On Wednesday 20 September Andrew White visited Eltham College’s Chapel to give an inspiring and fascinating talk to our Sixth Form students. For more than 10 years Andrew was the vicar of St George’s Church, the only Anglican Church in Iraq, a role that led him to be known as the ‘Vicar of Baghdad.’
Reverend Peter Swaffield took the task of interviewer. Andrew spoke about his previous work in Iraq and the Middle East, with focus on the children he has met that have lost loved ones at the hands of the Islamic State. He also spoke honestly about his thoughts on the Iraq War and the current terrorist threat affecting Europe but equally his hope for peace in the future.
With the physical effects of Multiple Sclerosis clear to all, Andrew spoke movingly about his grounds for hope. This Christian hope was not to be found in political solutions, although he has spent much of his ministry seeking to bring political and spiritual reconciliation within the Middle East. His hope was based, he said, ultimately on the ‘God of Hope’ who brought Jesus Christ back from the dead. It was Jesus who prayed – ‘Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven’.
Andrew concluded his talk with a blessing for our Sixth Form students in Aramaic.