The Rev Velvet John and his wife Vijaya arrived in Aden at the end of November to take up his role as the new chaplain at Christchurch and Director of the Clinics.
We are grateful for their arrival and think of them as they settle into life and ministry at Christchurch and get to grips with a new culture. Bishop Michael visited Aden mid December and conducted their licensing service.
Click the images to see larger versions of photographs from the Licensing
Fr Velvet comes from Kerala, India where he was Dean of Certificate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Studies for TAFTEE (The Association for Theological Education by Extension) and also Associate Pastor of St James, Bangalore, and an executive member of the Bangalore Medical Ethics Committee.
Prior to his appointment Fr Velvet and Vijaya visited Aden with Archdeacon Bill and met the clinic staff and congregation. All who work and worship at Christchurch Ras Morbat have been eagerly anticipating having a chaplain in place and their arrival in time for Christmas will be a great encouragement to the small congregation. The new beginning that is possible because of the birth of Christ the Redeemer will be celebrated all over the world this month. But His birth will also be celebrated here, quietly and simply, as the outside world carries on oblivious, by a faithful few. We rejoice with them in this new beginning.
The work of the clinics, serving the poor, continues. There is scope for the eye clinic to expand to provide a broader range of treatment to even more people. The staff work with dedication; preparations for the arrival of the new chaplain have included an review of the building maintenance. Recognition must go especially to Mansour for the extra load he has carried in day to day management in the absence of a permanent chaplain in recent months.
We trust that Fr Velvet and Vijaya will come to know the warm welcome of the people of Aden and be a blessing to all who pass through the gates of Christchurch.
(Council of Reference)