Tewkesbury Refugee Support Group – First hand Experience

Visit to Cairo in October 2017

Five members of the Committee and a Cheltenham Refugee supporter went to see what Refuge Egypt does at firsthand.

Refuge Egypt has been part of the Episcopal Church’s service to the needy of Cairo since 1986. We stayed at the Guesthouse, next to the Cathedral, and the Partnership Office of the diocese helped plan and carry out our programme.

We were able to visit many of the centres listed in www.refuge-egypt.org  and were very impressed both by the high level of need and by the wonderful dedication of all the workers at these centres.

In the area of Nasr City referred to as Kilo 4.5 we saw the Medical Centre based in the Coptic Church building, then Cairo Poem by Sylvia Miles went on to the Sudanese Primary School in an apartment block, and then the Community Centre in another apartment. Finally, we went to the Episcopal Church in the Heliopolis area to meet some of the Sudanese who were attending the Bible School there.

Next day, we went to 6th October City just outside Cairo to visit the Medical Centre, the Craft workshop for Deaf

people, and a Nursery. Usually many Syrians attend here, but there were Sudanese only on that day.

On Monday we went to an apartment in the Maadi area to see the toddlers groups, and then on to the Deaf School.

Next day we joined the team, which regularly visits expatriate prisoners out at Canater Prison, before returning to see what happens in the Cathedral compound at Zamalek. Here many refugees are helped to register with the UNHCR; women are trained to get work as Domestic servants; there is a Craft workshop and another Medical Centre. Two of us also met some of the Sudanese Mothers Union, since Gloucester has a link with them.

Included in the programme were visits to the Museum, the Pyramids, the ancient churches in Old Cairo, the Muqattam cave churches and a meal on a tourist boat on the Nile. We were indebted to Bishop Mouneer and his excellent staff, without whose help this would all have been impossible.

Report by Tony Cullingford (husband of Connie who ran the Guesthouse from 1997 -1999).  Photos by Richard Haynes.


Join EDA’s next trip

Study Visit to Egypt


 Day 1. To Cairo We meet at London Heathrow Airport for our EgyptAir flight MS778 to Cairo departing at 15:00 and arriving in Cairo at 20:40. Transfer to All Saints Garden Centre hotel in central Cairo.

Day 2. The Great Pyramid

This morning we visit the Great Pyramid, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the Sphinx. Lunch nearby. Afternoon visit to the Cave Church of St Simon, the largest church in the Middle East, and Zabbaleen, a community on the outskirts of Cairo which lives from recycling the city’s refuse

Day 3. Meetings & Nile Cruise Dinner

We learn about the work supported by the Diocese including meeting with Bishop Mouneer: Refuge Egypt, a project started by teachers from All Saints’ Cathedral to help refugees, and EpiscoCare, dedicated to helping the poorest and most marginalised Egyptian communities. Lunch at the Diocesan Guest House. Dinner cruise on the Nile.

Day 4. Old Cairo 

We attend the 10:00 service at AllSaints’ Cathedral. Visit Coptic Cairo including the Hanging Church and the Church of Abu Serga, one of the oldest churches in Egypt and widely believed to be where the Holy Family stayed on arrival in Egypt. Lunch in Old Cairo. Afternoon visit to the famous colourful Khan el-Khalili Bazaar.

Day 5. Menouf & Alexandria

We drive to Menouf and the Harpur Memorial Hospital, a Christian charity hospital, where we meet some of the staff and hear about their work. Continue to Alexandria (packed lunch en route). Overnight stay at the Helnan Palestine Hotel by the sea.

Day 6. Anafora Retreat

Morning visit to the School of Theology. Lunch in Alexandria. Continue to Anafora Retreat and farm where we stay for one night.

Day 7. Egyptian Museum 

We return to Cairo and head back to All Saints’ Garden Centre Hotel. Lunch and visit to the renowned 19 century museum which contains over 120,000 of the world’s most extensive collection of pharaonic antiquities including these of Tutankhamun

Day 8. St Anthony’s Monastery 

We head out to the Monastery of St Anthony, founded in the 4th Century by disciples of one the earliest and most influential of hermits.  St Anthony is known as the Father of Monasticism and was a formative influence on Coptic Christianity.  A monk will guide us through the maze of churches and chapels to see the 12th Century wall paintings. Lunch here and return to Cairo.

