The Revd Colin Backhouse – RIP

It is with deep regret that we announce the death of the Revd Colin Backhouse who, for many years following his retirement from parish ministry, served in St. Andrew’s, Kyrenia in the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf as an assistant priest.

Born in 1941 and having trained and worked as an industrial designer, Colin was called to serve the Lord in the ordained ministry in 1985. After completing his training in Oak Hill Theological College he served as Curate of Branksome in the Diocese of Salisbury from 1987 to 1991 when he was appointed Priest in Charge, then Rector, of the Parish of Bluntisham in the Diocese of Ely. Colin retired from the parish in 2007.

Following this Colin was given Permission to Officiate in the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf in 2007.

A man of deep Christian faith Colin passed on that faith to many people during his ministry, not least to those who knew him here in Cyprus. He will be deeply missed by all whose faith was strengthened and sustained by his witness here among us.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to his wife Ingrid and all Colin’s family.

From Colin’s FaceBook page:

“Funeral arrangements are being decided at the moment but will be in Bluntisham, Cambridgeshire. For more information please contact Rachel Dawson, Katy Backhouse or Nathanael Teddy Backhouse.”

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord
And let light perpetual shine upon him

And may his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed
throught the mercy of God, rest in peace
and rise in glory

Monthly prayer for St. Andrew’s

At this time of uncertainty and great change in St. Andrew’s, as we attempt to recover the Chaplaincy accommodation, The Hermitage, from its unauthorised occupation, and, when this is successful, begin the search for a new Chaplain, as one parishioner put it, “If ever there was a time St. Andrew’s needed prayer, this is it.”

To this end we will have a monthly prayer time specifically for St. Andrew’s: for example the return of the Hermitage, the new Chaplain process and related factors, those who will be tasked with finding a new Chaplain, current church leadership including Church Wardens and Council, the Diocese in relation to St. Andrew’s, needs within our church community and church activities.

This will take place on the First Thursday of each month, starting on Thursday 5th September, at 11:00am (following the mid-week Holy Communion service) and will last about 30 minutes.

Note that there is no requirement to come to the Communion service beforehand or remain after that service for the prayer time.

Psalm 107: 28-30

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out from their distress;
he made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad because they had quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.


Home Study Groups restart

Summer is ending (thank goodness, after the heat of this year!) and the swallows are beginning to return – not to San Juan Capistrano but at this time of the year to St. Andrew’s and Kyrenia!

And our Home Study Groups are restarting in the homes of Steve and Sally Bishop (Ozanköy) and Richard and Christine Dobbs (Lapta).

The weekly Ozanköy Home Group restarts 10.30am on Tuesday 10th September. This autumn we will be discussing the New Testament letter of 1 John as well as enjoying fellowship, prayer and refreshments together. All are very welcome – please email or call Steve on 0533 8742076 if you need directions.

The weekly Lapta Home Group will be reconvening on Wednesday 11th September at 11.00am for study, prayer and fellowship. Our first study for the few weeks following will be on the Old Testament book of Ruth. We look forward to meeting up again and welcome anyone wishing to join us. Email Richard or call on 0533 8449965 for more information.

Our sincere thanks go to Steve, Sally, Richard and Christine for this most important ministry in the life of St. Andrew’s and for their hospitality in opening their homes to us.


Wedding with a Scottish flavour in St. Andrew’s

On Monday 29th July 2019 we in St. Andrew’s were delighted to welcome Margaret (Maggie) Jenkins and James (Junior) McCash to the church for their wedding.

With St. Andrew being the patron saint of Scotland, it was fitting that Maggie and Junior, both of whom hail from there, chose a Scottish theme for their wedding.

Both the groom and the best man, James’ brother John, chose to wear the kilt and proudly stood against the heat, and Maggie, not to be outdone, wore a beautiful strapless gown.

The Acting Chaplain, the Revd Michael Graham, conducted the ceremony while the Revd Martin Phillips-Last, Chaplain of Ammochostos, acted as Registrar. To complete the clerical line-up the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Nicosia, the Very Revd Jeremy Crocker, was the organist.

We wish every blessing to  Maggie and Junior as they begin their married life together.

Friends and family

Guests make a joyful noise!

One of the flower girls

The Revd Michael Graham conducts the ceremony

The Revd Martin Phillips-Last watches over the exchange of rings

The official signing of the register

The blessing of the couple

James and Margaret – man and wife!

