Canon Andrew White at Guildford Baptist Church

Canon Andrew White

Canon Andrew White

Every day I repeat to myself: the first road to God is prayer, the second is joy. — Paulo Coelho

On Sunday night, Canon Andrew White talked at Guildford Baptist Church.

A brief question and answer session as an introduction followed by a talk. Canon Andrew White started with his childhood, how he came to be where he is now, followed by Iraq in the Bible, followed by Iraq today.

There are numerous Biblical references to Iraq, but do not try looking for Iraq, as you will not find Iraq. Instead look for Mesopotamia, the land between the two rivers.

Abraham was there, as was Ezekiel, as was Jonah, as was Job, as was Daniel. Thomas passed through on his way to India.

God decides where we go. If we follow His Path, He grants us the tools to carry out our allotted tasks.

Daniel did not one day decide he wished to be an interpreter of dreams, Canon Andrew White did not plan his life to become the Vicar of Baghdad.

At ten years old Canon Andrew White knew exactly what he wished to do: a priest and an anaesthetist. Not possible he was told, you cannot be both, and in any case, where you come from, Strict Baptist and Pentecostal, they do not have priests.

There are even stricter Baptists in Iraq, the followers of John the Baptist.

First he was an anaesthetist, then he was ordained and as a Canon was in charge of the peace and reconciliation unit at Coventry Cathedral.

People often admire the cross Canon Andrew White wears around his neck. Hitler made it. It is made from the nails of the bombed Medieval Cathedral. It was from these ruins rose peace and reconciliation.

The focus had been on Eastern Europe, Canon Andrew White turned the focus on the Middle East and that is how he ended up in Iraq.

The Anglican Church of St George in Baghdad, was not in use. It had a caretaker and a few dead pigeons. The first service was for military serving in Iraq. It now serves local people of all Christian denominations. It is surrounded by razor wire. It has a clinic. Canon Andrew White has to ask people only please attend one service a week, as too many now wish to come.

When you have nothing, all you have left is faith. In a country at war with itself, St George’s offers a haven of peace and tranquility.

St George’s cost $600 a year to run, now it costs $170,000 a month! It relies entirely on support.

One day a man came, his daughter was dying. Canon Andrew White was asked to help as she was beyond the care of the medical team. He sent the man home, telling him to repeat the name of Jesus. On arrival home he was met by the doctor who gave him the sad news, his daughter had died. He picked her up still saying the name of Jesus. She came back to life telling her father she was hungry. He recounted what had happened to Canon Andrew White. It has been known to happen was his response.

An Ayatollah told him his people needed meat. What am I to do, I have no money, Pray said the Ayatollah. He did, God give me meat. Next day an American told him he had fifty truckloads of meat if he wanted it!

St George’s shows what churches should be like, no boundaries, no demarcation lines, all are welcome.

Canon Andrew White is a man of deep faith and conviction. He glows with the love of his church and the people he serves.

After the talk book signing. I came away with three signed copies of his latest book Faith Under Fire, which I am looking forward to reading.

Audio of the talk is avalable as mp3 format.

Guildford Baptist appeared to have issued invites to other churches, hence a full house, but not to the wider community.

I suggested to the Guildford Book Festival that as Canon Andrew White had a new book out they include him in the programme. They lacked the courtesy to reply.

Canon Andrew White at Holy Trinity Clapham

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One Response to “Canon Andrew White at Guildford Baptist Church”

  1. keithpp Says:

    Totally bizarre! — Canon Andrew White

    I asked that the talk be filmed so it could reach a far wider audience. They were a bit iffy about it, but it was recorded. As I left I was handed a DVD with the talk, but not the Q&A introduction.

    Tuesday I receieved an e-mail:

    You may recall that I gave you a copy of the DVD that I recorded on Sunday evening of Andrew White’s sermon at Guildford Baptist Church. I have discussed the matter of putting the video onto YouTube with our senior pastor, and he has decided that for a number of reasons, the complete recording or any part of it should not be put onto YouTube. Can I please ask you to destroy the DVD that I gave you and any subsequent copies that may have been made from it. If you’ve passed the disc to someone else, please pass this message to them, and ensure that the disc is destroyed. Can I also ask that you let me know as soon as possible that this request has been acted upon.

    I was baffled. Why would they wish this excellent talk not to be seen? No explanation given. Had Andrew White been consulted? Perverse. The only way to find out was to ask.

    I wish to know why this cannot be put on youtube and why the DVD should be destroyed. What is being asked is perverse to say the least. Is Andrew White aware of your perverse request?

    The following day I received an unbelievable arrogant reply.

    Thanks for your e-mail, I’ve passed your comments to our senior pastor, and received the following reply “I would request that Keith simply respect our decision not to put it on Youtube, however perverse it may seem to him.”

    No explanation, my questions ignored. What right do they think they have to request the destruction of a talk by another person? They lack the courtesy or humility to answer my questions, the senior pastor lacks the courtesy to even respond himself. The senior pastor lacks even the common courtesy to contact me, instead gets an underling to do his dirty work.

    Free speech, freedom of expression?

    Canon Andrew White works tirelessly on behalf of the people of Iraq, risks his life to serve them. On return to UK most people would rest and relax, not Andrew, he makes himself available for talks.

    This is a man who suffers from MS!

    The least we can do is make what he does available to a wider audience.

    Ironically the talk is availalble as audio in mp3 format.

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