Day 9. Home

Early morning departure for Cairo International Airport and our return EgyptAir flight MS777 departing at 09:10 and arriving back at London Heathrow at 13:35.

Visit organised jointly with

Tour Leaders 

EDA’s Committee member: Drs Peter LeFeuvre & Sara Montgomery.


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 Please note the itinerary may be subject to change due to local conditions.


Bill Musk To Chair EDA


Canon Huw Thomas, MBE, EDA Chairman 2009 -2017 has retired from the chair but, as Bishop’s Commissary, remains a committee member. He is followed as chair by Bishop Bill Musk who was elected at the AGM in June, 2017.

The Rt Revd Dr Bill Musk was Assistant Bishop for North Africa in the Anglican/Episcopal  Diocese of Egypt with North Africa & the Horn of Africa and also Rector of St George’s Church, Tunis from 2008 until his retirement at the end of 2015.

Bill was ordained in 1981 and served for six-and-a-half years at All Saints’ Cathedral, Cairo in Egypt.

Bill had previously had responsibility within Living Bibles International for its Middle East work, covering countries/languages from Afghanistan to Morocco, Turkey to Egypt, and had also worked with Operation Mobilisation and Middle East Media.

In 1988 Bill and his wife Hilary were selected as CMS mission partners to work with the (then) Islam in Africa Project based in Ibadan, Nigeria. While waiting, for nearly a year, for a visa that never materialised he worked in the CMS Personnel Department and did research into mission partners’ service patterns.

Within the UK, Bill served for seven years as Team Vicar of St Peter’s, Maghull and then for eleven years as Vicar of Holy Trinity and St Matthias, a multi-ethnic church in Tulse Hill, south London.

Bill is a well-known Islamicist and the author of several books: The Unseen Face of IslamTouching the Soul of IslamHoly WarKissing Cousins? and The Certainty Trap.

He and Hilary live now on the south coast of the UK. They have four adult children and five grandchildren (so far!).

Study Visit of Egypt

Dear Friends

We (EDA & CMS) are delighted to be able to invite you on a unique study tour of Egypt. This is not just an pportunity to see the gems of this colourful country – the Nile, the ancient bazaars of Cairo, the Pyramids and other extraordinary treasures of Pharaonic times. It is also a chance to see something of the life and witness of Egyptian Christians, proudly present in this country since the time of the birth of Christ, and how they see their place as a minority in this country today.

Our visits will not only be limited to the ancient Holy places, such as the 4th century church known as Abu Serga, where the Holy Family were said to have stayed on the flight into Egypt and St Anthony’s monastery (born 251 AD), reputed to be the world’s oldest. More importantly we will be meeting today’s Christians and learning about their faith and service, and share in some of their worship. In Alexandria, we will visit the St Athanasius Campus of the School of Theology where ordinands and lay people are trained to serve in the Anglican Church and beyond. In Cairo we will worship in the Cathedral and experience the work and outreach of the Diocese, as well as visiting the community of garbage pickers (Zabbaleen) who worship in a cave church with a capacity for 20,000 people.

Egypt always seems to be in the news, often because of political unrest or attacks on local Christians. Our visit will give us an opportunity to understand the lives of Christians in Egypt and their relationships with their Muslim neighbours, and to be able to give focus to our prayers for them, their country and the wider Middle East. Do come and join us. And do consider joining the Egypt Diocesan Association and supporting the work of the Diocese.

In addition to local guides there are two EDA tour leaders accompanying you from the time you depart until your return Dr Peter LeFeuvre who is an executive committee member of EDA and his wife Dr Sarah Montgomery, Peter & Sarahboth are UK GPs in active clinical practice, CMS Mission Associates. Both spent 4 years as Mission Partners in North Africa within the Diocese of Egypt. Visited Egypt six times they undertook a medical assessment hospitals of the medical ministry, also conducted training for Family Medicine doctors in Cairo, Peter and Sarah have a thorough understanding of Islam and working between faiths.

