Abu Dhabi Church is Ready to Mark Its 50th Anniversary
On any weekend, St Andrew’s Anglican Church in Abu Dhabi would present a world of the UAE’s multicultural and multi-ethnic society. However, over the last five decades, this church complex based in Mushrif has become the spiritual home for thousands of Christians in the capital.
Over 50 congregations catering to different communities, which include Pakistanis, Ethiopians, Indians, Koreans, Nepalese and western expatriates, gathers for offering prayers at this church complex. This church complex is going to observe its 50th anniversary next week. For older citizens of Abu Dhabi, the church has been an integral part of their life.
A British expatriate woman, who moved to the UAE during the 1980s, stated that one of her children in the corridor of the St Andrew’s Church took his first steps. She added that she met many people at the church and became friends forever.
A Keralite businessman, Sabu Mathew, who has lived in Abu Dhabi over the last 28 years, stated that the church helped to bind the communities as a close-knit family. On every Friday morning, people used to share taxis in order to go to the church.
Rev. Andrew Thompson, a senior Chaplin, stated that on the 50th anniversary of the church they are planning to plant a tree in order to pay their respect to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Father of the Nation, as he gave the first plot on the corniche for setting up the church.
The church would be also publishing a book Celebrating Tolerance – Religious minorities in the UAE in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its existence in the UAE. St Andrews Church was first founded in the year 1968 in order to help the British expats, who were working for various oil companies in Abu Dhabi.