After being closed for 70 years, the Anglican church of St Peter in Jaffa is to be re-opened in 2021.
At the beginning of 2021, our former Parish Priest Fr Kevin, and his wife Jen, began full time training with the Church Mission Society for 3 months. Once the training is complete, they will 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 our parish, and the descendants of former parishioners in Jaffa, the mission is to restore St. Peter’s Church to be a living and active church community. The focus of the ministry will be to serve the local Diplomatic Corps, many of whom are expat members of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, and the local community. The parish will also have an outreach ministry to Seafarers through the ports of Jaffa, Haifa, 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 trust the Lord's calling and that He will inspire people to support us 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:
Please pray for the people and Christian community in Jaffa, for Fr Kevin and Jen, and for the parish here as we move forward.
Father Kevin is now licensed and commissioned.
It took place on Sunday 30 May 2021 at the Cathedral church of St George the Martyr, Jerusalem. The commissioning was conducted by Archbishop Hosam Naoum with Bishop Suheil Dawani in attendance (photos below).