Schools in Palestine win awards














One of Trinity Church's favourite 'regular' leaders of worship is Margery Tate.

Margery is a teacher and she is a Trustee of Ashray, the UK charity which supports reconciliation through education initiatives in a school project in the land known as the 'Holy Land' - Israel to some and Palestine to others. The project is called Mar Elias Educational Institutions in Ibillin (MEEI). Ibillin is an Arab town in the Northern District of Israel. In 2012, the population was 12,275. 'Ibillin was granted municipal status in 1960. The municipality's area is 18,000 dunams (about 1,800 ha., or 4,300 acres) The town has a mixed population of Muslims and Christians. Archeological excavations indicate that there has been a continuous settlement there since 900 years before the time of Jesus Christ.

The school project was founded by Archbishop Elias Chacour and he has made this approach to peacemaking and reconciliation his life's work, not only in the MEEI schools but also in Christian schools throughout his Archbishopric of Galilee. The Archbishop is now Emeritus - he's retired - but he still maintains a very keen interest in the schools. In a land where there is much division and fear between Arabs and Jews, between the three ancient faiths - Jewish, Christian and Moslem - the MEEI schools are attended by Christian, Muslim and Druze children and they are taught by Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Druze teachers.  School exchange days with Jewish schools have been pioneered here and are becoming a regular feature of school life for the children.

Archbishop Emeritus Chacour’s Christmas letter contains two pieces of exciting news.

First is the news that following a visit from peace advocate Mr. Man Hee Lee and 15 delegates from Korea the Mar Elias Educational Institution in Ibillin is to be awarded the status of the first Peace Academy in the Middle East.

Secondly, the MEEI High School has been identified by the State of Israel as having obtained the highest grades in Israel for Maths, Physics, Biology and Chemistry.

A new initiative at the school is an innovative Drama Project which will bring together local Jewish children and Arab children from the Mar Elias Educational Institution Ibillin in Israel, for 15 sessions and  culminate in a performance for families. This is one of the reconciliation through education peacemaking initiatives supported by ASHRAY the UK Charity of Archbishop Emeritus Elias Chacour.



The concert by the Three Wise Men on Saturday 9th January (see the page in the Church Life section of this website) will provide funds towards this initiative.



The Three Wise Men offer their services in return for a donation to their chosen charity Dorothy’s Well a project created by Jim O’ Connor in honour of his late wife. Dorothy’s Well has been providing clean drinking water to the poorest villages in Tanzania since 2009.



To find out more about the MEEI schools project, go to http://www. or contact Audrey Porksen : email