How to book: All you need to do is download McCabe Pilgrims’ booking form below, complete it and return it. Meanwhile. should you have questions or need more information or have a concern, please contact me edasecretary@gmail.com 

Download Full Brochure   Download Booking Form

Hope you can join us 

Joseph Wasef

Honorary Secretary




2017 EDA Annual Gathering

Once a year friends, supporters and partners of the Egypt Diocesan Association meet and share in worship, enjoy fellowship where new and old friends meet over lunch, and attend to the association’s formal business when subscribers have a say in decision making and electing committee members.  We then hear news of the diocese and get an update of how things are in the diocese’s three regions.

This year was no exception – around 60 of us met on Wednesday 7th June at St Michael’s in Chester Square in London’s Belgravia, where Bishop Mouneer led the Eucharist, Rev Adel Shokralla read the lesson from Acts chapter 2; then together with Canon Huw Thomas administered the wine.

For the buffet lunch this year, we had a new venture and included “Koshari” the famous Egyptian dish which is widely popular among workers and labourers (and no, it was not home made cooking, but from a new Koshari restaurant in London).

The Annual General Meeting (the formal and statutory part), was completed and in addition to the approval of reports and accounts, Rev Adel Shokralla (vicar of the parish of Old Windsor and previously at St Michael in Heliopolis-Cairo) was elected to the committee.   The Minute Secretary Margaret Ford retired as she now finds it difficult to travel down from Lincoln to London to participate in the committee meetings.

Then came the big announcement of electing Bishop Dr Bill Musk become the new Chairman of EDA (more of which to follow).    Canon Huw Thomas has decided to step down after 7 years of the chairmanship.  Huw will remain on the committee as The Bishop’s Commissary

Other announcements made:

Plans to return to closer and direct links between the Diocese and the Church of England through possible clergy exchange, but will start with an offer from Ridley Hall College of a placement as a sabbatical for an Egyptian clergy graduate from Alexandria School of Theology.

A Study Tour of Egypt as a joint project with CMS (Church Mission Society) led by EDA committee members Dr Peter LeFeuvre and Dr Sarah Montgomery. The trip is from 10th to 18th April 2018 and is organised by the travel agents McCabe Pilgrims.  You can download the brochure and booking form here.   The good news is that by the time we ended the day, we had 12 names signed in.

THE HIGHPOINT OF THE DAY was the next item –  Bishop Mouneer shared with us a new video produced by the diocese which summarises the diocese and its ministry in 10 minutes “Have a Look”.  He asked us to focus on a very short clip of a student from the deaf school praying in sign language for the killers of 30 Christians travelling in a bus and the wounding of 25 others, with reference to St Paul’s experiences.

Bishop Mouneer also talked about the situation in the three regions and the difficulties facing the church and Christians in Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

He thanked members, friends and partners for their faithful support to the diocese, also citing the financial difficulties they face in trying to meet the ever growing needs.

 Photo Gallery



60th Birthday- Save the Day

In the early part of the 20th Century, two CMS missionaries Canon Temple Gairdner and Rev Douglas Thornton laid the foundation for the Anglican Church in Egypt. In 1955, the Egypt sub-committee of the Egypt and Sudan Church Association (based in London) became a separate association, known as the Egypt Church Association, becoming the Egypt Diocesan Association (EDA) in 1976. Still a small UK based charity, EDA has adapted over the years to provide the right support for the diocese and provides a vital link with those who leave the area but still wish to serve the diocese and to increase awareness of the Diocesan work through over different ministries in Egypt, The North of Africa and the Horn of Africa, among the Christian Community of Great Britain EDA Annual General Meeting has evolved to be an annual gathering where old and new friends meet for fellowship, share the Holy Communion and hear news and plans of the diocesan  Bishops. This year is our 60th Birthday and we shall mark this in part by holding our AGM on June 12th at Lambeth Palace by the kind invitation of Archbishop Justin who will preside at the Eucharist and be present for Bishop Mouneer’s presentation. So please save the day in your diary calendar, we envisage it be a popular occasion and numbers may be limited. Watch this space and ensure the EDA address is permitted in your e-mail inbox awaiting details