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A warm welcome to our new Ministry Intern – Sadegh Dabiri

20 September 2021

“I needed to experience ‘life’ and sought refuge in England, it was here that I found God, and through God I found what it is to ‘live’.”

We are delighted to welcome Sadegh Dabiri to Wakefield Cathedral as our new Ministry Intern, working in the area of the cathedral’s mission, and with a particular focus in supporting and reaching out to refugees and asylum seekers across the region.

Some may say Sadegh is the perfect choice for his position, given it was only eleven years ago that he himself sought refuge in the UK, leaving his home in Iran to find out what more there is to life. After being smuggled into France and simply “abandoned” with no plan, it wasn’t until nine-months later that Sadegh made his journey, on the back of a lorry, across the Channel and into the UK.

“When we arrived in the UK a Police Officer opened the back of the lorry and said “Welcome to England””; I just remember looking out and seeing the rain coming down, I knew very little English at the time and all I could say was “no rain!”

“I had spoken with my friend who had found refuge in America and one of the phrases he said to me would go on to change my way of thinking, my outlook and indeed my way of life: “Search Jesus and you will find the truth.”

In August 2011 Sadegh was granted permission to stay in the UK, and he puts this decision down to his faith: “I believe it was God who saved me. He gave me permission to stay in this country. When I was interviewed I hid behind Christ, hoping my apparent faith could keep me in this country. I soon realized God had saved me and had taken me in… the love and the power I felt from this was like nothing I had ever experienced before and it was from that moment that I knew my calling was to explore God and explore Christianity.”

Sadegh quotes the first ever verse which triggered his interest in Christ as being: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John, 3:16).

“I had moved to Huddersfield at this time and so I began going to a local church over there. Every single day I would go to Bible Studies. It was through reading and studying the bible and conversing with others in the church that I learnt English. I would pray to God for him to give me the knowledge to learn English and in return I would spread the word of God to any and all that I meet.”

In 2012 Sadegh was baptized, his new church family having laid the foundation for his Christian faith which has become such an integral part of his life today.

After working as a translator for churches in Huddersfield and Barnsley for a number of years, in 2015 Sadegh enrolled onto a three-month course with Elam Ministry, supporting the work of the church in Iran from here in the UK.

“The Elam Ministry provided me with so many opportunities to explore my faith, to reach out to others and to meet like-minded people who wanted to help those in Iran to experience Christianity too.

“I have met some incredible people throughout my time in England and consider myself to be truly blessed, but my time at Elam really helped me grow and shape my faith and my beliefs.”

After leaving Elam in 2018, Sadegh worked across various regions before a catch-up with long-time friend Bishop Tony in 2020 brought him to where we are today.

“Bishop Tony has been like a father-figure to me ever since I first met him. He is an incredible man and a true friend.

“I had loved working and being around church environments for a decade but when I caught up with Bishop Tony in 2016, he asked me if I had ever considered training for ordination.

“He gave me the belief that I could do it and I am so excited to be here at Wakefield Cathedral, ready to explore what the next twelve months have in store, reach out and spread the word of God and support refugees and asylum seekers who are out there, lost and not knowing where to turn… just like I was eleven years ago.”

Once again we are sure you will join us in offering Sadegh a very warm welcome to Wakefield Cathedral. Please do say hello and introduce yourself next time you visit. We looking forward to seeing you soon.

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