Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pat and Lionel leave our Sofia congregation

For many years our congregation in Sofia has been enriched by the presence and support of Pat and Lional Sainsbury. Pat has also been deeply involved in the International Womens Group in Sofia, whilst Lionel has used his skills as a mining engineer to try to ensure that the extension to the Sofia metro will work both safely and efficiently.

Lionel has been a faithful servant of the Church of the Resurrection in Sofia, ensuring the continuity of the congregation there and providing essential support to a succession of chaplains, including providing bed and breakfast on occasions!

Now Lionel and Pat move to a new life challenge back home in their beloved north east of England, and as a token of their love other members of the congregation presented them with a beautiful icon at the end of their last service in Sofia last Sunday.

Pat has written a poem, partly describing her emotions and feelings for Sofia. It is beautiful, and I hope that she does not mind it appearing in this blog! Here it is:

S is for sadness at the parting of ways
But also for serenity of more leisurely days.

O is for Oberishte, the chapel at Number 5,
And the onus on a faithful few to keep our small church alive.

F is for friends made here over the past six years.
Faith that we’ll keep in touch banishes tears

I is for the inspiration of the IWC,
Whose initiatives show how dazzling international efforts can be.

A is for appreciation of the privilege it has been
To live here in Bulgaria. May it realise its dream.

Happy retirement Lionel and Pat-and haste ye back to Sofia!
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