Syrian refugees in Jordan, and Morsi supporters in Egypt

Syrian refugee crisis, Zaatari campThe sixth Sunday after moving from Morden, The first four weekends I was still involved in ministry there, but last week and now this Sunday are definitely ‘holiday,’ but with events moving fast in the world, I have plenty to keep me focused in my sleepy corner….

Morsi supportersAbove, the Zaatari camp in northern Jordan for refugees from Syria. 350 tankers deliver water each day, 300 tankers needed to take sewage away.  A large proportion in the camp are children, displaced from their homes, schools…  Teenagers are among those shot dead in the crowds (see here……) supporting Egypt’s democratically elected but imprisoned president Mohamed Morsi. My old diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf is in the Anglican province of Jerusalem which includes the diocese of Egypt. Daughter Claire is now back from Afghanistan, looking for new work after four years with a relief and development agency there.

So the Muslim world, the Dar al-Islam, feels close.  Morden’s population will soon be majority Muslim, split between Ahmadiyyas and majority Muslims.  How to minister for Christ, Jesus the Messiah, as being the only hope for humanity’s future?  That is the question that God has given to Morden and the London boroughs of Sutton and Merton, and particularly their younger Christians to answer.  How to stand with them in that?

Sunday July 14th 2013


The events that were before me when I last “blogged” five weeks ago are now behind me. It has been said that moving house is the most stressful thing one can do, apart from getting married – in the event, our move to near Tonbridge went well. As half owners of Hilary’s parents’ last home, we pay rent to Hilary’s mum for her half, she resides at Cornford House, Pembury, a retirement home. My parents ended their days there when it was run by the Overseas Missionary Fellowship.

Despite a few days ago when Hilary stepped off a little bridge over a five foot ditch full of brambles, we are enjoying walks in the woods and fields around us with Caleb the dog, when not unpacking boxes or beginning to attack the under/ overgrowth in what once had been a lovely garden. My excuse at not rushing at that, is that I like it wild!

Morden parish inches forwards in the process of appointing a new team rector. Detritus left at the Rectory slowly reduces, a student couple are in residence there as caretakers. In the four weeks since we moved, seven visits back to Morden for various meetings gives opportunity for several ‘dump’ runs. Two days ago, with the help of Hilary’s sister Alison’s Denys, I was able to move my scull (28 feet long) on the roof of the car, down to the Medway where I hope to be sculling – after repairing it. Hilary has been overnight in Battersea helping with Rachel and Jason’s children, enabling Rachel to attend a residential conference; I have taken the opportunity to stay overnight in my little Morden study/ bedroom, as guest of Korean pastor Djon, who looks after the residential community in the Parish Hall cottages and New Row. I hope to reduce my London visits to nearer once a week soon; keeping up with the (community cohesion) sports project, and another ‘Meeting for Better Understanding’ and the training/ encouragement, particularly of younger Christians, should be more efficient without all my other parish responsibilities

Events in the wider world prevent thoughts of a quiet retirement – “Now is the time to awake out of sleep…” So much these days relates to the Muslim world.