New Area Bishop for North Africa
I’m wandering around the front of All Saints Cathedral in Cairo checking the labels of each of the seats looking for where I will be sitting. Having been invited to take part in the procession into the church I wanted to make sure I went the right way once I got to the front and straight to my seat. It seems there is nothing worse than somebody wandering around trying to find their seat just before the service starts.
Eventually I come across the canon’s seat with my name on and was delighted to see that the stall I was sitting in was Saint Augustine of Hippo. For those of you who enjoy these things, Augustine who later became the Bishop of North Africa was born in 354 AD, actually in Algeria. Something that, when I was speaking with an Algerian young man, he was very proud to point out.
Being in Cairo for this service gave me the opportunity to join in the celebration of the consecration of a new Area Bishop for North Africa. Bishop Samy who is based in Alexandria in Northern Egypt was being consecrated in the presence of church dignitaries, congregations, diplomats and members of various Christian denominations, all in all several hundred people crammed into the cathedral. Bishop Samy, who was appointed Dean of St. Mark’s pro-cathedral in 2009 and Principal of the Alexandria School of Theology in 2013, is a delightful man and will be a real blessing to the churches he has care of in North Africa.
For ICS it is important that we continue the excellent relationship we have with the Diocese of Egypt and with those who care and have responsibility for the churches, as we seek to continue to resource and enable them in the ministries that they have and the congregations we have links with in Tunis, Algiers and to some extent Tripoli.
My overriding sense as I walked out of the Cathedral at the end of the service is that it is a privilege to be in partnership with these brothers in Christ. Secondly, we are more than in partnership, we are friends.
Story here from the Diocese of Egypt website.