In an address to his diocesan synod last month, the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Most Rev. Michael Lewis reported the Diocese of Iran was in parlous shape.
The diocesan newspaper reported the archbishop told synod: “For the first time since 1999, the meeting took place in the Gulf archdeaconry, in Abu Dhabi. And for the first time since 2007, it was presided over by the Primate of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Most Revd Michael Lewis, who was elevated to the Primacy in November at the start of a three-year term of office.”
The report went on to say: “Archbishop Michael takes over at a time of continuing uncertainty about the future of the Province. Egypt is set to leave to become a Province in its own right, named Alexandria, although fears that Jerusalem might follow suit have receded.”
The situation in the fourth diocese of the province is dire. Archbishop Lewis said the Diocese of Iran was “in a sorry state” with no priests and three deacons. “Life is pretty tricky,” the Archbishop added, “not least because all the worshippers there are Iranian citizens, worshipping in Farsi.”