James and Margaret


The happy couple

All photographs courtesy of Susie Forster

Kurban Bayram 2019 Collection

Last year at this time St. Andrew’s joined our Muslim sisters and brothers in observing Kurban Bayram, the Feast of Sacrifice, which this year falls between 11th and 14th August. Traditionally at this time offerings are given to help those in need. In a magnificent response St Andrew’s raised £500 which was presented to the Karakum Special Needs Centre in Girne.

We are once again joining with the wider community in observing this tradition. To this end a retiring collection will be made over the next few Sundays and the proceeds this year will be given to the Kemal Saraçoğlu Foundation for Children with Leukaemia and the Fight Against Cancer.

The Foundation was named after a young cancer patient named Kemal Saraçoğlu who fought cancer for a year but sadly passed away on the 30th of August 2000. It was constituted with the aim of raising awareness in society about cancer and to provide for treatment, education, social and psychological consultancy services to children fighting cancer.

Please be as generous as you can for this worthy cause. It is hoped that we can join with other charities in raising sufficient funds to buy a necessary piece of equipment to help with the treatment of those young patients in the State Hospital Oncology Unit, Lefkoşia.

Donations can also be made on-line by clicking on the  link on this page. Please click on the box enabling an email response: that way our Appeals Co-ordinator can verify that your donation is being made towards the Kurban Bayram collection.

Plaque showing the support of the Kemal Saraçoğlu Foundation for Children with Leukaemia and Cancer Control in the children’s oncology ward

Plaque above a chess game presented to the childrens oncology unit education centre by a former patient. The inscription reads: “Life is actually a strategic game like chess, I wish you always to win in the game of life.”

Mural in the children’s oncology ward

Godspeed Chika

Chika – proud to serve

On Sunday 9th June we bade farewell and Godspeed to a good and faithful servant of God and St. Andrew’s Chika Umeohia who has finished his studies here in North Cyprus and returned to his home in Nigeria. Chika was presented with a picture of St. Andrew’s to remind him of his time and service here.

Chika was our crucifer having been a student in Girne American University for some five years. Chika was a proponent of the Just In Time school in that he could be relied upon to arrive in the Vestry in St. Andrew’s with at least several minutes to spare before the service on Sunday morning, often to the frustration of our Sacristans! But in spite of the vagaries of the dolmus system of transport here in Kyrenia, Chika would always be there with his face creased in his usual good-natured smile.

But who can forget Chica’s deeply moving devotion on Good Friday this year as he knelt at each response when he processed to the altar with the cross – something which he was moved to do entirely by himself.

Following his graduation Chika has returned to serve his one year in Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corps. We thank Chika for his faithful service here in St. Andrew’s and wish him every blessing in the future.

Proceeds of Music Week 2019 donated to Tulips

St. Andrew’s, Kyrenia was packed for a wonderful concert for Music Week 2019 on Friday 10th May. Over TL8000 was raised which is to be shared between our chosen charities: Tulips and the Lefkoşia Women’s Refuge. Those who attended were entertained by a mixture of both sacred and secular musical pieces performed by the St. Andrew’s Choir and guests under the Director of Music Earl Moffitt and guest Facilitator Dr Joe McKee.

On Sunday 30th June, following the 11:30am Holy Communion service, a cheque for TL4020 was made to Raziye Kocaïsmaïl, President of Tulips. As a most generous gesture our bankers, TürkBank, also gave a donation of TL500 to Tulips.

In a deeply moving acceptance speech Raziye told the assembled congregation of her own and her family’s battles with cancer, and that the donation would pay for the expensive medication required by eight cancer sufferers here in the TRNC. The donation from TürkBank would supplement that by providing for yet another patient.

Raziye then presented St. Andrew’s with a beautiful picture and a bunch of tulips in thanks for the support given by the church over many years.

As has been reported more than a year ago, following her absence for over a month after Easter 2018, the then Chaplain of St. Andrew’s, the Revd Wendy Hough, announced her sudden and unexpected resignation in May 2018.

Normally following the departure of an Incumbent, the Church’s Council’s first task is to begin the search for a replacement. The Council began this task, drawing up a parish profile and the requirements for a new Chaplain based on past experiences. This was completed relatively quickly following a period of consultation but was delayed by the refusal of Ms Hough to leave the Hermitage (the accommodation provided under contract for the Chaplain of St. Andrew’s) and to continue an unauthorised and illegal occupation of the same, together with what appears to be a growing menagerie of stray animals. Obviously this means that there is no accommodation for a new Chaplain should one be appointed.

This situation continues at the time of writing, but it is to be hoped that this will be resolved sooner rather than later.

After an initial period of uncertainty, it can be plainly seen that life in St. Andrew’s has not only continued but has positively flourished.

The sincere thanks of everyone in St. Andrew’s go to all those who continue to encourage and supported us at this time.

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