Support for Al-Ahli hospital bombed in Gaza

For many of us, the conflict in Israel and Gaza is front of mind.

As part of her recent attendance at the Bishop’s Course in Canterbury, Bishop Helen took part in a vigil for peace in the Middle East. The vigil took place after Evensong and included representatives from local Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities. The Dean of Canterbury, the Very Revd David Monteith said: “What can we do when faced with such violence and brokenness? We stand together across our differences, we create silence so that hope might grow, and we foster solidarity to build a community in which where one hurts, everyone hurts. Down the centuries people and pilgrims have looked to Canterbury for healing and transformation. Like them we now pray for fresh miracles.”

After a series of prayers everyone had an opportunity to tie a white ribbon for peace, and a time of silence to remember the dead, kidnapped and injured.

Bishop Helen reached out to Rev. Fadi Diab, Rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Ramalla and St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Birzeit.

She said “For the most part we have no concept of what you are going through, we have the news channels and can only imagine the uncertainty, the anxiety, and the trauma this is causing you and your parishioners. Please know that our prayers to God are for Peace in the area. Most of us don’t know too much about the history, but we do know that bombings are not the answer for any and either side.”

His response, in part, is below:
“Thank you for your email. Your prayers and concerns about our wellbeing is greatly appreciated. We are encouraged by brothers and sisters who reach out to let us know that they care. Please pass our love and gratitude to all communities under your care.

The situation in the Occupied Palestinian territories is very dire and continues to deteriorate by the hour. We are still under the shock of what is happening, especially the pain and suffering of children, women, elderly. We were exposed to an unprecedented level of violence that the human mind can not fathom. The pictures coming out of Gaza and the first hand stories we watch and hear are unimaginably terrifying. As our Christian communities watch these torrific news, they are traumatized. The threats we receive from far-right and fanatic Israel settlers to leave for Jordan or other places continue to bring a high level of anxiety among all Palestinians, in particular the Christian community. I have never experienced the level of uncertainty among our parishioners…

As you may have heard, Churches in the Holy Land called off all Christmas activities this season. No Christmas tree, no decorations, no community activities, no gifts, no parades...etc. Only liturgical activities inside sanctuaries.

As we move towards Advent, we continue to hope in a living and love God who continues to accompany his community in times of great peril. We continue to hope that this too will pass and that peace and security will prevail. We believe in a God who is able and willing to transform warring into peace and pain into joy… As for what you can do. Prayers and advocacy are very much needed at these difficult times. Financial support, if your communities are able, to those affected by the conflict is also important. Many people in our communities in the West Bank have lost their jobs in Israel. The economic challenges aggravated since the war and will continue after the war.

May God continue to bless you and your communities.”

You can help by organizing a vigil in your parish, through individual prayer support and by donating towards the PWRDF campaign for the Anglican run Al-Ahli hospital bombed in Gaza. Read more here:  Article

Click here to donate:  Donate

Gaza Emergency Bulletin Nov 1 (PDF)
November 25, 2023 | Synod Office