Thanks to the speedy and willing cooperation of Majors Michael & Elizabeth Lloyd and the generous hospitality of the Band & Songsters of the Brighton Corps of the Salvation Army, on April 14 2017, Good Friday the Provost, Metropolitan Jerome interviewed Canon Andrew White, the “Vicar of Baghdad” for Churches Together in Central Brighton.
Canon White was visiting England after receiving stem-cell treatment in Iraq for his Multiple sclerosis (MS), before returning to Israel and Jordan where his work has transferred, following his refugee congregation from Baghdad after the invasion by IS (Islamic State). Finding himself at liberty in Holy Week, Canon White let his availability be known to friends and followers and immediately accepted Met. Jerome’s impromptu invitation to speak in Brighton; the whole event was arranged in two weeks!
Earlier in the afternoon, Canon White addressed the Salvation Army congregation during their Good Friday reflection service, arranged and led by the Band & Songsters. He then enjoyed refreshments, tea/coffee and hot cross buns with the afternoon’s congregation and people arriving for the evening event following. Canon White’s books were on sale and information about his life and ministry in the Middle East and the work he does now for Iraqi refugees and reconciliation in the region. Due to the large number of congregants and audience, the event was a little delayed but eventually all settled down to an hour long interview followed by interesitng and frank Q&A’s.
Despite having viewed other interviewers with Canon White, Met. Jerome was unable to avoid the Canon’s renowned ability to take control of the interview! In his unique and humorous style though, Canon White answered questions about life in Iraq under ISIS, his current work in Jordan running a school and orphanage and gave interesting perspectives and anecdotes about the personalities and issues involved with Middle East affairs. The audience were particularly moved by two stories about members of his congregation and their treatment under ISIS.
The event was aired live over the internet via the DailyMassOnline channel but also, thanks to the Rev Michael Hydes (Pastor, Village MCC) the entire interview was filmed and you can view it on the youtube video below. All who came to the event were very expressive of their appreciation afterward and we are sure you too will find the interview interesting and Canon White engaging.