President’s Letter | December 2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The season of giving and receiving is almost upon us. For those of the christian tradition we know this time of the year as Christmas – a time for family, a time for sharing, a time for giving and receiving and a time for caring about each other. Christian chaplains are celebrating at this time the birth of the baby Jesus who comes to us as Emmanuel, God with us on earth. Born, the Prince of Peace.

At some time each year all faith traditions have similar festivals with a strong focus on the importance of giving to and caring for others. December 11th was the start of the Jewish Feast of Chanukah or Hanukah, the eight day festival of light which celebrates the Triumph of Light over Darkness. Earlier in the month on December the 8th, the Buddhists celebrated Bodhi day. Gautama’s attainment of Enlightenment on this day under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, North India.

The pressing need to give to those less fortunate than ourselves has recently been dramatically highlighted for every citizen of the world by the graphic photographs of the victims and survivors of the COVID 19 Pandemic. The world is now a global village and every event is beamed into our homes by satellite, so each of us felt the horror and helplessness of watching the effects the virus has had in every country of the world. Yet the human spirit is indomitable and the will to live incredible. So many acts of kindness, the oh so many attempts to raise the spirits of people are a testament to the determination of each community to rise above the despair so often felt.

IACAC is a Multi Faith Organisation and that brings such a richness to our organisation. We celebrate our unity and honour each other as human beings. As Chaplains, we strive to help all people as they come to worship in our Prayer Rooms and chapels and to fly from our Airports.

As the end of the year approaches and brings with it the festival of Christmas, the Board would like to take this opportunity thank you all for the work you and your team do in your chaplaincies. Your presence in and around the airport helps to give comfort and support to airport workers and travellers alike. Travel for many, especially at this time is very restricted and is very stressful for families unable to be together for the festive season. Sadly some of those travellers are in need of compassion and support.

Yes, the season for giving and receiving is upon us. May this time of goodwill bring peace, joy and happiness to you and comfort to all those in need of the gift of hope.

Rev Pierre de Mareuil

1ST Mary, Mother of God – Catholic Christian
Feast Day of St Basil – Orthodox Christian
Shogatsu/Gantan-sai (New Years) – Shinto
Baptism of the Lord Jesus – Christian

5TH Twelfth Night – Christian
Guru Gobindh Singh birthday – Sikh

6TH Epiphany – Christian Dia de los Reyes (Three
Kings Day)
Feast of the Epiphany (Theophany) – Orthodox

7TH Feast of the Nativity – Orthodox Christian

13TH Maghi – Sikh

17TH Blessing of the Animals – Hispanic Catholic

18TH Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins –

19TH Timkat – Ethiopoian Christian

25th Conversion of St. Paul – Christian

28th Tu B’Shvat – Jewish