (for English-speaking congregations in Egypt and the North Africa Episcopal Area) have left, or are due to leave, and replacements are needed. Please pray for suitable candidates to be found. Those readers with historic association with, or interest in, Holy Trinity, Algiers – where Canon Huw remains as a long-term locum – will be delighted to know that the FCO has returned to the diocese a building on the church site that had been “acquired” by a representative of theirs in the late 1990s, plus given monetary compensation for loss of its use over many years. We thank Bishop Mouneer and Alexandra Wakid especially, along with some good people within the FCO, for managing to make this finally happen! And thanks be to God!

Notice
Please contact edasecretary@gmail.com for details of the EDA annual Gathering. It will however be circulated closer to the time. We will worship together, eat lunch together, hear from a representative of the diocese and conduct our Annual General Meeting. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible then! Thank you for your continuing support for the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa & the Horn of Africa through the EDA.

Weeping for our world! Sad for our Church! Sorry for my faithlessness in so many ways! Yet “rained on”, “sunned on”, “looked upon” by a Lord of love and mercy.

Yours in Christ our hope,

+Bill

Lent, 2019

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