Diocese gives Nazareth Trust an early Christmas present

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Diocese gives Nazareth Trust an early Christmas present

The Cambridge Nazareth Trust (CNT) received an early Christmas present when it was given £5,527.34, from the Diocese of East Anglia’s 2019 Lenten collection, reports its chairman, Margaret Waddingham.

An enormous thank you or, in Arabic, Shukran, to the parishes in the Diocese.  Your generous donations will enable CNT to continue its work in ‘helping young people in the Holy Land to have a brighter future’.  CNT works alongside the 44 schools the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (LPJ) to educate the next generation of Christians in the Holy Land.  The schools also provide a vital source of income to all those they employ.  The schools are wholly dependent on charitable donations.

CNT has, in recent years, focused its work on training teachers as the trustees believe this would have the greatest impact in improving the education and life chances of the young pupils.

In November 2019, CNT funded teacher training in Amman in Jordan – this was the third group of teachers that CNT has trained there.  The team has been following their progress on a WhatsApp forum.  Our three loyal and inspirational tutors, Richenda, Jackie and Jonny, led workshops and travelled across Jordan visiting teachers in 13 schools.  

They were very pleased with the progress they observed.  Drama workshops, led by David Pearce, were held in three schools.  These workshops encouraged confidence in the use of expressive and clearly pronounced English.  David was thrilled to see some of his methods being successfully implemented.  The team believes that the 25 LPJ schools in Jordan are well on the way to self-sufficiency.

Not all is so heartening.  Whilst in Amman, CNT Trustees visited two Iraqi Refugee Schools held in the afternoon in the LPJ schools at Marka and Hashemi.  12,000 Iraqi Christians fled from Isis to nearby Jordan in 2014 – they are being sheltered in Jordanian parishes.  As refugees, they are excluded from state education, health care and their parents are not allowed to work.  Their situation is desperate and they receive little international aid.   

At Hashemi, CNT is providing teacher training to a former nurse with fluent English who is teaching the refugees.  She says it is not only education these children need but help with overcoming the trauma they have witnessed.  Fluency in English also helps with visa applications. 

The numbers of Christians living in the Holy Land has reduced significantly following decades of political turmoil.  Yet this small Christian presence, 2% of the population, contributes to a sense of justice and peace in this troubled land.  Christians are highly respected in their communities with their schools providing education to all, whether Christian or Muslim.  The Christian community in Jordan is to be commended for its amazing humanitarian care of Syrian and Iraqi refugees.  

Be assured that your kindness helps to maintain a Christian presence in the land of Jesus, the Holy Land.  Please remember these beleaguered Christian communities in your prayers.


Pictured top are Grade 2 pupils at Houson, Jordan and, above, a group of Jordanian teachers with the tutors.