Within hours of touching down from Iraq the award-winning â€˜Vicar of Baghdadâ€™ Canon Andrew White addressed over 75 business people at a meeting arranged by Christian group, Woking Business Matters.
Speaking at The Lightbox, Woking, Canon Andrew from St Georgeâ€™s Church, Baghdad, told the meeting how most churches in Iraq have emptied due to violence and chaos in the country.
He was accompanied by the first and only Iraqi Anglican priest, curate Fiaz Jerjess and his wife Narwal, who are spending a week talking to groups to highlight the work of the church in the city and beyond.
Event organiser the Revd Martin Smith said: â€œNowadays there are more Iraqi Christians in Sweden than Iraq. But St Georgeâ€™s is a flourishing church attended by 800 families.
â€œThey see Church as holistic and try to meet all of the congregations needs both spiritual and physical. So they distribute groceries every week to those who need them and run a medical clinic; this receives 150 patients a day, 95% of whom are Muslim.
â€œWith a typical understatement Andrew described the environment they operated in with all the violence and corruption as â€˜very challengingâ€™. The operating costs for the church are very substantial and Andrew closed with an appeal for financial supportâ€
Woking Business Matters is made up of Christians from a wide range of churches, who work in and around the town and whose aim is to build up relationships between people who work in the town and provide opportunities for un-churched friends to hear Christian speakers on topics of general interest.
For more information about the work of St Georgeâ€™s Church in Baghdad visit www.frrme.org