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Friday, 17 January 2014

Provision of Anglican worship and pastoral care for foreign Anglophones in Morocco is due to expand

Canon Sabry and Archbishop Landry
The English-speaking foreign community in Morocco is growing. Our established historic parishes are in Casablanca and Tangiers, but there are now communities of English-speakers from the UK, USA and other countries, who are in Marrakech and Rabat. 60% of all flights to Morocco from the UK are destined for Marrakech, where there is a large expatriate resident community as well as seasonal holiday-makers and business-folk. Rabat, the capital city, has in addition many staff from English-speaking embassies. 
Canon Medhat Sabry, the priest-in-charge of St John the Evangelist parish in Casablanca, accompanied me recently on visits to these two cities to explore how these Anglophone foreign nationals might receive pastoral care and attention and be able to participate in worship on a regular basis. Conversations were held in each place with British diplomats, and members of the foreign communities. The British Ambassador, HE Clive Alderton, is very supportive of this development. We are ensuring that the appropriate officials of the Moroccan government are kept fully informed of this pastoral initiative to serve our foreign communities, and their response has been very gracious and warm. 

The Roman Catholic Cathedral in Rabat
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Rabat, Monseigneur Vincent Landry, has kindly offered the use of Roman Catholic Church buildings in Rabat and Marrakech, for these Anglican services. Fr Medhat has already made contact with the clergy of a Franciscan parish in Marrakech about arrangements there. Ecumenical cooperation is very good in Morocco, among the 4 recognised Christian Churches - the Roman Catholic, the Orthodox, the French Protestant and the Church of England.

Fr Medhat with Franciscan Clergy in Marrakech

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