PATRONAL FESTIVAL: This is on Sunday at 10.15am, followed by a ploughman’s lunch. There will be no 9.15am Holy Communion at Upper Dicker this day.
OPEN GARDEN: Looking ahead, on Sunday July 16 there will be Nine Open Gardens in Hellingly Village. Nine gardens will be open for you to visit and refreshments will be served throughout the day and at Brook Cottage, Mill Lane, Wealden Brass will be playing in the afternoon.
TO BE CONFIRMED: In the Church of England we often baptise or christen babies or children. Godparents make promises that the child will be brought up in the faith. The idea is that when the person is old enough they decide that following in the way of Christ is for them. The church marks this decision with a service of Confirmation when a bishop is invited and confirms in the faith those who want to show that they are Christians.
We would love to hear from anyone who wants to take this step. We offer a number of sessions in basic Christianity to help you to understand what it means to be a Christian. If you are interested then please contact vicar David (01323 440450) or curate Phil (07766 496132) to talk about the next step.
Q&A CHURCH SERMON: On Sunday July 9 you can put the Vicar and Curate on the spot. At the 10.45am service at Hellingly church they are inviting people to come and ask those questions you have always wanted to ask.
A box will be in church some weeks before and people can put your questions in and the best ones will be chosen to be put, but not by David or Phil. So get your thinking caps on and see if David and Phil can come up with the answers.
SYRIAN REFUGEES: Dr Colin Tourle (Hellingly resident) report: Deir el-Zur is a town on the Euphrates River in Eastern Syria. It is a large town of about 200,000 people. About three years ago it was surrounded by Isis.
The food supply gradually deteriorated and by the winter of 2016 there was pressure to escape. Isis completely forbade escaping.
Mostly it was attempted at night, mainly by women and children. The journey to Lebanon and safety is 280 miles. There were harsh penalties for those caught escaping. We saw a man who attempted escaping three times and was successful on the third attempt. On the second occasion a year ago, he was caught. He was beaten severely. His nose was broken so badly that a year later it still bled intermittently. Having made the long journey mostly on foot the final obstacle is the AntiLebanon mountain range which separates Syria from the Bekaa Valley and the safety of Lebanon. For most of the winter the mountains are covered in snow.
I saw baby Ahmed born in February. His mum was trying to get to Lebanon, but went into labour on the mountain. They carried her to a Syrian village where he was born. She later escaped. There are no regular doctors in the camps where Dr Nikesh and I worked.
Three American nurses visit once a week. We were very busy. We were well supplied with drugs, some we took from Britain. I looked after the women and children with the nurses. Dr Nikesh looked after the men. We saw many different medical problems.
Mostly we could cope, although some patients needed hospital care which was difficult because the local Lebanese Hospital would make them pay. The wonderful nurses were great Christians.
When I was facing a difficult medical decision that there was not an easy answer to. Rebecca my nurse would suggest that we prayed.
She always managed to phrase her prayers beautifully and appropriate to that particular patient. She was always mindful of the nightmare existence that they had experienced in the last three years since Isis had occupied their town.
I found the whole experience very emotional.
To be in the Syrian camps as doctor, caring for those people who had been through so much was a great privilege. Dr Colin Tourle and Dr Nikesh Pradekh of Iasis Medical were with the Syrian Refugees on the Lebanon–Syrian border, April 2017.
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