A Time of Celebration in Irbid
The people of Irbid, a major city in the north of Jordan, have a new church! It was dedicated on August 5th by Bishop Suheil Dawani in the presence of priests and lay people from the Diocese of Jerusalem, ecumenical and political dignitaries and church representatives. The service was attended by the architect and the project manager whose achievements were being celebrated. Out of respect for all the Abrahimic Muslim brothers and sisters of the region and knowing their regard for the Virgin Mary, the church was consecrated in the name of St Mary, the Virgin.
Fr Samir Esaid is the Pastor of the congregation of St Mary’s, coupling it with his duties in the Arab Episcopal School. Both the school and the church are a continuing witness to the local community and will, with this new facility, expand the Christian presence and ministry in the area. Above the Sanctuary is a verse from the Magnificat. “My soul doth magnify the Lord” expressing the desire of every Christian and the focus of worship in this new church.
The building is made of local stone with marble flooring. It has wooden pews, altar and pulpit. An outstanding feature is the wooden cross above the altar which draws the eye into the Sanctuary. The furniture was made by students and staff of the Theodore Schneller School, an institution of the diocese which provides educational and vocational training for boys who have learning challenges or who have been marginalised or orphaned in the many conflicts of the land. Their workmanship in the church truly reflects the skill and creative design of those who are trained at the School. The Schneller School has a long connection with the churches of Germany and it was good that they were well represented at the ceremony.
The occasion was a wonderful reward for the hard work, the fund-raising and the prayerful support of so many faithful people.