After being closed for 70 years, the Anglican church of St Peter in Jaffa is to be re-opened in 2021.
At the end of the year our Parish Priest Fr Kevin, and his wife Jen, will be leaving the parish to move to Jaffa and lead the re-opening of St Peter's, having been asked by the Archbishop of Jerusalem, The Most Rev. Suheil Dawani, to join with the Diocese of Jerusalem in this exciting mission.
Fr Kevin and Jen will be supported by the Church Mission Society (CMS), as Mission Partners. With the support of the Diocese of Jerusalem and faithful partners, including descendants of former parishioners, the mission is to restore St. Peter’s Church, refocusing its ministry on service to the local Diplomatic Corps, many of whom are expat members of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, and of service to the local community. The parish will also have an outreach ministry to Seafarers through the ports of Jaffa and nearby Ashdod, Israel's largest.
There is clearly much to do in terms of both preparation and the restoration of the buildings at St Peter's, some pictures of which can be seen here. The church building itself was built after the end of World War 1 in 1918 and was completed in 1921. The bell tower was completed later in 1942.
St. Peter's closed in 1948 because of the war that followed the end of the British Mandate period. Archbishop Suheil's father served in the parish vestry until the churches closure. The mission is entirely reliant on generating enough funds to support it, and Father Kevin and Jen would really appreciate your prayers and, if you’re able, your financial support. CMS can only sustain Fr Kevin and Jen in their Mission placement where there is the promise or expectation of funding to cover the costs. They are currently working towards covering budgeted living and operational costs which average £30,000 per year.
Fr Kevin says: "It feels daunting to get the funding in place before we can even go but we know that, if God wants us out there, he will put it onto people’s hearts to be a part of our journey in this way".
If you would like to sign up to the CMS link letters to receive Fr Kevin and Jen's news and prayers requests then that would be also an encouragement. You can do both sign up and donate on their webpage - churchmissionsociety.org/cable
If you’d rather receive the link letters by post or you have any questions about our support then do email Danni at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’d be more than happy to talk to you.
For more information about the mission, Fr Kevin and Jen's profile page for CMS can be found here:
or contact Fr Kevin directly.
Please pray for the people and Christian community in Jaffa, for Fr Kevin and Jen, and for the parish here as we prepare for this time of change for us.