Rev­e­la­tions from the Vicar of Bagh­dad

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

GOLD HILL Bap­tist Church in Chal­font St Pe­ter wel­comed the ‘Vicar of Bagh­dad' for a spe­cial event.

Oth­er­wise known as Rev­erend Doc­tor Canon An­drew White, he told an au­di­ence of more than 300 peo­ple his per­sonal story of be­ing in­volved with rec­on­cil­i­a­tion work in the Mid­dle East.

He trained as an anaes­thetist and was or­dained in the Church of Eng­land but at the age of 33 was di­ag­nosed with mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis.

De­spite this, he was the vicar of St Ge­orge's Church in Bagh­dad un­til he was forced to depart in Novem­ber 2014 for se­cu­rity rea­sons, but has con­tin­ued to be in­volved from the UK and other Mid­dle East­ern lo­ca­tions in relief and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion work.

He has re­ceived nu­mer­ous awards for his work and was in­volved in the so­lu­tion of the Beth­le­hem siege in 2002.

He is also a pro­lific author, with all funds from his books con­tribut­ing to char­ity the The Foun­da­tion forReliefandRec­on­cil­i­a­tion in the Mid­dle East (FRRME).

Joyce Gled­hill, who or­gan­ised the event, said: “The au­di­ence had an evening of laugh­ter, rev­e­la­tion and in­spi­ra­tion. If you get chance to hear An­drew at an­other venue, don't miss out.”

Visit www.gold­hill.org for more in­for­ma­tion and to hear the in­ter­view. BUCKS County Coun­cil has an­nounced a freeze on non-es­sen­tial spend­ing to en­sure it can meet the ris­ing cost of look­ing af­ter the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple across the county.

The coun­cil is tak­ing de­ci­sive ac­tion to ad­dress a pos­si­ble bud­get short­fall of al­most £6mil­lion by March, mainly due to in­creas­ing de­mand for so­cial care for adults and chil­dren.

Leader of Bucks County Coun­cil Martin Tett said: “On Mon­day, my cabi­net and I agreed, in pub­lic, to a freeze on all non-es­sen­tial spend­ing un­til the end of the fi­nan­cial year to stop what could be­come a very chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tion for us and the pub­lic.

“The main cat­a­lyst for our po­ten­tial over­spend is the sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in de­mand on ser­vices for vul­ner­a­ble adults and chil­dren. There is lit­tle we can do about this be­cause we have to give pri­or­ity to safe­guard­ing our old and our young.

“How­ever, we can con­trol other parts of coun­cil spend­ing. Spend­ing will be frozen on non-es­sen­tial, non-com­mit­ted items un­til the end of March.

“By non-es­sen­tial, we mean ac­tiv­i­ties that we are not re­quired to do by law. There will of course be ex­cep­tions be­cause we have to keep the busi­ness go­ing.

“I'm sorry to have to do this but if we don't act, we could find we have no money left in re­serves in a year or so.

“As soon as you see the prospect of get­ting into debt, you tighten your belt.”

The ‘Vicar of Bagh­dad’ An­drew White spoke at Gold Hill Bap­tist Church

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