Our 2013 investiture in the magnificent setting of Rochester Cathedral was one of the highlights of the Order’s year. It was a time for celebration – as we welcomed new members formally to our ranks – followed by an extremely lengthy lunch!
But there is a serious side to the work we do, and this year we were aptly reminded of the important contribution we can make in the sermon given to our Investiture by our Spiritual Protector, Canon Andrew White. Andrew had travelled from Baghdad especially to be with us, despite the ongoing upsurge in violence in Iraq.
Canon White reminded us that of the 1.2 million Christians who lived in Iraq in 2003 only 200 thousand are left. The rest have fled, or been killed. In his own church of St.George’s. Baghdad, a shocking 1,023 people have been killed since 2003 out of a total congregration of 6,500. “Yet,” says Andrew, “they keep coming, and the Church goes on.”
This is the background that makes our work so important and why we are proud to contribute to supporting those manning the front lines of religious freedom.